End of Summer Academic Blues
Although the summer is supposed to be the period when the faculty can focus on research without the distractions of teaching, I invariably find it more difficult to find new research ideas during the summer than during the main school year. One explanation for that would be that teaching must provide some inspiration for research. However, I remember how even back as a graduate student when I did not teach, I’d always get depressed as the summer progressed. Then, the beginning of the Fall semester would invariably provide the much needed spur of inspiration.
Perhaps there is something depressing about college campuses being devoid of students. The absence of students seems to sap creative energy. As a result, I find summers a good time for doing brunt work that does not require much creativity. Writing reports, reviewing papers, updating a CV, etc.
Now that the students are coming back, I actually find walking through our beautiful campus energizing and inspiring. Whenever I see freshman students, I realize that most of them are about to experience what they will later remember as the four best years of their lives. And realizing that as a professor I will play an important role in that experience snaps me into creative action. Well, for now I have resumed blogging after a long hiatus.