Thanks for your responses on the subject of independent studies, everyone!
It's tricky--I'm at a SLAC, so close work with professors is something that we sell ourselves on. But yes, doing independent studies is also an unpaid overload.
The two students I've said yes to are both good students; one of them I've had in class before. So I'll keep my fingers crossed for everything working out well.
Last weekend's conference was very pleasant--some good conversations and comments on my paper. I got back on Sunday and right away plunged into what seemed like a billion tasks and problems. Most are unbloggable, suffice it to say that SLAC is dealing with a lot of changes, some of them unexpected, at the moment. Now that it's Saturday I feel like I can catch my breath.