the grid

the grid

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Week 9: water, stone, leaf and air



"Move like water" has been a popular motto or mantra for the last few iterations of the group, with a few incidences of "float like mist", and last week several people began to talk about being the rock in the water, the stone that says "no" and makes the stream leap and sparkle (thanks DEH for the image and the poem!).  Nature imagery can be very grounding, especially as we focus on what is important rather than what is loud and urgent in our lives.  One of the snippets of poetry which got into my memory and which rises up naturally sometimes when I need words to focus on is:

Lord, heal me now with a vision of green things growing ----
with the many shades of trees in a woodland way,
with delicate boughs that wave like waters flowing,
with the springing grass and the mounting corn and the may.
A woodland way (with may to right at front)
 V.H.Friedlaender, from A Prayer In May

 So for this week's topic, anyone else like to share the words and/or imagery that you find useful in constructing your academic identity and in thinking about your TLQ life - about the important things, in other words?


 

Last week's goals
Contingent Cassandra
1. Garden 1x, swim 1x (tomorrow, when I don't have conferences); lift weights 2x
2. Continue contemplating how best to wring some rejuvenation out of the 17 days I have between commitments in August. Should I travel? Just stay home? There are arguments for both.

DEH
Self: organize second trip. Stretch every day. Swim 3-4 times. Do some shopping.
Teaching: Grade, be enthusiastic on field trip, organize the other tour.
Research: Review 1000 lines of translation; write topic sentences for new/revised paragraphs in MMP-3.
House: type the packing list.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Walk forty-five minutes a day.
Keep track of hydration.
One hour five days a week on the Prudence book.

GEW
1) Have parents over for pizza night.
2) Walk 4x, swim 1x, yoga 1x.
3) Write 5x.
4) Clean out 4 boxes/drawers.
5) Take kids on outings: a trip to the movies, at least one beach trip, and take daughter to Ren Faire. Plan a waterpark trip.
6) Start planning for August vacation.
7) Choose important moments to be the rock so that I can do the other TLQ things.

Heu mihi
1) Decide what to do about ch. 2.
Others involve getting my life back to normal, post-trip:
2) Fix little fiddly bits in chapter 5
3) Back to exercise routine, more or less
4) Send book proposal to another publisher (I have interest from one, but am covering my bases)
5) Take care of little domestic things: a few errands, granola, laundry, etc.

humming42 (carried over)
1 write 5x
2 set writing and research schedule
3 set up project notekeeping
4 follow up with co-author
5 determine status of Abandoned Project
6 think about grant application

JaneB (carried over)
1) restructure ProbChildp1p1 following meeting
2) clear desk at office at least
3) be nice to the cold and get enough sleep
4) write up notes from grant meeting and circulate to team
5) set resit work (this will be TRQ the week after next, so would like to get it done this week in a controlled manner) and do timetabling paperwork (due next week, same).

Karen (carried over)
1. Yoga - 3 home practices (even if little) and 1 class
2. Garden - plan 2017/8 vegetable crops
3. Office - 2 x 25 minutes of clearing the encroaching chaos of floor clutter
4. Read - one article
5. Write - 1 hour on messy first draft of grass text

KJHaxton
1. Keep on knitting (I'd abbreviate that but I don't think I want to Kok)
2. 15 hours of 'work' in keeping with 2 days/week
3. work on ethics application
4. make progress on printing project

Matilda
1) Write chapter 2: continue reading the most fundamental sources, and accumulate 1000 words per day by write / revise.
2) 5-minute-exercises several times a say.
3) Find ‘my own 15 minutes’ as many as possible.
4) Think positively, plan concretely, work practically.

Notorious, PhD (carried over)
• Writing: 1000 words on Sometimes an Adequate Notion chapter [start point: 700]
• 2 days yoga; 3 meditation
• finish reading 1 major source collection
• Toss or file the stuff from my home desk and bookshelf
(in addition to being a great auntie!)

Waffles (carried over)
1. Get R&R close to done
2. Reduce scoping review (make a good pass at it)
3. Tables for SU paper
4. Put together lit for expectancies paper

24 comments:

  1. Topic: I've decided that lava is the way forward. You've got the option to flow as required, or cool and solidify into an immovable rock as needed. I was also struggling with the flow like water means a lot of accommodating stuff which didn't work when I wanted to be stubborn, immovable and resistant. So while contemplating recent articles on Roman cement containing volcanic ash and the like, and the links with a possible research project going on, I decided that lava was the way forwards. I like basalt a great deal, there's basalt on pretty much every windowsill in my house and at work (I seem to collect minerals).

    Last week:
    1. Keep on knitting (I'd abbreviate that but I don't think I want to Kok) - I finished a purple scarf and added lots more rows onto the blanket.
    2. 15 hours of 'work' in keeping with 2 days/week - done, a mixture of data analysis (learning SPSS for stats), lecture prep, and email wrangling.
    3. work on ethics application - not done because I couldn't find the draft file. A hazard of working across several computers and various online file stores in random degrees of synchronisation
    4. make progress on printing project - not done because the table's a mess and I couldn't face tidying it

    All in all it was an OK week. It was our graduation ceremony which was nice, seeing the students/graduates/families/happy people was good but other bits less so. That made it a fairly stressful week.

    I've been letting email back up, while on sick leave but also more generally and it's just a hideous thing to deal with. Fortunately a lot of it has 'expired' due to no longer being relevant but it just...hmmmph.

    This week:
    1. ethics application - complete
    2. draft and create screencasts on 4 topics
    3. keep on knitting
    4.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, lava is a nice image. I like that there's room for anger and passion and hot, driving emotions in the middle of it, along with attractive, resistent stoney calm!

      One of my side summer projects has been to go through my email since 1st Jan and delete all the things that have become irrelevant, pick up missed stuff and so on (my Uni does not allow us much storage so the battle of the inbox AND the folders is ongoing). It's not exactly fun as it often stirs up past emotional storms, but it feels surprisingly satisfying as each chunk of time is processed. And yay, sounds like you got stuff done this week despite everything...

      We had graduation here too and it wasn't easy, despite the nice bits (happy students and their proud families do help me feel like something I do has meaning, especially as one of my favourite smart but self-blaming "I'm just too stupid/I'm so lazy" students was graduating with a first and a programme prize, and it was great to get the chance to say "I told you so" in the best way possible!).

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    2. I'm contemplating just archiving the whole lot of email. We don't have space issues (run on gmail actually) so it's not critical and things can be found if I search for them. Usually I'm fairly mindful about tagging and filing but it's just too much.

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    3. Wow, gmail! I am SO ENVIOUS right now (I have 500meg of storage. Nearly every day I need to find stuff to delete... and the archiving system is terrible (only works onto one local hard drive...))

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  2. I think I’ve posted the following from Leonard Cohen here in the past. Many are likely to be familiar with the last two lines, but for me the resonance is significantly amplified by including all four lines:

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in

    Week before last:
    1 write 5x: not writing as much as I would like to
    2 set writing and research schedule: yes, a very good thing
    3 set up project notekeeping: kind of
    4 follow up with co-author: no
    5 determine status of Abandoned Project: no
    6 think about grant application: need to get to work

    This week:
    1 follow up with co-author
    2 determine status of Abandoned Project
    3 submit Memory abstract
    4 Read for Snow project
    5 Start work on grant narrative

    May you all be surrounded by a light, cool mist in the week ahead (if it serves you well).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've heard the last two lines of that only recently (and for the first time) and I was pretty enchanted by them.
      Hope the writing schedule is fruitful.

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  3. Thanks for carrying me over! I've been on auntie duty for the past week and a half. Rental-parenting. So I didn't check in last week, and only this week got back to work. I'm looking forward to recapturing my rhythm.

    But I *can* report that I at least got one volume of ordinances checked off. And it was the longest one. So that's a major accomplishment.

    Let's carry those goals over again, with a slight adjustment:

    -Writing: 2500 words
    -Research: One volume of ordinances
    -Mind/body: 3 yoga, 4 morning meditation

    As for my imagery, it's funny that the one that pops into my head most often in difficult times is also a fragment of a prayer -- I say "funny" because I'm in no way religious. But this is a part of the St. Francis prayer. For you Catholics for whom this might be ringing a faint bell, that's the one that starts "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." It's a longish one, but the part that I find myself repeating in moments of stress or entitlement is: "Let me be a friend among friends, and a worker among workers."

    That always brings me down to earth, reminds me that it's not All About Me, and refocuses me on what's in front of me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice to get the longest volume out the way I bet - well done! I hope auntie duty has been fun.
      I quite like the serenity prayer (accepting things I cannot change and all that). I like the version that's been popular lately about changing the things I cannot accept as well.

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    2. A nice way to get some perspective!

      Regardless of one's personal position and point on a religiousness axis, the richness of the language and the depth of human experience in religious writing is a great resource. I have parts of this up at work:

      "Keep about your work, that God has given you.
      Do not flinch because the lion roars;
      Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs;
      Do not fool away your time
      chasing the devil’s rabbits.
      Keep about your work!"

      I find assigning many of the TRQ things that try to push into both my work time and my emotional space as being "the Devil's rabbits" at once amusing and effective in helping me get some perspective (also, that sort of task breeds like rabbits)

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  4. Topic: I am still thinking about the poem that DEH shared. In fact, I've been thinking about it a lot--and what it suggests to me. So, the water/stone/river relationships are rich metaphor fodder for me right now. Also, I got back out into the surf today for the first time in quite awhile (just boogie boarding b/c I can't pop up on a surfboard right now; I'm too weak), and there are a lot of good metaphors related to the waves: getting "caught inside," getting slammed by a wave, riding a wave, dropping in on a wave. There are a lot of possibilities. The key thing with waves is not really "I am this or I am that" (as with water, stone, or mist); instead, it's all about timing. The same wave can offer a great ride or a brutal beat down; it all depends on where one is when it breaks.

    Last week:
    1) Have parents over for pizza night. DONE. It was a bit harried, and my pizza wasn't as good as it usually is, but I did it .
    2) Walk 4x, swim 1x, yoga 1x. YES TO WALKING, no to yoga. And although I didn't get to the pool, I had a great workout in the ocean today, so that's good .
    3) Write 5x. ONLY 2x, and just notes, so I really want to improve on this.
    4) Clean out 4 boxes/drawers. NOT DONE. I just really didn't want to.
    5) Take kids on outings: a trip to the movies, at least one beach trip, and take daughter to Ren Faire. Plan a waterpark trip. ALL DONE!
    6) Start planning for August vacation. A BIT. Booked the house sitter, who, amazingly, is home from college for the exact dates we need her. Huzzah!.
    7) Choose important moments to be the rock so that I can do the other TLQ things. A BIT.

    It was a good week for family, a decent week for exercise, but not great for sorting or writing. These are things to work on next week. I want to do some fiction writing, but it's been SO long that I'm feeling a bit paralyzed. I need to be willing to do some really bad writing in order to get started, and that's difficult.

    This week:
    1) Clean out 1-2 bags or boxes.
    2) Write 5x. (I guess I'll just keep putting it down on my list, hoping to do better. If I can do this, I might get other ideas about how to set better, more precise writing goals.) Get up early one morning to write.
    3) Drop off items that need dropping off.
    4) Swim 1x, yoga 1x, Walk (45 minutes) 4x.
    5) Make plans for an outing or activity with my son.
    6) Encourage some independence in the kids this week (activities, food prep), and encourage them to think about their own TLQ.
    7) Settle dates for August trip. Book SF hotel.


    It's finally feeling like summer. Now I need for time to slow down.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Might I recommend making that one early morning tomorrow? I find that, with goals like this, accomplishing them as early as possible in the week helps to set a good tone for the subsequent days.

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    2. That works for me as well - I make the most progress on my TLQ goals early in the week, and the best progress earlier in the day when I have the discipline to avoid email. And there's the satisfaction of knowing that no matter what happens in the week, I've done some TLQ stuff.

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    3. Really bad writing can be joyous if you let it be - tell yourself noone need ever see it, maybe change medium (to pen and paper from keyboard, or to a different location, or just to a different font - I do a lot of terrible, terrible writing in purple "Lucida handwriting" - whatever it takes to make things feel less like they have to be good, or will be judged), and write.

      That's the biggest thing I learnt from NaNoWriMo and it helps SO MUCH.

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  5. How I did:
    Self: organize second trip. Stretch every day. Swim 3-4 times. Do some shopping. NO (sent an e-mail, though), 6/7, 2x (plus an 8-mile walk), YES.
    Teaching: Grade, be enthusiastic on field trip, organize the other tour. YES, YES, NO.
    Research: Review 1000 lines of translation; write topic sentences for new/revised paragraphs in MMP-3. 500 lines, wrote sentences for new section and then wrote it, about 1000 words, with expansion to come.
    House: type the packing list. NO.

    This week looks a lot like last week:
    Self: organize second trip. Stretch every day. Swim 3-4 times. Do some shopping.
    Teaching: Grade, be enthusiastic on field trip, organize the other tour.
    Research: Review 500 lines of translation; continue editing/expanding MMP-3. Reserve MSS.
    House: type the packing list.

    Topic: this makes me think I should spend more time considering mantras or inspirational images. Mostly I remind myself that it is not going to get any earlier, i.e., that whatever has happened in the past, I can't change it and the soonest I can start (or finish) anything is now. Be Here Now is another common refrain. Thinking about nature imagery, however, is making me worry about what may be happening in my garden at home (no doubt invasive species are staging a comeback), so I think I will go back to being Here Now in a built-up environment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I literally lose sleep over invasive species. (BISHOP'S WEED!!!! THE DEVIL!) Honestly, my stress level spikes when they're bad--they're like an emblem of everything that is out of control and scary in not only my life, but life in general. I feel you.

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    2. I've been waging war on our weeds with boiling water. I'm tired of stinky herbicides so wander around the garden each morning with a kettle full of boiling water and pour it on the little buggers. So far, it's working as well as the stinky herbicides. Not sure how well it would work on invasive species as they are tenacious beasties, but there's something truly satisfying about boiling them. [what can I say, I've had a bit of time on my hands lately]

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    3. Boiling water is also cat-friendly!

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  6. So last week I was consumed with rage/distress/anxiety over my lost luggage. On Friday, I finally talked to someone at Aer Lingus (note: Aer Lingus has the WORST customer service imaginable), and she told me that they had not yet found my suitcase. I cried, then went for a run, then decided that I needed to just Let It Go. This was yet another opportunity to recognize that I can't control everything, and to live with what is out of control. I calmed down substantially.

    I had been told that I would get a text when my bag was located, setting up a time for it to be delivered.

    At 2:27 on Saturday morning, I got a text saying that my bag would arrive in 10-15 minutes. I staggered up, turned on the porch light, and waited by the door; sure enough, in 10 minutes there was a light honk, and some poor guy came dragging it down the driveway, toads hopping out of his way. So it turned up, and that was good (although our child carrier is missing from it, ugh), but the whole situation was very perplexing. Indeed, according to the baggage tracker, my suitcase is still MIA.

    So I guess I'll need to do a little more work to track down the missing item from my suitcase, but I'm determined not to let it take more than 10 minutes a day or so.

    As for the prompt, I need to think about this. In writing my reply to DEH, above, I realized that invasive weeds are a sort of negative image of all that can go wrong; but I don't have firm imagery--or nothing that I can think of--that reflects my own attitude towards work/life. Mostly, with work, it's Head Down And Do It, and that works well for me, but it's hardly...visually interesting.

    Last week's goals:
    Heu mihi
    1) Decide what to do about ch. 2. - DONE; that is, I've figured out a way not to have to spend two years reading unedited Latin, and how to restructure the chapter in a more interesting way. I think.
    2) Fix little fiddly bits in chapter 5. - MOSTLY; a few remain.
    3) Back to exercise routine, more or less - YES: ran twice, yoga once. This week I'm going back to run x3, yoga x2.
    4) Send book proposal to another publisher (I have interest from one, but am covering my bases) - DONE
    5) Take care of little domestic things: a few errands, granola, laundry, etc. -DONE (sufficiently)

    This week:
    We're going to the beach for a week on Saturday (YAAAAY!), so I'll have to do a bunch of grocery shopping/cleaning/cooking/etc. to get ready. In addition:
    1) Enter current revisions into ch. 2
    2) Complete teaching portion of tenure file (Tuesday, I hope)
    3) Work through print-out of ch. 2 (after #1 is done)
    4) Take care of admin stuff--conference proposal, guest speaker, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not everyone is visual, if visualisations don't work, then toss 'em out of your toolkit!

      Yay for recovered luggage, even if not complete! It's horrible when stuff goes astray... much sympathy. And enjoy the beach!

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    2. Totally hear you on the negative imagery, and stress of battling invasive species---that has really changed my attitude toward nature. :-(

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  7. What a nightmare - glad you got your suitcase back and hope the chasing for the child carrier is fruitful and brief. Looks like a productive week apart from that though so yay!
    I'm really jealous that you're off to the beach...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hit a bit of a bad patch for a few days towards the end of last week, and am still largely there, but hey, life goes on.
    goals from two weeks ago
    1) restructure ProbChildp1p1 following meeting I've done a fair bit of restructuring to both ProbChild paper 1s, but oh lord I'm not in the mood for writing with lots of collaborators, which these are. Progress, at least
    2) clear desk at office at least NOPE. Keep getting interrupted. Have managed to get the growing fire hazard of possibly useful cardboard into the recycling box at work, at least
    3) be nice to the cold and get enough sleep the cold went remarkably promptly for me. And there were a few good days. But now I'm pretty depressed. I've always been somewhat prone to inverse SAD...
    4) write up notes from grant meeting and circulate to team well, I started...
    5) set resit work (this will be TRQ the week after next, so would like to get it done this week in a controlled manner) and do timetabling paperwork (due next week, same). yes, this was done, although not entirely without TRQ scrambling
    I also wrote about 4000 words of a first draft of a review paper linked to the collaboration I call Gallimaufrey (ANOTHER lots of people one, but this was solo work). I have maybe 750 to go, and a polishing run, then it can go play with others.

    analysis and the coming week:
    I'm fed up. And there are too many things that need doing. Tomorrow I have counselling, which might help, and then will work at home a bit and probably sleep too much. Wednesday I have to be back at the office properly, Thursday and Friday I have some people visiting to work on Black Summer Project. Then next week I'm off to see family (Sunday to Friday, not a complete week) to do a bit of aunty and daughter, and THAT also feels like work not leisure because of the need to be a more public self, a good visitor etc. So not too much time.

    goals for this week:
    1) look after myself kindly. Sleep, don't overeat, shower every day, all the simple/hard stuff.
    2) finish writing up the notes from the ProblemChild meeting and circulate
    3) Make an outline list of the contents from Giant New Modules for organisational thing
    4) write the last of my sections of the Gallimaufrey thing.

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  9. Thank you for carrying over my goals. I was on vacation for part of last week - spent one whole day trying to travel (unsuccessfully), and then most of my vacation in 50 degree weather (and all brought were shorts and a bathing suit). Not the most fun vacation ever! I've also been completely preoccupied with my search for housing in NYC - it's like a full-time job (which may come to an end today - I have a place, if I want it, and should hear about two applications today as well).

    So, onto the goals:
    (carried over)
    1. Get R&R close to done - WILL SUBMIT TODAY
    2. Reduce scoping review (make a good pass at it) - DONE
    3. Tables for SU paper - DIDN'T DO (and first author made a snarky comment about this on our conference call).
    4. Put together lit for expectancies paper - NOT DONE

    Yesterday, I had lunch at a cafe and organized my full to-do list. I also saw the Murakami exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art - which was great. I needed that to help catalyze all the critical and judgmental stuff my mom said to me (about me) during the vacation (again, not the most fun vacation ever!).

    This week (or what remains of this week)
    1. Submit R&R
    2. APA presentation (due tomorrow - gulp!)
    3. Figure out where we are with the alc scoping review
    4. Figure out answers for diss advisor's assistant on IRB closure

    I don't have any good natural metaphors right now, unfortunately.

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