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Friday, 8 September 2017

2017 End of Year Session: Week 1 sign up

Welcome all to the official start of the end of year session for 2017. In the rapidly increasing speed of the downhill run to the end of 2017, we will be juggling teaching, grading, researching, living and hopefully celebrating. This session will run for 15 weeks through till 17 December, and will be co-hosted by KJHaxton and Karen.

This first week we invite people to sign up for the next session. Share a bit about yourself and the context that is shaping your next few months. As well as the usual name, place, job (to the level of detail you feel comfortable sharing) kind of drill, can you think about other aspects of your context that will help determine your TLQ goals? What is energising you? What are the barriers or constraints? What are the relationships, spaces and structures that you operate within?

The first week is a time to think about the session as a whole and set overall goals. In previous sessions, we've been asked to imagine being at the end of the time, and to look back on what we would like, and will be able, to accomplish. What goals do you want to set for yourself? Remember that TLQ stands for the quadrant of important but not urgent - and this can apply to not only work, but to wellbeing of self, place and community as well.

And finally, what goals do you want to set for this week? Fridays always remind me of a colleague who would ask 'are you winning?' What are the small wins you'd like to celebrate this week?

54 comments:

  1. Hello! I'd like to join in again this time. I've been following along from afar over the last few sessions (maybe more than a few). I've been finding that my goal setting hasn't really had teeth lately. I realized yesterday that it's partly because I'm not figuring out how to make things different--I'm not learning from my failures. I really appreciate the opportunity for reflection here.

    I'm Amstr, a former academic in Renaissance Literature, and I'm currently writing for children as well as dabbling in freelance editing and teaching. I'm in sunny California. My two kids are in middle school, and my current set up is for the bulk of my work/self-care to happen while they're at school and/or at after school sports. I do have some evenings available for work TLQ as well. I typically work from home, though my office is overwhelmed with stuff at the moment. I have a few times a week where my office is a coffee shop.

    Overall goals:
    -Draft half of my novel
    -Develop submission packet for picture books/start submitting
    -Finish prep for and teach weekend course (October)
    -Develop website for editing
    -maintain consistent exercise and eating habits (4x/wk exercise; daily meal planning)
    -get more sleep! (7-8 hours a night)

    Goals for the week:
    -plan exercise and eating and do it!
    -no screens after dinner (5 days)
    -do 1 hour coffee shop writing first thing (4 days)
    -draft 5 pages of novel
    -finalize YB for packet

    Thanks for welcoming the academic-adjacent. It's good to be back.

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    1. So glad you're back, Amstr! And boy do I relate to "not learning from my failures." I keep on stepping in the same, darn potholes.

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    2. Welcome back! I hope that joining in this session gives you some contnuity in the push/pull of family and freelance/self-directed work.

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    3. Thanks for the warm welcome!~

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    4. Hello again! I hope this space is useful in wrangling your goals.

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  2. I'm in! I'll have to post my goals a bit later as I am hugely disconnected from them due to my move.

    About me: I am a postdoc specializing in LGBTQ health who just moved from a very large city to NYC. I'm still partly in boxes and trying to navigate systems and everything.

    I just activated my NIH postdoc funding, so my challenge for this next session will be to prioritize the goals of my postdoc while also managing all the other projects my mentor wants me involved in (and that I want to be involved in) and all the annoying things I get asked to do. I'm technically supposed to spend 100% of my time on my own research and development, but there's a lot of other stuff to do as well.

    Also, since I will be here for at least 3 years, I'd like to prioritize doing some fun things in NYC (but I want to stop living out of boxes first!).

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    1. It's been a big summer of changes for you, so I hope the unpacking and settling goes smoothly.

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    2. We moved out of our house this summer to paint, but we only had to empty the closets--and it's still a big crazy thing. I can't imagine actually moving. I hope you get settled quickly!

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    3. Hope the move has gone/is going well and that the number of full boxes is decreasing.

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  3. First, thanks to Karen and KJ Haxton for hosting this final 2017 session of TLQ.

    I’m Elizabeth, a tenured Associate Librarian at a public STEM-heavy R1 in the upper Hudson Valley in New York. I am ABD in medieval studies, and hope to have a sabbatical next summer to revamp the dissertation and query it as a book. Although I am academic faculty, I'm on a twelve-month contract and have administrative duties for 90% of my job. I live with my husband, whose tenure dossier will be voted on by the campus-wide P&T committee this month; my two college-age sons; and a incredibly spoiled Standard Poodle.

    Topic: My major conflict with my scholarship lies in much the same arena as that GEW expressed in the last session. Do I pursue the research interests of my medieval studies training, or try to fit more easily into my cohort? How do I protect my identity as a medievalist and scholar in a university where I am the only medievalist among the faculty? The last medievalist in the teaching faculty retired five years ago when the French department was subsumed into the World Languages department, not that I blame her. I promised myself last year before getting tenure that I would finally do the research I want to do, but I vacillate sometimes when I tire of being the misfit. I am lucky that I live within a few hours of several good research libraries, and that I have an online support network, most especially this group.

    Session goals:
    Session mantra: Organize, plan, contemplate
    Continue to organize paper and electronic scholarship files.
    Plan future projects.
    Figure out my scholarship path.
    Two hours on the book.
    Walk an hour every day.
    Keep up with medical needs.

    Next week's goals:
    Organize, toss or scan one half of one file drawer.
    Start project file with one folder per project.
    Walk.
    Go to dental appointment and call for bone scan appointment.

    Float like mist, everyone.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining us again, Elizabeth. I like the mantra of organise, plan, contemplate - it connects progress with purpose.

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    2. Hi EAM!
      What's your scanning strategy? I've been contemplating tackling some file drawers that haven't been opened in a long time, but have information I'm not quite ready to part with yet.

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    3. Hi Amstr!
      Glad to see you back. I'm starting with scanning the easy stuff -- articles that I photocopied in graduate school that I still need for some unfinished writing projects.
      After that, I will attack my graduate school papers that I thought I might work on again. That will be harder, since I should shred a lot (or most) of them. After that are the most difficult, the reams of knitting magazines and patterns. I cannot let go of some old favorites, but seriously, I have enough patterns to get me through retirement.
      Does this help at all?

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    4. It is difficult to feel like a misfit, takes a lot of energy to maintain a different identity in the face of cohesion. I hope this session brings you some clarity in your scholarship.

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  4. Like several others, I think I'm going to have to keep cogitating on goals this week, especially since last week was eventful in terms of what the academic year is going to look like (more below).

    I'm Cassandra, a long-time full-time non-tenure-track professor teaching mostly composition at a large state school on the R1/R2 cusp. My Ph.D. is in American literature, but I've done only a bit of research and writing and occasional teaching in that area over the last 15 years (since I defended, which happened some years after I began adjuncting at a variety of schools, and two years into my present appointment). That's been especially true since teaching in the summer became an economic necessity 7 years ago.

    I've been wanting to get back in touch with my scholarly/writerly self in some way, but also aware that I need to keep focusing my limited free time on what I've been calling "infrastructure" issues: self-care and financial and physical housekeeping (especially trying to get my studio apartment in more workable shape, and to find a better way to deal with my other belongings, which have been in storage for far too long).

    I've tried paring down goals to focusing mostly on those issues (and, this summer, to a single issue: moving more), with limited success. So I was inclined to look for ways to move back toward writing and research anyway.

    That inclination got something of a jump-start this week, when I was offered (and accepted) a spring teaching schedule that includes not one but two literature classes: one 200-level lit class with an overall "texts and contexts" focus for which I get to choose a particular theme (and which I've taught a few times before, with a theme/approach I don't want to repeat) and, for the first time ever at my present institution, a course in the major (and squarely in one of my areas of expertise).

    In most ways, this is very good news: I've been feeling like I'm approaching the use-it-or-lose-it point with my scholarship/disciplinary expertise, and teaching these classes (especially the one in the major) will be a good incentive to do some catch-up reading, which will form the basis for future writing (which may or may not happen this year; we'll see).

    However, I'm also a bit apprehensive: two new preps is a lot for one semester, especially without a summer's warning, and especially when I'll also be teaching two sections of my usual junior-level writing in the disciplines course. And both courses (especially the 200-level one) will engage squarely with literature concerning topics that have come once again to the forefront of national conversations and controversies (which assuages my feeling that I should be doing something, especially given some of my areas of expertise, but also means that I need to be well-prepared for the courses themselves, and prepared for combative students or other curveballs).

    My other major ongoing responsibility is that I'm a member of the search committee seeking a new pastor for our church -- a commitment that will stretch at least through this fall, and more than likely through the full school year and possibly beyond.

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    1. And now I need to go to church for yet another meeting, so I'll do a brief goals-for-the-week:

      --Figure out some session goals and post them here.

      --Work some kind of movement -- weight-lifting, walking, or gardening -- into most days

      --Try to keep to a regular sleep schedule

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    2. Oh, and figure out what to do about another ongoing project at work which I'm basically in charge of -- which I think I've called the pedagogy project before here -- given the news above (and the fact that we need to decide about applying for grants soon and need to plan and give a couple of on-campus presentations on what we've already done this semester).

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    3. Congratulations on the course assignments! I do realize how much work you are facing, but perhaps there is a bit less grading than in the comp classes? You might also approach them with texts you're really familiar with (for the most part) and save the new and (and perhaps more updated) stuff for the next go around? Either way, it seems like good news to me.

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    4. The course assignments sound like they will be a challenge - but hopefully in a positive way. Reclaiming that disciplinary space will hopefully open up future options.

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    5. Congrats on the lit classes! I'm sure after the initial rust wears off it will feel good to stretch your literary wings.

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    6. Are there similarities between a search committee for a pastor and an academic search committee? It sounds fascinating.
      I always find new preps bring back the nervous excitement of the first day of school. Good luck :)

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    7. Pastoral searches, at least in my denomination, are both like and unlike academic ones. Like: we're a committee (no bishops, etc., to make appointments); we advertise; we get standard packages of info from candidates, ask for more from some, and move through skype and on-site interviews with ever-narrowing lists. Unlike: the process is ongoing/rolling until we find someone; we pray a good deal; we talk about mutual discernment and God/the spirit guiding all participants in the process (I'm at a state school, so the 2nd two definitely don't play a role in academic searches).

      For the purposes of planning, the rolling/ongoing aspect, combined with the fact that there can't really be a failed search (just a very long one, but we do have both an interim and an associate pastor) is probably the key difference. I don't know when this particular commitment will end (but I have a pretty good idea that it won't be before spring '18 at the earliest).

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    8. Session goals:

      --Continue working more regular movement into my routine: keep lifting weights on a regular (or semi-regular) basis, get back into habit of walking several times (or more) a week.

      --Work more academic reading into my routine (with likely focus on Spring '18 class prep)

      --Work in at least some other self-care (eating well, sleeping) and/or financial/household TLQ work when possible.

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    9. And one more:

      --Generally try to observe what works -- and doesn't -- in terms of forming new routines, keeping up with existing positive ones, avoiding bad habits (like creeping-forward bedtimes and too much reading on the internet when I'm tired/overwhelmed)

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  5. Hi! I'm an associate prof. of medieval literature at an R1 where I've been on faculty for 2 years now--and I'm up for tenure this year. The tenure file is very close to done, though, so I'm not even going to put it on my goals list; at this point, it's mostly just hoping that it goes well.

    I also have a husband who's a pastor (which makes our weekends a little wacky) and a kindergartener, so balancing the family stuff is a big part of my life. Oh, and a cat, but she's pretty low-maintenance.

    Session goals:
    *Research:*
    1. Submit my manuscript to the interested publisher. I have a full draft of everything but the conclusion, and I've just reread/re-revised the introduction, but the five subsequent chapters need their own rereadings and re-revisions. I would like to have it sent out by November 1.
    2. Plan/outline/research an article that would come out of a conference paper I delivered last year.
    3. Submit an abstract to a conference (due late October).
    4. Meditate four times a week. It's a habit that I've been wanting to establish, and I need it.

    I'm going light, ish, on research/writing. I'm ready to slow down on this front for a bit. I'm also teaching a one-credit overload this semester and serving on no fewer than FIVE committees, so I'm not going to make writing the highest priority.

    This week's goals:
    1. Reread/revise ch. 1.
    2. Send out necessary materials for upcoming talk that I'm organizing.
    3. Help others: write recommendation letter, read dissertation chapter, assign advisors to new students.
    4. Meditate 4 times.

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    1. It sounds like after a research/writing intensive period, you are in a good place to let it keep trickling along at a slower rate.

      I do like the framing of what could be small distracting tasks into helping others.

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    2. Helping others is a nice way to phrase that kind of work, I like it a lot! Five committees sounds like a lot - good luck!

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  6. Hi all, I'm JaneB, a UK mid-career academic in a STEM discipline at a "squeezed middle" university (we are expected to be highly ambitious and excellent at both teaching and research, with very limited resources, at an institution which recruits large numbers of not very well prepared/qualified students who need support and structure to achieve their potential). Also my Head of Organisational Unit ("Incoming") and I Do Not Get On (he is a nice person but a poor manager and an especially poor manager FOR ME), and the university is in the middle of a ridiculously huge and messy "change journey" which treats academics as problems to be solved and students as something to be winnowed rather than individually nurtured, which is very different from the expectations of a mere 3-4 years ago (Incoming gains the nickname from having been appointed from a Russell Group (top tier of UK system, supposedly) background to take over as Head of Department with no experience of the department or the context as part of the start of that process, which shows no signs of having an actual end point).

    Whine whine whine. I do a lot of that. Like a lot of academics, I guess, every new semester and new step along the Change Journey is a revisiting of the question "can I continue in this new context to do enough good work of the kind that Really Matters [in research, with and for students and the wider world, as a good human] whilst being obedient enough to the demands of the System that I remain employed and possibly even get a cost of living raise, without damaging either my health or my spirit, and if not, what are my alternatives and how can I find the energy to actually pursue them?"

    I'm currently starting week 2 of my annual leave, then have one week of preparation (meetings), one week of "induction" (all students in, many more meetings) and one week of Residential Visit With All The New First Years before teaching starts. This first semester is nominally my light semester of the year (I teach all skills courses this year, this semester I have Giant First Year Module 1 (GF1) (required, a thing of many moving parts, 180-200 students) and Final Year Projects (110 students, plus colleague herding). Next semester I have Giant First Year Module 2 (very like GF1, but more statistics and less hand holding), Final Year Projects (as in semester 1, usually with more crises and tears), and two new second year modules (Preparing for Final Year Projects). So that won't be fun.

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    1. goals for this session:
      1) self-care, self-care, self-care.
      2) Research, money acquisition - get rid of the GrantINeverShouldHaveStarted, get a full draft of GallimaufreyGrant written.
      3) Research, writing - don't start anything new until the current horde are out of the gates. I got a lot of stuff pushed from things I ought to do to actively being worked on this summer, so now just to keep it moving... Here's the current list, to be annoying
      3a) ProblemChild1 and PC2 - hopefully submitted last week but no news yet from co-authors.
      3b) PC3 - waiting for co-author to write their sections next week, then the discussion needs drafting, deadline of end of September for a special issue (AARGH)
      3c) Tagalong paper - with co-authors for final checking, should be submitted by the end of September
      3d) Gallimaufrey Review - a cast of tens, driving me nuts, but more herding than long slog on my part. end of December submission desired.
      3e) MScPaper - a revise and resubmit to a new journal.
      3f) Ferrett - needs the figures finalising and a final check of references, then will be ready to submit.
      3g) PickyPaper - my baaaaaby, about half drafted and keeps changing shape. This will take up any quality writing time I can get my hands on.
      3h) ExcessivePaper and SurprisePaper are both with journals at the moment, so waiting for comments. SpecialIssuePaper is awaiting proofs (submitted the R&R last December, accepted 4th Sept, have 3 days to do proofs sometime during my leave, sigh...)

      I have allowed too much to get onto my plate at once, with these, and hope to have a much shorter list by the end of the session.

      4) Other Academic Stuff that is TLQ - I'd like to spend a little time working on the new second year modules this semester before they are urgent. I have some ideas about incorporating group work and mini-projects, and know from past experience that with multiple academics involved and general student dislike of group work that this will work a LOT better if it's really carefully designed and planned and practiced, for this first year. And that takes time.
      5) Stuff For Me - I want to finish a big crochet blanket/hanging project, and complete NaNoWriMo - I'm thinking of working on several short stories set in my fictional university setting (Department of effectively Magic based in a normal middling sort of contemporary university, which has exchange arrangements with a University in a parallel world where magic/fantasy elements are standard and technology levels lower - what with the talking cats (no-one is sure if that was an accident or an Evil Plan overtaken by events), non-human exchange students and staff, a dragon living in the boiler room (helps with the budget juggling) and students who keep trying to use mobile phones in zones where they really can alter the nature of reality, there's plenty of material, and I haven't worked on short stories for ages, so...)

      goals for this week:
      As mentioned, on leave! So:
      1) more decluttering (with help from professional declutterer booked for Monday)
      2) installation of new supposedly faster and better internet service
      3) order and organise all the yarn for the rest of the crochet project
      4) outline some ideas for the NaNoWriMo project
      5) write report on PhD thesis I need to examine, and make sure someone does those proofs (may not have to be me...)
      6) put all non-essential work related items that come up into the list in my day-book for dealing with later
      7) read some more fiction

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    2. I hope you publish one of your novels someday. I've never done NaNo but have been thinking of doing so. However, I'm not sure it's a realistic goal for me (based on my past), and I want to be realistic. But I'm rooting for you!

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    3. I long to read those stories. They are exactly my cup of tea. I don't want to add pressure, but if it *does* help to imagine an eager audience, here I am!

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    4. Fiction is always good for the soul, I find.

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    5. I'd like to read the stories as well.
      We're currently hunting for a new HoS and there's been a lot of change in the past few years with more yet to come. I'll not comment further on it but I sympathise. Deeply.
      Hope the week of leave is going well.

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  7. I teach composition, critical thinking, and Brit Lit at a community college in California. Recently (last February), I earned my PhD from a UK university; I attended part-time while still living in California (where I live with my husband and two children), so it took me nine years. I had assumed I would continue with my research agenda after completing the doctorate, but I don't live near a good research library, and I'm questioning the value the research will bring to my life and career. Even though I know it will make me a better teacher, I'm not sure the cost-benefit works in my favor. I'm mid-career (in my 20th year at the community college), and I'm having a mid-career crisis, I suppose.

    Constraints on my academic and TLQ work include not only library challenges, but I also have a heaving course and grading load, and I do not receive travel funds. In addition, my family is lovely, but they want me around all the time. I like being around them very much, too (they are my favorite people), but I'm finding that my efforts to focus on their needs are taking a toll. I posted about some of those challenges this summer, and since then I've had several health issues: a persistent case of the hiccups (which is gone now, thank goodness), increasing blood pressure (which has been low my whole life until now), and, this week, a case of shingles. One would think that my life would be much less stressful than it was a year ago (when I was rushing to submit the PhD), but it seems like these personal difficulties are worse, so I need to work on them and work on creating space for more self-determination in my daily life. And I need to work on telling my husband how I feel because I think not doing so is affecting my health. This last one is difficult because I dislike conflict, and he gets very defensive.

    As for physical space, the backyard "witch hut" is almost done. Like other aspects of my life, I'm going to have to work to make sure it meets my needs. It's supposed to be for me, my husband has a lot of opinions about what it should look like, and I worry that it won't be a comfortable work space, but one that I can use but need to keep pristine and tidy. Nevertheless, I hope it ends up being a good space for me to be myself and do work, especially creative work since I'd like to work on fiction writing.

    I've also taken on the role of advising a writing club at my daughter's middle school, so that should be an adventure.

    Goals for the session:
    1) Develop more stress management strategies, including exercise and, perhaps, exploring meditation and telling others how I feel.
    2) Submit one article.
    3) Either do NaNoWriMo or make another plan for drafting some of a novel, and develop a regular writing habit.
    4) Make progress on bags and piles in the garage (this involves sorting and framing art pieces, finding places for supplies and books, and etc.)


    That's not a lot, but I think I'm going to keep session goals modest.

    This week:
    1) Return ill-fitting shoes and order new ones (for kids).
    2) 15 minutes x 5 of writing or planning (at least two session must be actual writing).
    3) Print previous draft of article (We'll call it "Spy")
    4) Research ideas for middle school writing club.
    5) Turn in volunteer application and paperwork.
    6) Get sufficient sleep. Aim to be in bed by 11:00.

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    1. I wonder if the health issues are because (some of) the pressure from your PhD has let up a bit. I hope the shingles clears up swiftly. Hope you're getting some quality sleep :)

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  8. Sorry for the typos. And my course load is heavy, not heaving. :)

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    1. I would guess that heaving is a very good descriptor for your course load. :)

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    2. Especially once the semester really gets going.

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    3. Heaving does seem like an appropriate modifier for your courseload. :)
      Sorry to hear about all the health stuff. And I like that telling people how you feel is part of your stress management. It is a good thing, if hard.
      And sleep is good for everything!

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  9. I’m Linda, AKA humming42. I’m an associate professor teaching in the humanities at a mid-sized third-tier state school in Texas. This is an unexpectedly awkward start for me, as I have two huge TRQ projects due at the end of September--the book manuscript revision and a grant application. They are TLQ with regard to how willing I am to devote myself to both projects. They will get done and submitted no matter what, so it’s a little epiphany for me to realize that something can be both TRQ and TLQ.

    Session goals:
    1 As ever, write 5x/week
    2 Submit manuscript
    3 Submit grant proposal
    4 Find funding for December conference presentation
    5 Submit abstract for photo essay
    6 Submit Snow abstract
    7 Catch up with co-author and resume Talk project

    Session goals depend on what gets accepted/funded. Everything but resuming Talk project happens in the next four weeks or so, so I will probably want to update goals mid-session.

    This week:
    1 Finish revisions for manuscript chapters 2 and 3
    2 Submit abstract for photo essay (due)
    3 Complete and submit TRQ proposal review
    4 Get materials organized for grant proposal

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    1. That sounds like a busy start! And you're guaranteed to be productive. I hope everything goes smoothly.

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    2. Sounds like a really busy September. I've often thought things transition between TLQ and TRQ but never considered that some things might be both...I think this is a really interesting point :) Hope the week goes well.

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  10. I'm Karen, a lecturer in a regional campus of a regional university in the southern hemisphere. I probably am not identifying myself at all by saying that my institutions is in the middle of restructuring, major leadership changeover, and vast investment in property and buildings while supposedly having no money for anything else. In theory, I work four days a week, with some teaching and research though a lit of my time is taken up with administration and a major curriculum project.
    I have a partner and two young children, an expanding menagerie of animals and a work-in-progress garden. We're hoping to travel overseas before Christmas to visit family who have relocated for a year.

    Session goals:
    1. I have a whole lot of research deliverables (to drop into business speak) that need to be done before the end of the year: co-authored conference paper, solo conference paper, co-authored curriculum paper, community project, dowry grant, grass work. To get these done with any quality and without major panics I need to make time for progress each week, so the session goal is probably something about process as well as product.
    2. The curriculum project - complete draft needed by end of year to meet timelines.
    3. I have grand garden visions, but if I can have a vegetable patch with the complete set of planned summer veg and repeat sowing I'll be happy.
    4.Cultivate inner calm by moving, sleeping, declutter/organising and carrying out creative activities.

    Weekly goals:
    1. Finish the reorganisation of the home filing system into something I can use.
    2. Sow remaining early start veg.
    3. Break down curriculum project tasks for the week and set up at least 5 meetings.
    4. 30 min research projects work each work day.
    5. Do either music or movement each day, 5 minutes min.

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    1. Hi Karen
      I sympathise wholeheartedly with the restructuring/leadership change/vast investment/no money! It seems to be a really (hideous) common theme at the moment! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your grand garden visions.

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  11. Excellent questions for cogitation, Karen, thank you!

    I'm a medievalist at LRU (large regional university) in the midwest, probably rather further along than mid-career at this point, trying to get un-stuck from associate prof. I'm married to Sir John. We have 3 cats and a large old house that we are trying to de-clutter and sell. I think my main session goal has to be something like Live With Uncertainty and Keep Working the Process. For the last several sessions, I've been trying to get out from under the house, finish a couple of articles, do a decent job of teaching and service, and look after myself. With so many goals, progress has been slow toward all of them, and I'm feeling discouraged even though I can see that I have made progress. I'd really like to see some product at some point, though.

    Energizing: language study. Like I need anything else to do. But I have two on-campus language groups that I love, and which get me to school early twice a week; the early arrival is a pain on the home end, but a blessing on the work end.

    Constraints: time (hefty commute, due to mild 2-body problem), and health (chronic ailments that require daily exercise and yoga, and careful attention to diet), which comes down to time, really. And low-level anxiety w/r/t moving (when will we manage to get the house to market, will we get a decent offer, where will we wind up, what if we go from frying pan to fire, why did we ever leave our old house). Hence my "live with uncertainty and work the process" goal.

    Small wins last week: I *think* I tracked down an elusive reference for one of the lingering articles (we'll see when the ILL comes in), and I put in one hour of packing over the weekend, after a house-hiatus while the semester started.

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    1. Goals for this week:
      1) Self: daily exercise, yoga (2x, preferably), enough sleep, work on at least 2 languages, do the necessary cooking so I can eat safely.
      2) Research: 5 hours.
      3) Teaching: finish setting up assignments for undergrads.
      4) House/Life: finish packing the guest room, move file cabinets in my study.

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    2. I like your session goal and analysis. It feels like you're setting a theme for the session and I hope that you make progress within that.

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  12. Hello, I am Matilda, late to check-in. Could I join?

    Thank you very much for hosting this session, Karen and KJHaxton, and it is very nice to be here again.

    Myself:
    I teach medieval history at a private university in a non-English speaking country. My husband is also a medievalist, working for a different university far away from mine. I am a mother of a daughter of 9 and a son of 7. Now my family has been living in England for our study leave for one year.

    I have been working on my book project, which has taken so long time and I wanted to push it forward during this study leave, but it is not going as I hoped. It is normal that my plan does not go well, but now I need to re-plan my book project schedule. I like the books ‘How to write a lot’, and ‘Write your journal article in 12 weeks’, but even these two great authors’ great help is not enough for me. So here I am.

    Session goals:
    1. Finish writing drafts of Chapters 1, 2.
    2. Finish writing first drafts of Chapters 3, 4.
    3. Finish outlines and structures of Chapters 5, 6.
    4. Exercise every day.
    5. Eat well.
    6. Organise my day.

    Goals for next week:
    1. Finish revision of Chapter 1.
    1-1. Finish writing up of the first part of Chapter 2.
    4. Do 5 minute exercise every morning.
    5. Have more vegetable, less bread.
    6. Write my journal every day.
    7. Practice writing. - Read a lot, write a lot, look up good dictionaries. Do you have any other practical tips to improve writing?

    Have a great week, everyone!

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    1. Hi Matilda, welcome back. A book project sounds like a big undertaking so I wish you good luck with that.

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  14. Thanks to Karen for kicking us off for this session.

    I'm a senior lecturer in chemistry at a UK university that is currently undergoing lots of construction work on campus (and in our building), and lots of change. The construction work will ultimately lead to better facilities, I know this rationally, but that doesn't stop me disliking the disruption to the familiar! And the change, well, the less said about that the better.
    Context: this session will see me winding back into work after essentially a year on sick leave/working from home. My current 'sick note' states that I'm fit for work provided I do not work more than 35 hours a week (somehow I can imagine JaneB laughing loudly if she reads this). We'll see how that works out but the simple fact is that more than that and I will become too tired to function.

    I have some pretty serious thinking to do about scholarship and research this session, as well as balancing my unbalanced teaching load - this is the heavy semester so it's going to be a tough ride.

    Semester goals:
    mantra: be sufficient
    1. grapple with the scholarship and research issues and try to reach a plateau if not a conclusion and new direction. The current state of freefall with arms flailing cannot persist.
    2. get to Christmas as intact as possible.
    3. finish Machair blanket, beach cushions, and tree printing project.
    4. Submit an article

    Goals for the week:
    - I'm on holiday this week and next week (I think my internet is sheep powered or something right now) so I shall not set any goals other than do holiday stuff, and come up with a topic for Friday's week 2 post here :)

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  15. I'm Susan, a senior faculty member in the humanities at a newish university on the west coast of the US; my research is in the UK, so I am a bit transAtlantic. I'm a widow, living with 3 cats, and also near my 86 year old mother, who is in assisted living and slowly failing. I take on more than my share of administrative tasks, for better or worse. (Which is why I fell off the edge of the world...)

    Session Goals (And I'm making myself feel a bit better by putting in a few things that I have now finished, pretending I started when you did)
    1. Finish Way Outside paper, that was a summer goal
    2. Write article review for journal
    3. Write late book review
    4. Do revise and resubmit
    5. Get regular sleep, aiming for 7 hours a night
    6. Keep moving
    7. Make sure I do one thing for fun each week

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