Friday, December 22, 2017

Year in Review (2017)

Another busy year comes to an end! So it is fitting to summarize some of the highlights of the year for me.

This past year was a very busy year for me teaching-wise. It was the most courses, and students, I have taught in my 18 year career! Most academics tend to wind-down their teaching as their career progresses, but I seem to be going in the opposite direction. And this has been a positive development for me, as teaching remains a major catalyst for my research and passion of mine. In addition to increasing my year-long Plato to Marx course from 250 students to 275 students, and teaching an overload course in my department again this year, I also taught a summer MPA course in the School of Public Policy at Queen's.

Research-wise I am, as a write this, putting the final edits on this Genetic Ethics book which I expect to be out by the summer. It was actually a very grueling summer for me, with teaching, finishing the draft of this new book, and undergoing surgery shoulder on my dominant arm no-less!. Somehow I forget to schedule myself any summer vacation. But the promise of a sabbatical term next fall, dedicated solely to writing and regaining some life-balance, gives me something to work towards.

My contribution to The Oxford Handbook of Virtue will be available in about 2 weeks time. And I am writing a new paper on Rawls and ideal theory for an edited volume on the work of John Rawls.

In the coming year I hope to be able to make serious headway on a new book on play- integrating insights from evolutionary biology, psychology and philosophy. I also have plans to write more on genetics and aging, topics I find I cannot stop contemplating.

As part of my ongoing research on play I actually played a season of archery tag this past fall. A really fun, fast-paced, and (I found out half-way through the season!) a somewhat painful game. I also retired, after a 13 year-stint, coaching kids soccer as my youngest son decided to hang up the cleats for good. But I have been able to foster new play interests with him and his friends, including being the Dungeon Master for some homemade D & D campaigns we have enjoyed over the past few months. And my kids are constantly exposing me to new ideas as they navigate various games and apps.

Blogging has been light as teaching, research and parenting continue to take up more of my time. But I still aspire to return to this space to think through ideas when time, and my interest, permit. I have made a conscious effort to devote more time to activities like this blog.

All the best for New Year!