This summer has been a summer of Big Thoughts at work. We’ve been writing our departmental self-study, summing up our present and laying the groundwork for our future. We’ve been grappling with a major project that’s requiring far more thought about everything from logistics to philosophy than I’d anticipated. We’re writing two articles and a college report based on that project, each of which has thwarted us at nearly every step. (And if you’re one of the people who’s waiting for manuscripts of these things, we’re sorry. Really we are. We’re working on them.) Our campus IT department is restructuring, which means that our public service collaborations with them are restructuring, and I’m the library liaison to those things. A new building with a new kind of collaborative learning space is opening next week, so we’ve been thinking big thoughts about how best to balance our enthusiasm for the new service potentials with our capacity to do it all. And somewhere in there, in bits and pieces, Steve and I are working on a book.
And somehow this whole time it’s like I’ve got some sort of mental block. It’s like I can approach that point at which thoughts fall into place and a framework emerges, but I can never quite get there. All the component parts are lying there in a heap on my mental floor, and I can’t seem to disentangle them enough to pull one out, turn it this way and that, and watch it map itself onto the final structure. And so I’m left with a fragile jumble of interesting facts and ideas and a growing sense of frustration and failure.