Today is a better day. My back is much improved, though still a bit cranky. I am no longer plotting any arson or any dramatic flounces. It was not what you'd call a restful break, though.
In fact, I think it's a bit of a mental misnomer for me to label it Thanksgiving break. It's true that I don't teach and I am free to do my work from home. But there's always a bunch of work to be done (grading, especially -- piles thereof), and the email continues unabated, and my ideas about what I will get done in the three days before or two days after I host a large and stressful family gathering are never very closely aligned to the unforgiving reality of the space-time continuum.
Anyway. I'll be back in the office tomorrow, finishing up some of the grading I didn't do over break in time for my morning class. There remain two weeks of class and one week of finals, and before I wrap things up for 2017 I also have to write a staggering number of letters of recommendation. And there are two committee tasks looming this week that will require considerable preparation. I like these committees. I will enjoy our discussions. I just have to get the work done in the next few days. This time of year there are always little responsibility bombs going off in my email inbox: an honors project that needs to be reviewed, a symposium proposal that needs my approval.
Right now I am a little stressed about the possibility that students who have asked me for letters of recommendation will have academic integrity concerns in the paper they're submitting to me tomorrow. About 10% of undergrad submissions have some degree of plagiarism, and I have agreed to write letters for so many students that some overlap is entirely possible. From where you are sitting, I know, it seems absurd that a student would do such a thing. Let us hope the students all agree. From where you are sitting, I know, it seems obvious that in that situation an instructor would simply say, "I can no longer recommend you for graduate study." And I will, if necessary, but OH MAN I would prefer not to have that conversation.
Okay. So. I am not going to borrow trouble. I am going to shovel some figurative coal on the figurative fire under my figurative boiler and I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can my way to the top of the figurative hill. It always gets done.