The highs and lows of academic life are such a trip. Keeps reminding me of the line from desperado, "you're losing all your highs and lows, aint it funny how the feeling goes away..." Highs and lows are really exciting. Smooth sailing (routine) seems to lead to boredom and stagnation eventually. So with academe, the highs I'm talking about are the speed-demon pace and accomplishment of the semester, and the lows are the relaxed, laid-back pace of the "intermissions," as well as its more modest accomplishments. Actually, the relaxed pace is its own kind of high -- when you can get up in the morning, spend awhile out on your deck sipping a cup of coffee and just looking at how glorious the world can be on a sunny morning, amble back inside and read a few emails, wander around on the Internet for an hour or two, grab some lunch, read a chapter in a book, run an errand, make a few phone calls, and then make dinner, etc. etc. Day after day. It's easy to forget what it's like to be able to just be.
So, this is the last week of this part of the trip. I did actually make a list of the things that were most important for me to accomplish before the semester begins, since I know how little other than school I'll be able to focus on once the semester gets underway. So I kept to a schedule of sorts this week and will continue to do so through Monday of next week. I'm making steady progress on these things -- reading and creating a bibliography for the research I want to do on French libraries (contrasting their views of the future with those of US libraries), a paper I was invited to co-author on fair use in digital image libraries for architecture schools, a talk I'm scheduled to give on digital distribution in February, stuff like that, a short talk I'm giving to faculty at UT on library services (scholarly communication & copyright). All very interesting, but I'm also still working on Benkler's book. Really need to finish it before Tuesday or I won't finish it for 3 more months...
I also will be starting on a new blog in about 3 weeks. The University of Maryland, University College Center for Intellectual Property & Copyright is launching a blog for its visiting scholar (moi) and I'll get to play around there for a bit each week, invite others to play too (visiting bloggers) , and in general, try to keep on top of things slightly outside my academic interests. Don't want to get too narrowly focused, at least not yet.
So, I'm off to take a video break, episodes 9, 10 and 11 of the first season of The Wire. I don't watch much tv (actually no tv, except when Dennis is around), so I didn't learn about the wire for several years. I am so out of it when it comes to tv. I just hate commercials and they drive me away from the medium. I know, not all stations have commercials, but sitting in front of a little box with flashing lights and sounds is not my idea of a good time. There are exceptions, of course. And I love wandering around on the Internet... Enough of this rambling.