So the third-year review materials have been handed in....and now, the waiting game begins. It will be a while before I hear the verdict, but there will be various meetings in between now and then with various people involved in the process, which means I do get a teeny bit of feedback along the way. The first of these is coming up in about a month.
The neat, and unexpected, thing is that finishing the packet, and putting all the materials together, reignited my passion about this job. I realized that I've done some really interesting scholarship in the past few years---and that I'd forgotten about some of it! I can also clearly see the holes in my research life and what I have to do over the next few years to make meaningful contributions to my field, to innovate, and of course to position myself in the best way possible to earn tenure. I revisited some of my pedagogical practices, past and present, and rediscovered what makes me so fired up about teaching. In particular, going through my syllabi was like being on an archaelogical dig--I could see a clear progression of my ideas and an evolution of my teaching style into one that really works well for me. In short, putting this packet together reminded me that I'm not the colossal screw-up I sometimes think I am. :)
I had hoped to celebrate as soon as the packet was handed in, but of course this week has been pretty full with other commitments that were put on hold while the packet was being finished. But I feel like celebrating this moment in my career is important, so I plan to take some time this weekend to celebrate and acknowledge my accomplishments over the past few years---to give myself a pat on the back and say, "Well done!" I've definitely earned it!