Academics measure time by a different calendar than everyone else. This week marks the start of a new academic year. We have new students arriving for orientation. We meet as a school faculty for a retreat to reflect on matters relevant to the new year, to our students well-being, and to our own experience of cohesion as a team.
People think academics take the summer off. I don’t know anyone in academics who does that, but it does sound appealing. I taught two doctoral-level course at Regent and one at Wheaton. Then I was working as part of a consensus group to provide input to a federal agency on issues related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. I did actually take 2 weeks to enjoy time with family in Michigan. Then I returned in the nick of time to go to Toronto to the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, where I presented 2 poster sessions–one on the experiences of Christian ministers with LGBT persons and the other on the experiences of celibate gay Christians. The task force I chair for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) on LGBT issues had a symposium that featured some of our history and some of the challenges in working across the aisle with those in Division 44 (Society for the Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues ) on the intersection of LGBT and religious/spiritual issues. We also head two less formal dialogues on the same topics in our respective hospitality suites.
With the publication of Understanding Gender Dysphoria, I also spent a lot of time doing radio interviews and providing families with consultations. There are, of course, other projects, particularly research projects, that are ongoing, but that give you an idea of what a summer “off” can look like for academics. I’m sure my colleagues can share similar stories.
But I enjoy what I get to do for a living, and I look forward to seeing a new group of students come to campus. I look forward to seeing the new cohort that is entering the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, and I look forward to convening our research institute as we anticipate our academic year together.