Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year


Well, when we rang in 2020, I seriously doubt any of us was thinking of SARS-CoV-2 (or COVID-19 as it is also known) would turn our personal and professional lives upside down. As I was wishing you all a happy new year last year, I was expecting to be going to a couple professional conferences (NSSA and SIPS) and would be participating in some way with repliCATS. I expected to do my usual AP Psychology Reading in Tampa in June. Those did happen, in a way, but all of those activities ended up virtual. It appears to be virtual conferences and so on for the upcoming year as well, at least until the vaccines that are very painfully slowly being rolled out are administered to enough people to allow us to discover the emerging contours of our new normal. In some ways, I miss in person conferences, but I don't miss the travel expenses I racked up over the years. After universities on my level stopped paying conference travel and hotel in advance, folks like me loaded up credit cards, awaited partial reimbursement, and then found that in the interim that the interest accrued alone had wiped out any benefit to the partial reimbursements. Having a couple years where I am actually paying down credit cards is a real boon. I may just decide to abandon all travel going forward and stick to virtual options. Such is life. Those of us who toil in smaller regional colleges and universities in the US probably have more in common with our peers in the Global South than we might realize.

As for the blog? The pandemic really had some impact on the amount of content I posted. Flipping labs from seated to online was a huge task, and that took a lot out of me. That didn't stop me from posting items of interest. That said, some of what had my interest in 2019 had more or less played itself out. There are only so many critiques of a specific lab's papers one can write before it really does become overkill. I am hoping that a broader point of using tools available for detecting problems (Statcheck, GRIM, SPRITE) gets through, and that we see more folks use those tools and report problems as they find them. I am sure I will find some items of interest to discuss. Anytime I see an injustice in my field, I certainly want to find time for it. I am hoping that as time permits, I can discuss some projects that I effectively shelved in 2020. Those need to be dusted off and completed. Starting something and not finishing it tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth, so it's close to time to get back to it. 

I do have a challenging spring semester ahead of me. I am once more dealing with lab courses online that are better suited for in-person instruction. That will again suck up some time, and give me some heartburn. I agreed to some overload for the spring. I am glad I did as it looks like one of my streams of income (some adjuncting for a nearby community college) is going to dry up, at least for a while. If my other income streams remain constant, it won't be too much of a problem. Unfortunately, in the academic world, there is far too much uncertainty. 

This will be a challenging year. At least this time around, I have an idea of what is headed my way. That's something of an advantage. 

I hope each of you has a better year than last year. Take care and stay safe.

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