the grid

the grid

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Week 15: wrapping it up and tying a bow on it

Here are the session goals, followed by the weekly goals from last week. I thought we’d revised goals in week 7, but looking at that week’s comments, it seems like mostly people commented on what we were having trouble with, without actually setting clearly labelled new goals. So I’m taking the easy way out. But maybe you’ve done more than you thought you could! And if you want to comment based on your revised goals, please do.

How did you do? What have you learned? Remember to focus on the positive: if you’ve done less than you hoped, you’ve still done things, and are probably farther along than if you hadn’t set yourself some ambitious goals. Celebrate the things you’ve achieved! Even if you haven’t checked in for awhile, you’re welcome to tell us how you’re doing, and people who haven’t been in the group are welcome to congratulate us on achievements. :-)

Session Goals:

Contingent Cassandra
 
--improved self-care, especially continuing current trends toward moving more, cooking/eating more homemade food, getting sufficient sleep on a regular schedule, and doing more long-form reading (list is more or less in order of priority)

--continued progress on getting my financial (first priority) and physical house in order
--try to stay on top of teaching planning and tasks, the better to protect planned TLQ time from TRQ catch-up (and reduce the combined physical and psychological exhaustion that results from falling behind, and leads to lost/wasted time)

--get/stay in better touch with family and friends

--make continued reasonable progress on the grant-funded project (while keeping in mind that it isn’t currently actually funded, nor do I have any release time, etc., etc. to support it)

--prepare to apply for contract renewal and, if possible, promotion, next year

--continue thinking about next steps professionally, while focusing in practical terms on personal/household “infrastructure.” If I actually do something to advance professional goals, it would probably be writing about the grant-funded project and/or background reading for my own research

Daisy
Work:
1 - Get papers written - there are 3 for which data collection is just about complete, and need concentrated, sit-down, focused writing time. They will be my main priority.
2 - Ignore all politics, labour disruptions, gossip, and time-sucking whiny colleagues and FOCUS on Goal number 1...
3 - Hang out and work with good colleagues :)

Personal:
1 - Have lots of winter fun with kid - skiing every possible weekend, and other outside things.
2 - Get an exercise routine going so that it is an automatic part of every week.


Dame Eleanor Hull 
 
1. Life Stuff: get house on market.
2. Research: turn around two sets of revisions and get back to work on book-in-progress. Also prep for a conference in May (not a paper, another sort of thing).
3. Teaching: plan and deliver interesting classes, with useful and prompt feedback to students, without getting so detailed as to overwhelm any of us.
4. Health: maintain routines for safe food, appropriate exercise including stretching, yoga classes twice a week, and sitting 3-4x/week.
5. Leisure: plan and do at least one fun or social thing per week; plan and take a trip at spring break to visit my family.


Earnest English
 
-Grounding: Winter is difficult, so I need to really focus on taking care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Sleep is a particular challenge both because of a limited day to get things done in (so I want to stay up and do or be more) and insomnia. Meditation and yoga would be wise. Baths and active self-care (such as singing) are incredibly important. I need weekly goals on this. I also have decided that I no longer want to give anxiety free rent in my head. So I'm going to work on more mental discipline aka distraction in my head.

-Spirited's therapy and education. We've started quite brightly this year, so I just need to keep on top of this.

-Gardening: Start early seeds on time at Groundhog Day and keep on top of gardening and associated projects.

-Plan and plod work: I need to keep up on my teaching and other work. This quarter I actually have a slightly reduced load and that plus winter usually means that I spend very little time on campus, which means I have to get work done at home. This is often difficult and filled with strife, both internal and external. I need to just establish a routine and keep on top of things at home and not feel guilty about it. I also need to research and come up with a snow day plan for taking my classes online.

-Writing Project: I've gotten behind on the writing (not the research, which I'm doing spectacularly on). I do need to step up my game here, so I'd like to get to 12X by the end of our session. I'm tempted to make a goal of 15x so there's 1x a week, just because that's a much more concrete goal.

-Big Report: I promised a colleague I'd write a big report, and I need to work on it a bit each week and incorporate that into my weekly plan so it will get done without panic.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
 
Session mantra: Plan, breathe, create
Write at least five sentences every day.
Leaven the excitement of new projects with the gratification of finishing old ones.
Monitor food intake and movement.


Good Enough Woman 
 
1. Drink more water (to avoid kidney stones).
2. Exercise 4x per week (walking and yoga, etc.)
3. Eat more veggies and develop some more healthy (healthful?) recipes for the family.
4. Totally finish dissertation (corrections, hard binding, etc.)--this extent of this goal will depend on what kinds of corrections my examiners require.
5. Complete conference paper (for Feb)
6. Submit one article for publication.
7. Take weekend time to work when necessary, but also carve out quality time for kids: hiking, board games, helping with projects.


Heu mihi

-MS revisions such that I'll be on track to have a complete, revised manuscript by September 1. For the next fifteen weeks, then, this means revising two chapters and the intro, and drafting the last unwritten section of ch. 4.
-Write 2/4 conference papers for Summer 2017. (Ideally, I'll write 4/4, but I'm trying to be realistic.)
-Return to and maintain my running schedule


Humming42


1 Read book and review (book not yet in hand)
2 Finish two revisions and resubmit
3 Follow up on work under review as appropriate
4 Submit Circus abstract at end of January
5 Submit Glass essay
6 Write 5x/week
7 Read 5x/week


JaneB

1) self-care
2) domestic progress (my house currently shares many of the features of a packrat midden - I haven't YET peed on the piles of random stuff, but...) and in an ideal world would be orderly and clean enough to invite my parents to stay by midsummer.
3) know what the situation is with regard to the trip, and be prepared for it.
4) Have a grant application text out for 'internal review' within the University
5) have made measureable progress on one of the papers _I_ want to write for _my_ research agenda, such as it is (as opposed to those which are more obligations to others/projects) - in my increasingly daft nickname system this means progressing Picky, Twiddly or perhaps ProblemChild-1-2


Karen 

Use the early part of this session to get ahead and stay on top of teaching to keep space for other TLQ stuff.
Work with co-author to get Earth paper ready for submission.
Work with research mentor to clarify longer-term research goals and steps.
More research-related reading generally.
Set in place some foundational self-care habits in the the areas of energy (sleep, movement, food) and connection (with people, with the environment).

KJHaxton

- Submit paper based on acronym report
- Write and send for feedback paper 2 (international) and paper 3 (testing)
- finish literature review for loop project and potentially review style article draft if co-authors interested
- Draft funding application on house project and decide between a grant or fellowship application (I can't do both).
- survive the last 5 rounds of chemo (every three weeks)
- walk every day, aiming for average of at least 3 km a day balanced between good weeks and bad weeks.
- work on crafty projects

Luolin

Research-
Write regularly.
Revise an article that was rejected in order to submit it to a different journal.
Submit abstract for fall conference.

Self-care-
Get more sleep.
Get back to my running schedule. (Like heu mihi! except where I live, summer is least comfortable time to run, so I'm missing out on the good running weather right now.)

Susan 

Session Goals
I'm keeping my goals modest, because on of my resolutions after finishing all the work on my book on December 23 was to try to slow down.
Research/writing
1. Write Way Outside Essay -- a semi-scholarly piece on a subject far from my expertise. I'm filling in for someone who dropped out of a collection, so the timeline is short.
2. Finish notes on forum contribution
3. Write paper for May conference
4. Start playing with material for my next (short) book, which I'll call Funhouse project. I'm teaching a graduate course related to this, so . . .

Health and home:
1. I gained weight in December, because of the cold that would not die, and then Christmas. I need to be regular about exercise. I normally go to an exercise session three mornings a week, and I'm trying to add to that. I'm not fixated on the scale, but I know I feel better when I'm exercising and eating well.
2. Declutter one room of my house, making it more functional.
3. Keep on top of incoming mail so that I don't drown in it.

Life in the world:
1. Spend time regularly with friends
2. Be an engaged citizen (rally on Jan 21, call congresscritter and senators, etc.) But try not to be overwhelmed.
3. Make sure I'm enjoying life

Waffles

1. NIH grant application (I am taking a grant writing class, and we have to write a whole application by the end of the semester; for those who know NIH apps, this will be a K level application - I'm currently awaiting the results of my F).
2. Get relationship paper finished and accepted.
3. Write election paper (I am more excited about this than anything right now - we have been able to survey almost 1000 people and counting - within a specific minority group - on their feelings about the election)
4. Get a bad draft of policy paper (not excited about this one)
5. Bad draft of dissertation paper (not excited about his, but diss advisor says doing it shows "follow through").
6. Start getting rid of stuff in my house to prep for move this summer
7. Spend some time each day on things that are not work related and that make me happy (like cooking, singing to loud music, etc) - I tend to either work or avoid working - I want to do some more purposeful things in my non-working time.

Week 14 goals

Contingent Cassandra  (from week 12)

--work on taxes (get as close to finished as possible, since the next few weeks will be busy)
--finish listing to-dos for one section
--move: walk, lift weights, and garden, at least 1x and preferably 2x each.
--participate a bit more in pedagogy project related class (maybe just some blog comments)
--write letter re: promotion to dept chair
--make progress on annual report

 

Daisy

1) Run outside 3 times
2) Continue on paper figures

Dame Eleanor Hull

1. House. Just keep going.
2. Research: prep for presentation on campus; work on Zoo thing.
3. Teaching: catch up with grading; post reading questions.
4. Health: continue regular gym workouts 3x/week, stretch every day, eat safely, go to bed early, add walking on non-gym days, now that I have good walking shoes.
5. Fun/social thing: track restorative activities to make sure I do them regularly. Consider whether Wednesday gathering is worth staying up late for.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Plan for the next day every afternoon, list tasks in priority order and post prominently on computer monitor
Two more days of interviews (sigh)
Plan birthday concelebration with Son Number Two
Finish blind review
More Latin (Is that like “More Cowbell?”)

Heu mihi

1. Finish rough draft of Berks (incorporate MN and CS, both of which I need to re-read/re-skim; reread the paper for continuity etc.; probably revise the intro)
2. Read the first 5 pages of ch. 5 in preparation for submitting it to my writing group.

Humming42

1 Read 5x
2 Write 5x
3 finish abstract
4 get caught up on grading and service

JaneB

1) relax actively - do some crochet, read some fiction, work on my NaNo writing
2) send easter goodies to family and notes to some friends
3) start work on Picky Paper OR rewrite GrantINeverShouldHaveStarted
4) keep all the rest of the job, emails and that, to one hour a day, however much fuss it makes!
5) domestic disorder reduction

Karen

-Make list of all the big picture thinking documents I've been promising to work on over the Easter break and rank the tasks
-Marking - make steady progress.       
-Offline time - planning to go camping for two nights over Easter

KJHaxton

1. gentle progress through the TRQ to-do list that needs to be done before going on holiday.
2. start new knitting project (small hats but knit with multiple strands of wool to test various colour combinations before doing something bigger).
3. tidy up house.

Susan

1. Really finish Way Outside
2. Walk twice
3. Make hotel reservations for short trip to UK in May.
4. Get good sleep, and avoid twitter and fb right before bed.

Waffles

1. Mixed methods paper and pretty much nothing else.

47 comments:

  1. Session goals:
    Mantra: Plan, breathe, create
    Write at least five sentences every day.
    Leaven the excitement of new projects with the gratification of finishing old ones.
    Monitor food intake and movement.

    How I did: It was an interesting session for me, but looking back, it was not a bad time. I did manage to write every day, or every few days, so I did well with that one.
    I didn't finish any projects this session, partly due to the enforced break (no pun intended!) from the fall, but I am very happily returning to creating again. While I have investigated some new projects to the point of creating bibliographies, I am concentrating on finishing projects instead.
    As I mentioned last week, I have had all kinds of inspiration for blog posts. Yesterday, I wrote over three thousand words on several drafts that I should have ready to post in the next few days.
    I am in a much better place with food than I was at the beginning of the session, and in a worse place for movement, but even that is on an upward trend.

    Last week’s goals:
    Plan for the next day every afternoon, list tasks in priority order and post prominently on computer monitor Only three days
    Two more days of interviews (sigh) Done
    Plan birthday concelebration with Son Number Two Done and enjoyed
    Finalize last staff evaluation Done
    Finish blind review Done
    More Latin (Is that like “More Cowbell?”) Nope

    How I did:
    Pretty well, I think. There was a lot of TRQ or almost-TRQ stuff, like the interview, the staff evaluation, and the blind review, all of which I managed to do well in time. *pats self on back*
    I wasn't perfect with planning the next day in the prior afternoon, but that was partly because so many tasks were set. I didn't get to the Latin because I had several last-minute projects given to me that I couldn't turn down.

    Thanks to KJ and Dame Eleanor for co-hosting, and for everyone's hints, encouragement, and companionship this session.

    Move like water, float like mist, everyone!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's so good to hear that you're being creative and healing in various ways besides the physical!

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    2. Glad you are feeling better and that you've been able to put time into nourishing outlets. :)

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  2. Thank you, Dame Eleanor and Karen, for an inspiring and reassuring session that seems to have passed very quickly.

    Onward, session goals:
    1 Read book and review (book not yet in hand)
    2 Finish two revisions and resubmit
    3 Follow up on work under review as appropriate
    4 Submit Circus abstract at end of January
    5 Submit Glass essay
    6 Write 5x/week
    7 Read 5x/week

    Discuss:
    I appreciate DEH’s reminder to focus on the positive, because my gut instinct is to begin by assessing my failures. Looking back at my session goals, I am not sure what book reviews, revisions, and work under review I initially included. I’ve written a handful of book reviews and am thoroughly enjoying reading as much as I can. I am not writing much, but will have some new things to work on this summer.

    I decided not to write the Glass essay because the text I would be analyzing was a book I clung to during a very difficult breakup 20 years ago and found that I really didn’t want to spend a lot of time with that book and all of the things it still echoes powerfully.

    I submitted the circus abstract late, with assurances from the editor that she would get back with me immediately but has not contacted me. I also sent follow up emails regarding another abstract and an article and received no response. This is really the first time I’ve had a rash of people not following up and it’s quite frustrating.

    Weekly goals
    1 Read 5x: yes
    2 Write 5x: no, and that’s OK
    3 finish abstract: no but it needs very little revision
    4 get caught up on grading and service: some, but not enough

    I’m very much looking forward to the end of the semester and will see you all on the other side.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My instinct is the same, which is why I thought to encourage people (me) to look at the achievements. Sometimes it's important not to do things that will not feel good (Glass essay)---that professional choice is a good self-care choice. It sounds like you're doing fine.

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  3. Session Goals
    - Submit paper based on acronym report - some progress made but not submitted. mental block still there
    - Write and send for feedback paper 2 (international) and paper 3 (testing) both papers in draft format, requested some feedback on paper 3 but need to arrange meeting to discuss
    - finish literature review for loop project and potentially review style article draft if co-authors interested no progress, co-authors didn't seem interested but meeting in a few weeks so might resurrect
    - Draft funding application on house project and decide between a grant or fellowship application (I can't do both). thought about it, have decided on fellowship application first followed a year later by a grant application (e.g. hope to get time/money to get into the work and expand the project a little later on)
    - survive the last 5 rounds of chemo (every three weeks) done, and done in style. next up, surgery (between iterations of this group), then the next iteration should take me through radiotherapy and forward to returning to work 'in person'
    - walk every day, aiming for average of at least 3 km a day balanced between good weeks and bad weeks. done, and done with style. My average is 3km/day since November which covers the whole of chemo. There were only about 3 days when I didn't go for a walk
    - work on crafty projects done - sewing bags for Easter charity; knitting shawl, blanket, started hats for other charity, progress on other blanket. No print making though but that's a little more physical and involves standing up so that's reasonable

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Past week:
      1. gentle progress through the TRQ to-do list that needs to be done before going on holiday.
      yes, getting on with it
      2. start new knitting project (small hats but knit with multiple strands of wool to test various colour combinations before doing something bigger).
      6 hats made, love the multistrand knitting and the potential for colour variations
      3. tidy up house.
      in progress
      I'll roll all of these onto this week.

      I also want to set some inter-season goals to see me through to the next iteration of this group.

      Papers to work on:
      1. Submit cycle paper (currently with co-authors, and is a revise and resubmit. Need to polish a little more)
      2. Acronym report paper - submit
      3. Drafts: international paper, testing paper

      Projects to work on:
      1. think about house data some more and potential fellowship application (probably do budget for fellowship apP)

      Crafty projects:
      1. hats
      2. finish strip blanket
      3. acquire wool for new blanket project
      4. create the printing blocks for the silver birch multi-layer print and have a go

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    2. KJ, you're an inspiration to me as I look at what you've done while going through chemo. I hope the surgery between sessions goes well, but also that your holiday is restorative!

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    3. All that walking! I'm impressed by that. Nice work. I, too, hope surgery and examinations and everything goes well between now and our next "contact." Best wishes! And thanks for hosting.

      It does seem as if you handled everything in this session with style.

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    4. Style, for sure! Let's have some virtual champagne to celebrate your finishing chemo (I can't tolerate alcohol IRL anymore [boo], so that's why I'm sloshing the virtual stuff all over the place here). Chin-chin!

      Delete
    5. You are so impressive! Virtual champagne (and new cushy yarn all round)

      Delete
    6. May you enjoy playing with the printing blocks! Thanks for being a great host, and modelling such a considered and consistent approach to TLQ. I'll add to the virtual drinking with another cheers!

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    7. Many thanks for hosting, and yes, for the inspiring example of just keeping on with things. I like the "done in style" assessment (the motto of my prep school was/is "function in disaster; finish in style," but you seem to be going that one better: functioning with style in the midst of, if not disaster, then at least considerable stress and tumult). Best wishes for successful surgery *and* a relaxing vacation.

      Delete
  4. I’m not unhappy with my progress this term. I didn’t do two of the papers I noted below, but I did submit a different one, and have another in the works. So, in terms of publications done, it is an equal number. This has been a very good term in regards to seeing some of the fruits of my labor (like the score on my NIH grant - and today I found out I got a competitive conference travel award). But, it has been rough emotionally - I feel like I have struggled greatly on that side of things.

    I’m pretty bummed about our mixed methods paper. It is based on a survey we did immediately after the election about how already marginalized people were responding to the results of the US election. I spent the past 2.5 weeks in a frenzy analyzing the data and writing the paper - and now the team is having second thoughts about it - particularly about me being first author. They think it is too risky for a junior researcher to be first author on an article in which the president is criticized (that is, in our qualitative quotes). This paper has been a major source of my coping with what is going on in the US, so I am really disappointed. Also, this was shared with me the day before I was going to submit it (yesterday; I just had a few more tweaks to the manuscript to do). Today I’ve been feeling super bummed about that.

    1. NIH grant application- DONE
    2. Get relationship paper finished - DONE and accepted - FINGERS CROSSED
    3. Write election paper (I am more excited about this than anything right now - we have been able to survey almost 1000 people and counting - within a specific minority group - on their feelings about the election) - DONE-ISH
    4. Get a bad draft of policy paper (not excited about this one) - NOT DONE
    5. Bad draft of dissertation paper (not excited about his, but diss advisor says doing it shows "follow through”). NOT DONE
    6. Start getting rid of stuff in my house to prep for move this summer - NOT DONE, NO CONCRETE WORD YET ON MY NEW POSITION
    7. Spend some time each day on things that are not work related and that make me happy (like cooking, singing to loud music, etc) - I tend to either work or avoid working - I want to do some more purposeful things in my non-working time. - HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    THIS WEEK:
    1. Mixed methods paper and pretty much nothing else. - DONE-ISH

    I like KJHaxton’s idea of creating intersession goals - but I think I will set mine after I meet with my mentor tomorrow. In the meantime, this week I need to:
    1. Article review
    2. Grant app reviews (these are for my professional org - and they don’t give feedback to applicant - -not even students, which I really really dislike).
    3. Revise LHF grant
    4. Outline for conference presentation

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm sorry for the kerfuffle on Mixed Methods. It's actually nice that people are concerned about you, but you can say, I think this is important, and I'm willing to take the risk.

      Really, the idea that publishing an article that quotes criticism of the Pres. is "dangerous" to your career is mind-boggling. It's not exactly news (even Fake News) that some people don't like the pres, and that marginalized groups in particular feel vulnerable.

      For whatever it's worth, a story. When I was a post-doc (early 1980s), one of my undergrad mentors was initially denied tenure at Very Fancy U. She was a terrific teacher, had published, etc. But she was female, lesbian, etc. What I realized then (and I've paid prices for it, I know) was that this is a crazy business, and if I was going to stick it out, I'd do the work I cared about. I'd rather be gored for something I think is important, than for something that's just "meh".

      Good luck!

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    2. Also, if they were concerned, it might have been nice to hear that before you put in the work! That said, it sounds like writing that paper has been good for you, regardless of what happens with it. It does seem sad to have those voices go unheard.

      It's interesting that the goals you didn't get to were those you weren't as excited about. Not surprising, I suppose, but worth noting.

      We'll all be eager to find out more about you next steps!

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    3. That sounds odd to me, too. (1) You're studying the phenomenon, not doing the criticizing yourself, and (2) it can't really be news to anyone that there are people who criticize our so-called president.

      You've done a lot, so congratulations!

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    4. You've had an incredibly productive session, despite all the upheavals - be proud of yourself and take some time to celebrate!

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    5. Thank you, all! Indeed, we likely should have realized that there might be some risk to publishing about the election - but I think my mentor has been kind of distracted and was out of the country for much of 2017 thus far, so was a bit removed. I think it was in reading the manuscript that it hit her.

      This has been a good session - and I am grateful for all of your support!!!

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    6. Seems a bit odd to me, too -- especially since this is (I certainly hope) a short-term danger, and the greater danger is probably structural -- that funding will be significantly more restricted than it already is, whoever is asking. But it seems wise at this point in your career to take your mentor's advice, as long as your name is still on the paper somewhere. Presumably she has tenure, and thus can serve as a shield if need be. And this kind of research will undoubtedly continue to be viable, and of interest, for some time to come, so it's not your last chance to publish on the subject.

      Congratulations on all you've accomplished, and hope things move ahead with the new position soon. Uncertainty is wearing.

      Delete
    7. Thanks, Cassandra! We decided to submit it (with me as first author) and see what happens. I'm not sure it is a great fit for the journal we submitted it to - so it may well get rejected outright.

      Delete
  5. Already? Can I have an extension, please? Sigh...which seems to be my current mantra.

    Anyway: Session Goals:
    Research/writing
    1. Write Way Outside Essay -- a semi-scholarly piece on a subject far from my expertise. I'm filling in for someone who dropped out of a collection, so the timeline is short. 90% DONE
    2. Finish notes on forum contribution DONE
    3. Write paper for May conference HAH!
    4. Start playing with material for my next (short) book, which I'll call Funhouse project. I'm teaching a graduate course related to this, so . . . NO. What was I thinking?

    Health and home:
    1. I gained weight in December, because of the cold that would not die, and then Christmas. I need to be regular about exercise. I normally go to an exercise session three mornings a week, and I'm trying to add to that. I'm not fixated on the scale, but I know I feel better when I'm exercising and eating well. NOT SO MUCH
    2. Declutter one room of my house, making it more functional. SORT OF -- but I claim no credit: my sister arranged to take away the old dining room table that I didn't want.
    3. Keep on top of incoming mail so that I don't drown in it. PRETTY MUCH.

    Life in the world:
    1. Spend time regularly with friends YES
    2. Be an engaged citizen (rally on Jan 21, call congresscritter and senators, etc.) But try not to be overwhelmed. YES (My local congressman's office knows me :))
    3. Make sure I'm enjoying life MOSTLY

    Yeah, well, I was optimistic. The service stuff took over big time, with a bunch of committees that got added. And they are with administrators, who don't take vacations.

    LAST WEEK'S GOALS:
    1. Really finish Way Outside Didn't touch it
    2. Walk twice NO
    3. Make hotel reservations for short trip to UK in May. NO
    4. Get good sleep, and avoid twitter and fb right before bed. Did well on sleep, and have cut back on fb and twitter before bed.

    Friday, the day I would have worked on Way Outside, ended up with a bunch of meetings. And I sat in my office and cleared out tasks, so that was useful, but not good for my writing. I had longish essay drafts to read, and . and . and. I prioritized sleep and some "me" time over walking. Silly me. I did do some weeding, which was very therapeutic.

    Anyway, in the next few weeks (before the next session starts) I'll finish Way Outside, and my conference paper (and the related talk I'm doing at my husband's Oxford college). And the semester will be over, and I won't be teaching two classes. Until the fall, when I'm again teaching a new grad seminar.

    As always, this group has helped me remember the things I value, even when I fail woefully at doing all the things I value. I know how I work (I need stretches of time, interruptions are bad) and I've got some tricks.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Best of luck with Way Outside and with the conference. Thank goodness for summer break.

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    2. Sleep and therapeutic weeding sound like good uses of time to me! As someone (heu mihi?) noted, sometimes achieving stasis is a win---better than going backwards---and you have made progress in various ways.

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  6. Session Goals:
    1. Drink more water (to avoid kidney stones). YES. But I need to drink still more.
    2. Exercise 4x per week (walking and yoga, etc.). NOT QUITE, but getting better.
    3. Eat more veggies and develop some more healthy (healthful?) recipes for the family. NOT REALLY.
    4. Totally finish dissertation (corrections, hard binding, etc.)--this extent of this goal will depend on what kinds of corrections my examiners require. YES!!!
    5. Complete conference paper (for Feb). YES.
    6. Submit one article for publication. YES.
    7. Take weekend time to work when necessary, but also carve out quality time for kids: hiking, board games, helping with projects. YES, for the most part.

    Overall, I'd say it's been a good session. I was helped by the fact that I only had to make minor edits after my viva/defense. I didn't eat more veggies, so I need to work on that, but I did lose a few pounds of thesis weight.

    I was so relaxed and happy at the end of spring break that I forgot to set goals for this week, so I don't have a report. Between now and the next session, I'll be finishing the semester, planning for kid birthdays, etc., so things will be busy. Still, I'll plan on exercising and doing some forethought about the next session.

    Thanks, Dame Eleanor and KJHaxton for being such great hosts this session.

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    1. You've done well, and it's lovely to hear about someone feeling relaxed and happy!

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  7. Thanks DEH and KJH for excellent hosting and some thoughtful and thought-provoking prompts, and to all participants for companionship, company, and sharing la vie academique warts and all. I haven't been the most present of participants, but knowing you're all here has still been very helpful.

    LAST WEEK:
    1) relax actively - do some crochet, read some fiction, work on my NaNo writing read excessively (my fiction reading ability has turned back on with a vengeance), and have been chopping up all my text into Scrivener sections steadily. No crochet
    2) send easter goodies to family and notes to some friends yes to those parts of family who were at home for Easter, no to notes
    3) start work on Picky Paper OR rewrite GrantINeverShouldHaveStarted looked at Picky PAper stuff, have started over with analysis etc., useful progress if small
    4) keep all the rest of the job, emails and that, to one hour a day, however much fuss it makes! mostly, and doing better as the week goes on. There's been more time than that on ProblemChildPart2, but that's more displacing PickyPaper I think
    5) domestic disorder reduction limited progress here.

    I've been too idle, slept too much, read too much. I went off the sugar free for a few days, as planned - most sweet stuff just doesn't taste as nice or as interesting as I remembered, my body doesn't much like it, but it's absolutely addictive - I found myself eating a mini egg, thinking "urg tastes off and I've had enough I feel a bit sick" then eating another one not a minute later, just because. I did enjoy the marzipan and custard (separately, not together) though. Also bread and bread-like products have the same compulsion about them (although they taste really good still. So yeah, I need to quit both. I guess it's good practice to do the ABA trial, but that will have contributed to the napping and the indolence, I expect, along with general need to recover. And I don't exactly enjoy NOT eating this stuff, it makes life harder in many small ways.

    I have rather enjoyed the down time, though, and am really enjoying spending some time with my NaNoWriMo world and characters. But the stresses of work are already reaching out tendrils for me even though I'm not officially back until next Monday :-(

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    1. SESSION GOALS:
      1) self-care mixed. I don't move enough, but I gave up sugar, and persist in counselling and in trying to improve habits. It's been a rough academic year, and it's not over yet, so I guess it could be worse...
      2) domestic progress (my house currently shares many of the features of a packrat midden - I haven't YET peed on the piles of random stuff, but...) and in an ideal world would be orderly and clean enough to invite my parents to stay by midsummer. very slow, but some visible progress has been made
      3) know what the situation is with regard to the trip, and be prepared for it. well, I cancelled the trip to Exotic Country (and am glad I did, I have had so much work here that would have been even harder to do from there, even if it also feels like another failure), and have plans in place for the post-session trip to SouthernCountryConference.
      4) Have a grant application text out for 'internal review' within the University yes, it's back, and I'm very slowly revising it. I forgot the goals was this, I thought it was actually have it submitted, so yay for sensible goal setting!
      5) have made measureable progress on one of the papers _I_ want to write for _my_ research agenda, such as it is (as opposed to those which are more obligations to others/projects) - in my increasingly daft nickname system this means progressing Picky, Twiddly or perhaps ProblemChild-1-2 I have done a little with Picky. But Ferret, which is on the "I want" list just quite low on it, now has a complete draft, and I've done quite a lot on ProblemChild-2 which is important as I'm presenting it at SCC... so not what I wanted to do, and not as much as I hoped, but progress

      So not too bad overall.

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    2. I think cancelling the trip to Exotic Country is a triumph for you and a big step forward in looking after your own needs, recognizing that your health and interests matter, and working on your own priorities. In general it seems like your department admin is not helpful, doesn't have your back, and so on, which means that it is more than ever important to look after yourself because no one is going to do it for you. Please don't feel that that cancellation is a failure. At worst, it's a strategic retreat!

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    3. It seems that this has been a good session for self-care. Kudos for that. And I'm glad you're spending time on your creative writing!

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  8. Last week's goals:
    1) Run YES
    2) Figures YES

    Session Goals:
    Work:
    1 - Get papers written - there are 3 for which data collection is just about complete, and need concentrated, sit-down, focused writing time. They will be my main priority. LOTS of GOOD WORK, MAJOR PROGRESS, ALL THREE WILL BE DONE IN THE EARLY SUMMER.
    2 - Ignore all politics, labour disruptions, gossip, and time-sucking whiny colleagues and FOCUS on Goal number 1... SORT OF, IT WAS A ROUGH TERM
    3 - Hang out and work with good colleagues :) DONE, VERY WELL

    Personal:
    1 - Have lots of winter fun with kid - skiing every possible weekend, and other outside things. YES
    2 - Get an exercise routine going so that it is an automatic part of every week. NOPE

    It was a rough term with a possible strike at the start and various dramas throughout, and a hideous number of snow days at the end, but I got a lot of work done for TLQ and I'm in good shape to start the summer and work productively. I did get tenure and promotion, so there's a good, if totally anticlimactic, thing.

    Thanks to Dame Eleanot and KJHaxton for hosting, loved the discussions and ideas!
    Have a great summer everyone!

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    1. Congratulations on tenure and promotion! On my theory that any excuse is a good excuse to crack a bottle of champagne, I hereby urge you to get at the bubbly stuff, and offer virtual glasses all round to all participants and well-wishers! Here's to Daisy!

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    2. Congratulations on tenure! Glad to open the bubbly over here!

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    3. Congrats on the promotion and tenure! It's up to you to make it more climactic - break out the champagne, buy new running shoes or treat yourself to a special necklace, add a plant to your office, eat ice-cream on a Tuesday, whatever feels celebratory to YOU.

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    4. Congratulations, Daisy! It's the midst of the difficulties, I hope you really can celebrate. JaneB has some excellent suggestions. :)

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    5. Congratulations, Daisy!!!!!

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    6. Adding my congratulations!!! too. Job security/promotion, even if a bit anticlimactic, are things to be celebrated. May the atmosphere improve, or at least become more bearable.

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  9. How I did on session goals:
    1. Life Stuff: get house on market. NOT YET, but in progress. It's going in fits and starts.
    2. Research: turn around two sets of revisions and get back to work on book-in-progress. Also prep for a conference in May (not a paper, another sort of thing). Also in progress, but not none of these things is complete.
    3. Teaching: plan and deliver interesting classes, with useful and prompt feedback to students, without getting so detailed as to overwhelm any of us. YES, I guess. I'm still interested. Not sure about the students. Grading has also gone in fits and starts, but, curiously, nobody has ever said "When will you be done with . . .?" Maybe I built enough credit with swift feedback at the beginning that they cut me some slack in the middle?
    4. Health: maintain routines for safe food, appropriate exercise including stretching, yoga classes twice a week, and sitting 3-4x/week. MOSTLY: I gave up on classes and sitting but I'm doing well with stretching, exercise, and (usually) with food.
    5. Leisure: plan and do at least one fun or social thing per week; plan and take a trip at spring break to visit my family. YES/NO. Doing well with the regular relaxation but I'm not sure when we're going to get to see my family.

    Overall: too much going on, which I knew going in, but hoped I'd find a way to make it all work. Instead, I keep flailing away at all the areas without being able to knock any of the big things (sell house, revise and resubmit) off the list. Should I take it as a win that I'm not ill with stress from forcing myself to do these things?

    Last week's goals:
    1. House. Just keep going. Mostly garden work rather than packing, because timing is important for some garden things.
    2. Research: prep for presentation on campus; work on Zoo thing. YES and YES.
    3. Teaching: catch up with grading; post reading questions. MOSTLY and YES.
    4. Health: continue regular gym workouts 3x/week, stretch every day, eat safely, go to bed early, add walking on non-gym days, now that I have good walking shoes. YES except for testing a food that was a terrible mistake and led to a completely lost day where I just lay on the couch.
    5. Fun/social thing: track restorative activities to make sure I do them regularly. Consider whether Wednesday gathering is worth staying up late for. YES and it was.

    As days get longer and warmer, I get more energetic, and I'm doing better in general thanks to sticking to safe food (and quitting ibuprofen, which seems to mess with my head, or maybe my head via my gut). So I'm hoping that I will just continue to chip away at all the things and at some point will discover that they're all done.

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    1. I think that having made progress in so many areas is a win! Also, being in one piece and not ill with stress.

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    2. Thanks for hosting, DEH. With so many big things on, I'd count chipping away at them as wins.

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    3. I count health and house as wins that mitigate any other questions about progress. In past sessions, there seemed to be a lot of inertia about the house. Just the fact that you are now moving forward seems quite significant and a definite win. Plus, you've made progress on all fronts, so you have good momentum heading into summer.

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    4. I, too, am inclined to see maintaining health and sanity as major wins (and I'm comforted that someone else finds herself flailing away at too many things, especially household things. As long as there is forward progress it's got to get done sometime, right?)

      Many thanks for hosting, and best wishes for the intersession.

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  10. Gah! Accidentally deleted my very long reply. So in summary:

    Session goals - some met, or met enough, or not done but other things accomplished. I've got a functioning department, my teaching chugging along, a yoga class I like, forward momentum on a couple of research things and a sense of a big picture for my research trajectory over the next few years.

    Last week - had fun camping when not very chilly, have list of big tasks and am working on it.

    I did want to set some between-session goals, for between now and mid-late May:
    1. Complete big thinking list
    2. Revise and resubmit internal grant
    3. Get to the gym once a week, still get to yoga
    4. Kick off a knitting project.

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  11. This semester had the unexpected gift of a late-cancelled class, so I was able to focus on my writing a lot more than anticipated. Oddly, however, having only one class--which meets once a week--has made me really forgetful about teaching-related work. I think that I do better when I'm more in the game. (I'm also not happy that in this, my semester before going up for tenure, I'll have such low enrollments. I take heart from the facts that a) my Fall enrollments were excellent and show growth, and b) my seminar for Fall 2017 filled within a week of being posted. Still....)

    It's been a pretty productive spring, writing-wise. I had one more conference paper (a response) to do than anticipated, due to a January invitation, bringing me up to a total of 5 between March-July, so I've had to be pretty structured and organized with my writing. And I found out that I *don't* need to have my MS ready for submission before my tenure file is submitted, which takes off significant pressure--although I'd *like* to have it ready to go by the fall, which promises to be a very busy semester teaching-wise.

    Session goals:
    1. MS revisions such that I'll be on track to have a complete, revised manuscript by September 1. For the next fifteen weeks, then, this means revising two chapters and the intro, and drafting the last unwritten section of ch. 4.
    **As noted, I no longer need to have it complete by 9/1. However, I've pretty much done what I said I would: I've revised the intro and chapters 1 and 4, and written the new part of ch. 4. Everything needs further revisions, of course, but it will forever. I'm now working on revisions to ch. 5 and hope to have them largely done in the next couple of weeks.
    2. Write 2/4 conference papers for Summer 2017. (Ideally, I'll write 4/4, but I'm trying to be realistic.)
    **Wrote response for March conference and have complete, reasonably OK drafts for Kalamazoo and Berks, as well as a very rough draft for Bergen. Kalamazoo needs to be shortened, but I count this goal as MET.
    3. Return to and maintain my running schedule
    **Two or three colds and my wisdom tooth extraction kept me from being very consistent, but I think that I can safely say that I now have an actual habit of running 3x week when I'm not sick. So I met this one, too.

    Last week's goals:
    1. Finish rough draft of Berks (incorporate MN and CS, both of which I need to re-read/re-skim; reread the paper for continuity etc.; probably revise the intro)
    **Done.
    2. Read the first 5 pages of ch. 5 in preparation for submitting it to my writing group.
    **Done. In fact, I read the first 24 pages of the chapter. Single-spaced! Having a full day and a half to do nothing but write and read was immensely helpful.

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  12. Hmm. . .Well, despite falling off the TLQ check-in wagon several times (including the last few weeks, which were very TRQ work and also family/church-heavy), I seem to have made progress on most of my session goals. It helps to make them modest (so there's nugget #1 to save for future reference).

    It would also have helped to be a bit more cautious about being distracted, either by new elected officials (though I think that one was hard to ignore for many of us in the U.S., and the new policy environment remains a real issue, with real consequences for us, our students -- I had my first report of a suddenly-deported parent this week -- and our institutions) or by projects proposed by administrator-level people that, while respected (the people) worthwhile (the projects), may or may not be the best use of my time (I think I'm experiencing a "light" version of what JaneB reports -- increasing difficulty in figuring out how to build a career in a changing institution, all the more so because I'm already on a mostly-uncharted, and, at the moment, dead-end, path). Put the two together, and I also find myself trying to balance concern for the changing larger political environment and not wanting to take my eye off any openings for creating positive change in the academic environment, especially for contingent faculty (especially since there seems to be a growing realization at my institution that treating the faculty with the most student contact better might actually lead to better student outcomes. I'm not sure there's any money to act on that realization, mind you -- especially not if the number of international students falls next year, which it may well, given to well-founded parental and student nervousness -- but there does seem at least to be lip service.

    So I'm feeling even more pulled in different directions than usual, and aware that I need to prioritize/pare down as much as possible (which may not be much).

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  13. As far as individual session goals go, I'll take them in turn below:


    --improved self-care, especially continuing current trends toward moving more, cooking/eating more homemade food, getting sufficient sleep on a regular schedule, and doing more long-form reading (list is more or less in order of priority)
    I did reasonably well on sleep and generally reducing stress & staying/feeling on top of things (it was a manageable semester, and I managed). I did less well on moving more and cooking more, though I did a bit of both. Those two will be my top goals -- and perhaps my only tracked TLQ goals -- for the summer.

    --continued progress on getting my financial (first priority) and physical house in order
    Reasonable progress on financial, less on physical

    --try to stay on top of teaching planning and tasks, the better to protect planned TLQ time from TRQ catch-up (and reduce the combined physical and psychological exhaustion that results from falling behind, and leads to lost/wasted time)
    As mentioned above, I did pretty well on this, and recovered better when I fell behind -- less procrastination; more just knocking the overdue task out

    --get/stay in better touch with family and friends
    Mixed success on this one; need to do more in coming weeks and over the summer

    --make continued reasonable progress on the grant-funded project (while keeping in mind that it isn’t currently actually funded, nor do I have any release time, etc., etc. to support it)

    --prepare to apply for contract renewal and, if possible, promotion, next year
    in good shape for contract renewal; still need to figure out if applying for promotion is a possibility

    --continue thinking about next steps professionally, while focusing in practical terms on personal/household “infrastructure.” If I actually do something to advance professional goals, it would probably be writing about the grant-funded project and/or background reading for my own research
    I did end up doing a bit of writing about the grant-funded project -- now aka the pedagogy project -- as well as intermittently participating in an online class about a closely-related subject -- which is the administrator-created rabbit hole to which I referred above. I've also decided not to do something related to that this summer (partly because it's not funded), but to look ahead to the possibility of a larger, possibly-funded, related project this fall. And I'd really like to get back to my own research and writing, but still feel that other things, including getting household infrastructure in place, are more urgent.

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    1. And finally, intersession goals:

      --plan/implement some genuinely restorative time off in between regular and summer terms

      --increase movement, especially in the form of getting the garden ready for the season

      --follow through on exploring possibility of applying for promotion

      --do groundwork for applying for funding for pedagogy project in fall (mostly, begin forming group/apply for workshop)

      --renew contact with family/friends; get together with those close by; plan summer trips to those farther away

      --if time/energy, make progress on financial planning

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