the grid

the grid

Sunday, 17 January 2021

2021 session1 Week 2: The search is on

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the second week of our voyage! This is my first “crew update” recording from my cabin. Our departure went fairly well, we had very few issues with forgotten baggage but the replicators have been able to fill all emergency orders for critical things. All crew quarters are functional. I do apologize to the crew members who had to be relocated after we discovered the infestation of Shape-shifting Spotted Demotivators. They have been corralled and are isolated in the hold, but far away from the Albatross enclosures because there is anecdotal evidence that those species can cross-breed and we don’t want an outbreak on our hands.

Oh, what’s that? Uhmmm… blinking light, blinking light, oh, getting another call hang on… Hello? Yes, this is the Captain…. Really… Escaped? And you can’t find them? Ok, I’ll be there in a few minutes, keep the area isolated and I’ll authorize the additional force-fields you need right now…

Ok, got to go deal with the crisis in the hold – the Demotivators chewed through their enclosure and are playing hide and seek with the critter-care crew. I will have to post the rest of the crew update on the ship’s com system. Please join us for social hour (or day!) in the Top Deck Viewing Bar to tell us how your first week went.

For this week, please be on the look out for any Demotivators trying to nest in your quarters, it is easier to root them out early on, once they establish a colony they are very hard to eradicate! And in our check-in gathering this week, please tell us how you identify your personal Demotivators (they do shift their appearance fairly frequently so they can be hard to track), and share your favourite strategies for finding and evicting them. We can all use a little bit of help and advice on getting them under control!

Best of luck for the week!

(Also IRL, please take care of yourself, the world is a mess and everyone is struggling and we need to hang on, even if by fingernails.)

UPDATED with GOALS from last week:

 Dame Eleanor Hull

*Finish grad syllabus, set up Blackboard sites.
*At least 5 hours of research time.
*Tidy my study, I mean quarters.

 Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Draft query letters for Illuminated.
Edit at least 5 pages of Illuminated.
Draft introduction to Translated.
Organize desk 1 hour x 5.
Pay bills, ask for conference reimbursement, call for doctors' appointments.


1) Open Albatross cage carefully and make a plan for tackling it
2) Sit down for a good planning session for the term and write everything down
3) Start on giant pile of revisions for paper from last session and give each co-author a list of the parts they have to do
4) Do figure revisions for another paper I’m co-author on and send first author nice figures and encouraging message
5) Get online course started with maximum interaction and minimum drama (also finish course outline!)
6) Write a couple of abstracts for online conferences that I am not excited about but will go to in order to support colleagues organizing them
7) Do one fun thing with any available friend

 heu mihi

1. Personnel Committee task
2. 3 hours of writing
3. Sit 5 times
4. 2 hours of course planning
5. 30 minutes of grant proposal planning
6. Catch up on journal work


1 catch up on teaching-related issues from internet outage
2 finish and submit current book review
3 create tiny project work plan
4 write and submit working group project for conference
5 submit creative piece by deadline


Will be updating when possible, with an excellent overall session goal of Professional Survival.


-restart work and open inbox
-write up draft of Hons ideas and set up time for discussion with a couple of key people
-begin syllabi for new course


1. Finish syllabus and post intro videos
2. Return to Famous Author for 3 writing sessions
3. Schedule board meeting for ProfOrg
4. Keep up with exercise on both expensive bougie equipment and January yoga challenge.
5. Cook at least one healthy thing
6. Visit friends
7. Call mom

Sunday, 10 January 2021

2021 session 1, week 1: welcome!

Greetings! I’m First Mate T’Melnor, and on behalf of Captain Daisy, I welcome you to the Starship T.L.Q. Perseverance. We are a science and research vessel, dedicated to exploration and education. Our current voyage is scheduled to last sixteen weeks, ending at the planet Primavera. We will have excellent views of various interstellar phenomena on the way. You are encouraged to take full advantage of the various viewing lounges and onboard equipment to enhance your journey or, indeed, to advance your research.

A crew member will escort you to your quarters, which should have adequate space for the luggage allotted you by Regulation C.1254. If you have excess equipment, please advise your escort. Your onboarding packet includes a summary of all relevant regulations, as well as a map of passenger decks. Please respect the signs that indicate crew-only areas. The ship has three state-of-the-art holodeck suites, with a full range of exercise programs including Klingon mixed martial arts, as well as war-game exercises. The holodecks also have an extensive collection of programs for relaxation and meditation, in addition to leisure programs designed by previous passengers and crew, which you are welcome to use. We encourage you to contribute to our program library; please see your onboarding packet for details of the programming languages recognized by our facilities.

At 1700 hours ship time, researchers and crew members are invited to the main lounge for an introductory reception. Please be ready to give your goals for the voyage and for the next seven days. The ship keeps Earth-standard 24-hour days. The reception will be repeated at least weekly, for further reports on goals, progress, and adventures along the way. If you have any special requests or needs, you may communicate them at the reception or to any member of staff.

Welcome aboard. Live long and prosper.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Intersession hello, new session schedule

 Hello everyone!

We have a brand new TLQ session starting next week on the weekend of January 9/10. We’ll go for 16 weeks, ending the first weekend in May. Right now that feels very far away! Your hosts will be Dame Eleanor Hull and Daisy.

Shameless borrowing of text below from those who have been good enough to host here previously... 

The format will be the same as ever. Next week we will set goals for the whole session and then continue with weekly goals. Goals can be in any aspect of life although the key focus is often writing tasks that are personally and professionally important but that never quite tip over into important AND urgent. Urgent things sometimes find their way in here too, that is completely ok too, and process goals are also most welcome.  Each week there will be a discussion topic or prompt to write about if you feel so inclined.  We’ll remind everyone of their big session goals about midway through the session, I for one always find those quite a surprise when they pop up… 

Anyone new or old is welcome to join. And finally, don't worry if you miss a few check-ins. Life happens. This is a supportive, generous space with no intimidation factor so enjoy it!

So for this week:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What's your main focus at the moment? You are welcome to be vague and mysterious in the interest of maintaining anonymity while still introducing yourself to the group.

2. Think and speculate and dream (out loud if you want!) about goals for this session, but sit with them for a week or so and we’ll officially post them next week. Feel free to throw out a whole bunch now and pick from those next week or think about the things you want to clear out of the way to make room for the bigger goals.  

3. I loved DEH’s prompt (corrected, it was heu mihi's!) at the beginning of the last session to set an INTENTION for the whole session, so if that’s something you want to do this is a great time to think about it. 

4. Or just come say hello and tell us how you’ve been over the break and then come back next week for introductions and session goals. 

Our dates are listed below because I usually forget the schedule a quarter of the way in, this will keep it handy for reference.

Jan 2/3 (preliminary announcement)
Jan 9/10 (official start)
Jan 16/17
Jan 30/31
Feb 6/7
Feb 13/14
Feb 20/21
Feb 27/28
March 6/7 (week 8, mid-term post)
March 13/14
March 20/21
March 27/28
April 3/4
April 10/11
April 17/18
April 24/25
May 1/2 (week 16, end of session)

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Old Year/New Year...

Happy 2021 to everyone in our wonderful TLQ community! Thank you for being excellent companions through this year and the ones before. I think many of us found a little oasis of peace in this group that became extra important this year... Thank you for laughs, commiseration, space to speculate or vent, and for being a steady presence in a year where everything else changed and changed and changed some more. This space was a great reminder of the positive things we are all grateful for and the successes we sometimes forget to celebrate properly!

I think we can use the flaming embers of the dumpster fire that was 2020 to roast some nice chestnuts and warm up the mulled wine for the evening to celebrate in whatever fashion you prefer! So, let's celebrate the wins, small and big, personal and professional, while we pass over into the next year. Cheers to all of you!

Wishing you peace, health, and joy in the New Year!

Friday, 25 December 2020

Happy 25 December, TLQers!

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, and a pleasant, peaceful day if you don't! Movies and Chinese food are always good, anyway, or you can just curl up with a book or handcrafts or whatever appeals. Or take a nap. If you're with the same people you've been cooped up with for months, may you re-discover their good qualities; if you miss the people you'd usually see, maybe you can be glad you didn't have to travel, this year.

(I'm not sure how long I can keep up the Pollyanna act, as I miss traveling, in general. But I do remember all the annoying bits of it.)

Thank you to all who consider themselves part of the TLQ community, and I hope you have a lovely day.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Last quarter 2020, week 14 (actually 15): the coat-check and beyond

What I (DEH) said in early September: “What can we do, what must we keep track of, for the next 15 or 16 weeks? Let's go until mid-December—that is, have our last check-in around Friday, 17 December 2020, as we wrap up the semester and face the holidays, whatever they may involve this year.” That makes this our last week of the session! Is that "already" or "at last"?

I hope you’ve enjoyed the museum tour, and that you’ll tell us what you’re planning to do at the end of it: what are you retrieving from the coat check, are you going out to dinner or straight home, are you maybe staying in a hotel and doing something else tomorrow, what memories and souvenirs are you taking with you?

Also let us know how you did last week, and how you've done with session goals.

For the next session, to start in January, Daisy and DEH will be your hosts. We’ll consult about when to start and how long to run, and suggestions from any of you are welcome! Do you prefer longer sessions, shorter sessions, ones that run quarterly or by semester or up to some significant date? Would you prefer a winter intersession and a shorter spring session, or a longer winter/spring session?

Session goals (apologies if I'm missing anyone, and thanks to heu mihi for collecting them; also for being an excellent co-host):


1) Finish and get rid of the Albatross Paper
2) Learn and do some computer-based analysis with fancy tool for new paper and local grant
3) Get DEI program approved and instituted in my professional society
4) Deliver excellent graduate course for new project students.

1) Health for household – mental and physical.
2) Two research projects: local grant and Albatross. The rest will putter along by themselves mostly so these are the ones that need the most focused attention.
3) Be excellent for my good people and help them as much as I can, be those child or co-authors or grad students or the good colleagues
4) Be good enough for/with everything and everyone else.

Dame Eleanor Hull:

Look after my health first.
Do a decent job teaching, and be kind to students.
Revise essay; try to make progress on book, and do at least a bit of language work every week.
Get boxes out of storage unit.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell:

spend my research leave at a nearby archive to do a final check of my critical edition against the exemplars;
finish the article that grew from a presentation I gave;
pull together a good literature review of the flavor of digital humanities that interests me;
walk more, eat better, meditate when I wake up at 3am, and write every day;
be more positive about life.

Incorporate research from hoped-for archival trip into the critical edition.
Finish one article, preferably Illuminated, although Flowers is a close second.
Finish the annotated bibliography on critical editions and digital humanities.

Achieve 10,000 steps a day.
Achieve 60% better meals.
Improve positivity about life.

heu mihi:

1. Research: draft an article by summer 2021; prepare a grant proposal by mid-summer 2021
1a. (Re)read NunG books 3-5
1b. Research relevant theology on death in the 13th c.
1c. Situate readings of nuns within theological context
2. Draft my part of intro to collection
3. Language: Make some progress. Aim for 3x week, any length of time.
4. Life: Exercise, yoga twice a week (any length of time), sit some amount every week
5. Watch Pride and Prejudice by myself in the newly fixed-up basement.
6. Try to do at least one of each week's Big Tasks on Monday or Tuesday, to keep them all from piling up on the weekend.
7. Relax into what happens. Change or abandon goals as needed.


1 write a tiny project piece every week
2 spend time with a creative piece every week
3 write weekly blog posts
4 finish writing that online class
5 keep up with teaching things



1. Complete book and submit to press!!!! This will entail final writing/ edits on Ch 8, a bit of data crunching for Ch 7, a final read througth and polish of the entire thing, plus copy edits and figures and the bib. I think its doable.
2. Maintain a realistic notion of what is doable this semester in terms of teaching. Be gentle with myself.
3. Exercise 5x a week
4. Eat healthy
5. Advise several students on new projects, get bits and pieces of data/writing needed to collaborators for CNH paper, Canoe paper, and Adze paper
6. Paperwork for aunt to go into state system (I am her POA)
7. Buy porch furniture to make outdoor space comfy
8. Do smell retraining therapy each day in the hopes of getting smell and taste back


1. Survive the teaching, and maybe figure out how to own it? I'm beginning to figure out how to manage class, and am grateful to the students who will turn on cameras so I get some feedback! Last week I figured out how to pre-assign students to breakout rooms and I wanted to break out the champagne. I have tried to make the assignments for students what they can manage, and to be flexible. It's just hard.
2. Finish chapter 2 of Famous Author, by working at least 15 minutes every week day.
3. Keep making progress on getting rid of stuff/ fixing house.
4. Keep walking or getting exercise. I have just ordered a Very Expensive piece of gym equipment, but everyone I know who has it raves. I hope it gets me through the winter when "It's dark when I wake up and want to go out so I don't go walk". We'll see.
5. Read for pleasure -- a litte?
6. Do something enjoyable weekly with friends. (mostly not face to face...)

Last week’s goals—I haven’t done hold-overs, thinking they might just make people feel bad about not checking in; but by all means, come back and tell us how things are now, if you have the bandwidth to do so:


1) Grade/nag for assignments to get submitted/grade/nag/grade/nag rinse/repeat ad nauseum…
2) Set exam for big class
3) Help extremely marginal grad student with defense talk and corrections
4) Make a list of teaching successes vs. failures while it is still fresh to use when doing next term’s planning
5) My intentional thing for the week: local shopping for fun food things or pretty gift ideas

Dame Eleanor Hull

*Health: daily cardio and stretching, weights x 3, try to eat carefully and sleep enough.
*Teaching: Grade All The Things.
*Research: work on revisions; some time on both dead and live languages; take notes on the big ILL book.
*Service: set up drafts for some recommendation letters.
*House/life: hang pictures, get hardware for cabinet, that Thing.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Translation study articles 1x6.
Write 300 words x 7.
Deal with all the paperwork--travel, research, grant, etc.
Walk 2x7; meditate 1x7; something positive 1x7.

heu mihi: 

1. Sit x3
2. Reinstate exercise plan, plus some extra walking, since last week was so inert.
3. Catch up on journal stuff!
4. Write 3 hours
5. Grade all the things





1. 2 hours on famous author
2. Catch up on rest of grading
3. Write 2 references for grad school
4. Write memo protesting pay cuts
5. Have a serious email purge
6. Get and trim tree: I need something to cheer me up!
7. Drinks parties
8. Plan some baking (trying to figure this out, but thinking of baking and bringing cookies or other goodies to people.)
9. Start on Xmas Card

Monday, 7 December 2020

Last Quarter, week 13: What you don't want to miss

I don't actually remember how long this session is going to go, and it's late for a prompt-post, so I'm not going to go back and check. But I think it's safe to say that we're nearing the end of our session/museum tour.

So: What don't you want to miss? What room do you want to make sure you go (back) to before your time here runs out? Apply metaphorically to your life and/or work to the extent that you want.

Last week's goals:


1) Set 30 take-home exams, each student gets a personalized one (and regret making this an option)…
2) Make plan for next paper
3) Overdue reviews
4) Overdue Society things, three little ones, one big one
5) Lots of admin things, take a day and do them all
6) Grad seminar marking and feedback
7) My intentional thing for the week: buy a few pretty local-made gift things

Dame Eleanor Hull:

*Health: daily cardio and stretching, weights x 3, try to eat carefully and sleep enough.
*Teaching: Grade stray stuff.
*Research: work on revisions; some time on both dead and live languages; some other reading.
*Service: set up drafts for some recommendation letters; admissions; prep for Friday meeting.
*House/life: pay bills, order Xmas presents.
*Track time.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell:

Translation study articles 1x4.
Write 300 words x 4.
Walk 2x4; meditate 1x4; something positive 1x4.

heu mihi:

1. 3 hours of writing/research
2. Catch up on journal stuff (again, forever)
3. Read and take notes on ch. 2 and 3
4. Catch up on all the "urgent" emails

Humming42 (held over):

1 edit a creative piece to prepare for submission
2 write weekly blog post
3 grade every day
4 write and submit current book review
5 finish reading next review book

oceangirl101 (held over):

1. Copy edits Ch 3-8
2. Review article, book series, and PhD
3. Walk/exercise x 4
4. Healthy meals
5. Vet for cat, set up Dr appts for me


Grade the next part of the final projects
Touch base with the absent students
Get book orders in when I know which class I'm teaching
One more memo to draft
Clear out emails
Be ready for whatever comes up
6 hours (3 x 2 hours) on Famous Author
Keep up with exercise
Get adequate sleep
Keep reading
Do things with friends, locally or distant
Help my mother with stuff