Rites of Spring
At Baylor, we have annual reviews to gauge progress towards tenure, and my fourth review is next Friday. So today I submitted my tenure file, which is actually a tenure notebook (which is actually two tenure notebooks because I can no longer contain all of the accumulated stuff in one three-ring binder).
The process here at BU is smart -- by making the submission of the file a yearly requirement, there's no fear of someone on the tenure track getting behind on their record-keeping. I stay pretty much on top of that behemoth, adding things that should be added as they happen rather than all in one big frenzy at the end. I admit, there's always one day or afternoon of semi-frenzy in getting the thing organized.
But regardless, the book is in. The review is scheduled. Another year on the tenure track behind me. It's hard to believe I've been here nearly four years now. My first year was chaotic -- prepping and teaching classes from scratch every week (every day), figuring out what building was what. Heck, just figuring out where to park was scary.
And I made my first feature at the end of that first crazy year. If I'd have known how hard all of that would be, I probably wouldn't have taken it all on. In many ways, I'm glad I didn't know. Now, as I'm about to embark on the second feature, things certainly seem more in control.
Of course, the new film is of a larger scope (in many ways -- the emotions of the piece, the visual requirements), so I continue to make things hard on myself. But there's no sense in resting on one's laurels. You can't get better at what you do like that...