Tuesday, April 12, 2005

In a funk

Sometime between lunch and 5:00, I fell into a hole of despair. Perhaps I was walking backwards, talking and gesticulating (as I am wont to do). However it happened, here I am. It must have been on the horizon the whole time and I just didn't see it. It's the usual stuff--work crap. I don't know why I can't seem to focus on the positive. Lots of good things are going on. I have done good things:
  • Three presentations on blogging and education, one invited
  • Setting up blog software for campus-wide use
  • Coordinating a weekly series of technology workshops/discussions
  • Starting a tech support podcast
  • Coordinating the third year of the summer multimedia program through which we have developed 40 multimedia projects--websites, dvds, cds.
  • Helping to coordinate a redesign of a login page for Blackboard which incorporated a wiki-driven faq, the content of which was primarily developed by me
  • Consulting on a technology and writing grant, which is coming along quite nicely, I think
  • Developing a new course on blogging and its effects on society
What's keeping me from being excited about this stuff and forging into new areas? A few things:
  • Lack of recognition. No one is saying, "Wow, this is pretty cool stuff you're doing." And worse, many are flat-out ignoring it. Total faculty attendence at the workshops--less than 10 all semester.
  • Petty politics. It seems to seep into everything. I can ignore it for a while and then it's like running into a brick wall.
  • Tension between work and family life. When things get difficult at home, I tend to feel work is less satisfying. A kind of "is this all there is" feeling wafts over me and I think I could be at home, writing, and be there for the kids to help them through their difficulties. Sigh.
The first two things are really difficult and somewhat beyond my control. I'm doing a lot to publicize my work on campus. I could do more and have some ideas for that. But increasingly, I'm beginning to think I can't change the culture of the campus. I feel like I've been sucked into a vortex or something. Maybe I just need to pull myself out, but the vortex is strong. (God, I sound like Darth Vader).

The politics is impossible. Some of it changed as people left, but it's still there and will always be there. Maybe I need a book or something for how to deal with all of it. Obviously, I'm not dealing with it well if it's dragging me into a hole of despair. And I was peppy this morning--really!