vacation bubble

My transition back into "regular life" has been sort of odd. I still feel like I'm enclosed by a protective bubble that keeps me from taking anything here at the office too seriously. I guess maybe that's relaxation? This is the last week before spring break, and the weather is getting nicer, so I'm not expecting great attendance in my classes tomorrow. But here in my department things are busy, busy, busy because we have three job candidates giving presentations. It's for a joint position with another program -- an awkward setup in which we would be the tenuring dept, but the person would be teaching mostly for this other group. I don't envy the person coming into that situation. It was supposed to be an open-rank search, but all of the candidates have wound up being new PhDs. Maybe the terms of the search changed somewhere along the way. I'm not on the search committee, or on either of the committees in my dept who will have voting power for the hire. But we are all encouraged to attend the events and make our opinions known. It's been nice for once not to be deeply involved in this hire -- I've served on several hiring committees over the past few years (two of which wound up in no hires at all due to an evil dean and political wrangling). It does matter to me, who we hire; but I'm also feeling kind of detached this time around. But I think that's a good thing.

I am really glad to be back with the dogs -- and they are really glad to be back with us. Several of you suggested that we get someone to stay with them in our house next time, and I think that would be a good idea. The problem is that most of our friends have pets, partners, or children, and wouldn't be able to stay at our place. But we'll have to work on this for the future.

Plus, I have an (irrational?) paranoia about someone staying in my house, potentially messing with my stuff, going through my personal things. Sure, I could hide anything really personal or incriminating. But it's just the feeling. My house is my personal zone. I don't even really like having friends over that much. (If we had a little more space it might be different -- in a larger house you could have a room that was more "public" space, like a living room, and other, "private" bedroom & studies. Our house is about as big as your elbow, so there's really not much distinction.)

Luckily, G. (aka Houndini, who escaped not once but twice from the groovy country boarding farm) has relaxed and settled back into her old routine just fine with us. I was worried that she would be trying to escape from our yard too. But she's been happy to patrol the yard for squirrels, sleep on the couch, and play with her toys. I feel so bad for her, how scared and nervous she must have been. W., our other dog, was there with her, but apparently that wasn't consoling enough.

Now if I can just get through the next 3 days, it'll be spring break! I am really looking forward to writing, reading, and cleaning up my house.