Let's begin with the title, which comes from a book edited by Peter J. Frost and M. Susan Taylor. The full title of the book is Rhythms of Academic Life: Personal Accounts of Careers in Academia. In this book, over sixty scholars at various stages of their careers reflect on the joys, frustrations, and pressures of academic life. Collectively, the sometimes humorous personal accounts offer a wonderful glimpse into this strange world of tenure and sabbaticals where status is reflected in three metrics: research, teaching, and service.
Similar to the book that is its namesake, the purpose of this blog as I originally conceived it was to give my friends and family a glimpse into my life as a scholar so that they could better understand what it is that I do. In addition to satisfying my desire to write, I figured it would also help clear up some of the confusion expressed by some of my non-academic friends. For example, there was the time I had to explain that though my official title is Assistant Professor, I do not merely make copies for and carry the bags of the real professor. I also hoped to shed some light on the mysterious things that I do on campus during the summer months when I am quite busy even though there are very few students on campus and I am not teaching any classes. (Some people call it research.) And while I do hope to get to some of these things, the first few posts have perhaps veered from this ideal. But it's still early. The blog will surely evolve. I don't see any reason to feel constrained by a title that is merely a reflection of a single previous thought. A title can evolve, just as a thought can evolve. I am free to go in any direction I'd like. This is reflective of the same freedom I experience everyday as a scholar—the freedom to create my own work and pursue my own intellectual curiosity. It's a wonderful life.