Sneak preview with obligatory misdirection:
EDITED TO ADD (2017-09-12): seven days and about 75 hours’ work later, I’ve changed this post’s original title’s “tomorrow” to “shortly”; I hope this next post will happen before the end of this week. It is the beginning of term so it’s a peak time for advising and French placement, plus helping new undergraduate students, course design and set-up and coordination, and of course teaching. Work is starting to settle down; writing will resume; balanced with students, who have priority. I am not complaining, quite the opposite: it is, as ever, sustaining and uplifting to find—weirdly, a pleasant suprise once again this year, as every year, here at UBC—that students (especially “my own” students in the classes I’m teaching) are fine, intelligent, curious, engaging, fascinating people. This is, as ever, a source of cheerful wonder to me. And wonderful. I am fortunate and grateful. I’ll also have to think about what this all adds to the conception and contemplation of “professionalism” with regard to work that often doesn’t feel like work. It is enthralling in its positive modern sense and in a joyful way. It is a far remove from thralldom. Even when there comes a moment when tiredness strikes, and awareness that being drained and feeling spent mean that what preceded was indeed labour. Teaching, above all, is a strange and marvellous thing. Its most radically professional aspect may be its balance of the active and the contemplative, à la medieval Occitan poetic dreit mezura, put into lived practice, and aiming ideally towards sen. More on which anon.
(I’ve been careful. That addition may add some clues, but also some further misdirection.)