the grid

the grid

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Settling in

Last week we were welcomed, with beverages of the stimulating or relaxing sort, with attention.  We've greeted people, and treated the Butler with proper politeness and maybe reserve.  We're seated in comfortable chairs. So now we're here, what happens next?  Once you've arrived, what next? Good conversation? Exploring the garden? A short walk? Dinner? board games? Dancing? 

And how do you settle in to the term/semester?  What changes as you  get used to your schedule?  What tells you you've past the start and are in it?  Or maybe, for those like Daisy on sabbatical, what marks some kind of stability?

Goals from last week:

Daisy

1) Work with current grad student who is visiting and get analytical plans in place
2) Do data analysis and figures for paper-that-everyone-forgot-about-and-now-need-done-fast
3) Do photography for figures in new local paper
4) Work on revisions for old paper
5) Assemble Baby Albatross paper and send to co-authors for review
6) Send away three batches of samples for analytical work
7) Make plan for the rest of the month
8) Do at least one fun thing with friends

Dame Eleanor Hull

*Revise my 2000 words for my writing group, work on spreadsheet, write another 1000 words either on current chapter or in preparation for another.
*More correction of exercises attempted by both Johnson Minor and Miss Baddesley; further planning of instruction for the latter.
*Arrange for my attendance at certain concerts.
*Continue to retire and to rise at suitable hours, and to take exercise regularly.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Go through one box in the home office, and deal with everything in it.
Get better.

heu mihi

1. Submit sabbatical application
2. Run x 4, yoga x 2, sit x 5??
3. Read next chapter or two of book
4. Revise grant application
5. Sketch out a research/writing plan

Humming42

1 Submit current book review
2 Keep up with grading!
3 submit to upcoming writing competition
4 work on lit review for Photos conference presentation
5 rake the front yard (hoping for more tolerable temperatures soon)

JaneB

1) self-care: do 3 songs worth of exercise each day, "basket swap" at the end of the week, improve one small area of the house somehow. Clear off the reading chair in my work area.
2) make a list of the essential VLE work I need to do before students return, and schedule it - do as much of the three first trimester skills-led modules as possible (do knowledge-led next week)
3) get caught up on stupid CPD videos and things
4) read over what we said we'd do for the grant that got funded, and make some initial notes.
5) redo figures for Ferret (long standing members may recall that this paper has appeared for seevral years now...)

Karen

-record next week's online lecture

- email internal partner to discuss 2022

Research:
-remind O and A to get writing to me, return feedback if I get it before Friday
-check local T&L conf dates and draft abstract

Self and Home:
- 3 pomodoros of office unpack/rearrange.
- pot on tomatoes and plant last of the flower seedling trays

Susan

1. Two sessions working on Famous Author
2. Admin: Get survey for self-study done, get next section drafted
3. Finish article prize work
4. Do tenure review
5. Get estimates on cleaning ducts
6. Spend time with my mother
7. Get together with friends on zoom
8. Maybe even see people IRL


Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Session 3 2021: Welcome to the house

The butler graciously accepts your invitations and invites you into the foyer. Would you like tea, coffee, a glass of champagne or sherry?

As many. of us negotiate returns or beginnings this year,  you might want to reflect on what makes you feel welcomed? What actions, signals or rituals invite you to feel at home? In a spirit of kindness, how might we extend a welcome to those around us without burning ourselves out? 

This week you. might want to add session goals if you didn't last week, or refine those goals with a chance to reflect on them. Otherwise, please do share what your goals are for this week.

For the record, here are the session goals, and weekly goals, as posted last week:


Daisy

Session:

Research: I have five papers that need to be finished. That’s it, that’s all… Two are brand new, and two are close to done and have been through some review already, one is new and written and needs to be reviewed by co-authors and I need to be the organizer and compiler of everything. So I really need to focus and find a way to move them all forward and not let the harder ones languish forever…

Students: I want to get new grad student started off well, get current grad students through the rigours of writing a thesis.

Life: In the Fall gardening category I want to remember to plant bulbs (I never do), and move hostas to make new flower beds. In other life things I want to continue my excellent exercise regimen from last session and give time and attention to something creative for my sabbatical

This week:

1) Teach well and make sure the students enjoy the process.

2) Get a few revisions done on either old paper.

3) Get to know teaching area well enough to be in charge next year.


Dame Eleanor Hull

Research: draft and/or expand two book chapters. [Same for the fictional version of Dame Eleanor.]

Teaching: deliver effective courses, grade promptly, do a little prep of spring courses. [Prepare for tutoring sessions, seek out new students for when this lot go up to university.]

House/Life: unpack at least half the boxes in the garage. Put the garden to bed. Do at least ten things on my list of Stuff That Will Stay Done. [Go through at least half of the trunks in the attic, put the garden to bed, do at least ten things . . . ]

Time Management: take Sundays and at least half of Saturdays off from work, and work more efficiently on weekdays to make this possible. [Observe the Sabbath, and take Saturday to prepare to do so.] This will depend on

Health: manage food and exercise so as to sleep adequately on a regular basis. [A lady does not speak of such pedestrian needs, which we all share, though dear Lady Fortescue insists that this attitude enables considerable suffering, especially among the genteel poor; NB, reflect further upon this point, as Lady F v. insightful.]

Goals for this week:

*write 2000 words

*correct Johnson Minor's execrable Latin translations and prepare for Miss Baddesley's Greek lesson

*open and inspect Sir John's crates from his sojourn on Crete

*retire to bed at a suitable hour

*ask Cook to prepare frozen custard, under threat that if she does not, I will attempt it myself. NB, if this prompts her to quit, send Morrison at once to employment agency; also ask Lady F for suggestions: perhaps hotel cook would like to work for smaller establishment.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Goals to come


heu mihi

Session goals:

1. Take time to stop doing things.

This means: sit, go into the forest, do yoga, rest, knit, enjoy my family.

2. Write steadily and calmly.

This means: Finish WH and SUBMIT IT, work up a rough draft of paper due in February (which will also inform chapter 1 of big new project), submit grant proposal and sabbatical application, submit Kzoo abstract on time.

3. Take an Italian class!

4. Do good things for others

This means: Write letters/postcards for political activism group, eat more vegan meals (twice a week?), respond reasonably promptly to emails, stay on top of big committee

This week:

1. Complete my part of WH intro and send it back to co-editor

2. Grade paper from incomplete from *last fall*, for Pete's sake (I only got it a week or two ago)

3. Submit Kzoo proposal

4. Yoga once; sit daily during the week; run as possible/appropriate

5. Read the research-related stuff that I've been trying to get through lo these many days (half a chapter and 2/3 of an article)


humming42

Teaching

Do the usual

Draft proposal for new program

Research

Draft DQ book proposal

Write quality presentations for three online conferences

Submit to favorite spring conference

Creative

Organize existing drafts of poems and flash nonfiction

Create a submission plan

Commit to and enjoy online classes

Domestic

Finish cleaning office

Build and fill bookcases

Clear all recycling from house and garage


JaneB 

Goals for the session:

Sad but realistic goal for the session: SURVIVAL (i.e. all my classes were covered to a minimum level, I am alive without long covid, my grad students haven't sacked me, and I have not told the university to stuff its job where the sun don't shine. Also I didn't actually make the state of the house WORSE and the cat is thriving as far as an anxious, dumb, cautious cat who apparently was put on this earth to shed fluff can thrive). Setting goals is depressing because they keep being wrecked by circumstances...

Goals for the coming week:

1) self-care: do 3 songs worth of exercise each day, bring the downstairs basket up and the upstairs basket down and PUT AWAY the items in each (hereafter "basket swap"), improve one small area of the house somehow.

2) make a list of the essential VLE work I need to do before students return, and a schedule for doing it over the next 2-3 weeks

3) get caught up on stupid CPD videos and things

4) read over what we said we'd do for the grant that got funded, and make some initial notes.

Goals for this week. (and the next week – posted in week 1 due to late post)

1) self-care: do 3 songs worth of exercise each day, "basket swap" at the end of the week, improve one small area of the house somehow. Clear off the reading chair in my work area.

2) make a list of the essential VLE work I need to do before students return, and schedule it - do as much of the three first trimester skills-led modules as possible (do knowledge-led next week)

3) get caught up on stupid CPD videos and things

4) read over what we said we'd do for the grant that got funded, and make some initial notes.

5) redo figures for Ferret (long standing members may recall that this paper has appeared for seevral years now...)


Karen

Teaching: finish up this semester without getting behind, set up external connections and partnerships for sem 1 2022 unit.

Research: pilot SOTL project and present paper on it, see three PhD/Masters students to submission.

Self and Home: maintain planting schedule, get out (in some way shape or form) each week, get home office fully functional given there's at least one more year of hotdesk hell to come.


Susan 

Goals:

1. Research: get rough drafts of last two chapters of Famous Author, a short book I'm writing about someone you have heard of. Usually do at least two writing sessions a week

2. Teaching: keep up with classes, don't get overwhelmed

3. Admin: I'm drafting the self-study for the graduate program review. It's due at the end of September but mid-October is probably reasonable


4. Other service: I'm finishing (this week) work on both a book prize & article prize; I've got a tenure review; a jacket blurb; and a ms to read for a colleague. I'm also president of a scholarly organization, so stuff will come up about it.


5. House: 3 house tasks (clean ducts, refinish floor in guest room & paint guest room)


6. Keep up with exercise, multiple kinds. (biking, strength, maybe more yoga)


7. See friends, see my mother


8. Read for fun




Sunday, 29 August 2021

2021 Session 3: Let's just start!

What's clearest from the comments on Karen's Intersession post is that several people would appreciate a longer session this time, so I'm going to jump in and get us going! We want to get our 16-week session over before the New Year. If we call this week our first (rather than week 0), week 16 would begin on the weekend of 11-12 December. The reason it often seems that endings sneak up on us is that there's some question as to what the "end" of a session really means: is it the last week we set goals, or do we have 16 (or whatever) weeks of goal-setting, plus a final check-in where we report on session goals but don't set goals for the following week?

So I'm going to be a bossy-boots distinguished leader here, and say that we will set goals every week(end) for the following week through 11-12 December (so, on that date, set goals for the week that ends 18-19 December), and then on that last weekend there will be a goal-reporting, celebrate-your-achievements post. 

Heck, you could even set goals for the holidays at that point; maybe we'll have a sort of bridge session to span the holidays and start of January. We'll figure that out later.

It sounds like at least one of Karen and Susan will join me as co-leaders; perhaps we'll all three contribute this session. 

Here's the copied (and lightly edited) language from previous sessions, with thanks to those who have worked it out in the past:

The format will be the same as ever. Please introduce yourself and set goals for the whole session this week (or wait till next week, but leave a comment to indicate that's what you will do) and then continue with weekly goals. Goals can be in any aspect of life, although the key focus is often writing tasks that are personally and professionally important yet never quite tip over into important AND urgent. Urgent things sometimes find their way in here too; that is completely okay, and process goals are also most welcome. Most weeks there will be a discussion topic or prompt to write about if you feel so inclined. We’ll remind everyone of their big session goals about midway through (that should be around the middle of October, this time).

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

So for this week:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What's your main focus at the moment? You are welcome to be vague and mysterious, or make up a character and allegorize your goals/tasks, in the interest of maintaining anonymity while still introducing yourself to the group.

2. Think and speculate and dream (out loud if you want!) about goals for this session. Post them now if you can, or leave a comment that they'll need to wait for next week. Feel free to throw out a whole bunch now and pick from those next week or think about the things you want to clear out of the way to make room for the bigger goals.  

3. Feel welcome if you are so inclined to set an INTENTION for the whole session. If that’s something you want to do, this is a great time to think about it. 

I think introductions and goal-setting are enough for this week, without an extra discussion topic. I look forward to seeing old friends and maybe meeting some new ones in the comments! If you've been considering joining in, here's your engraved invitation: please present it to the footman (footperson?) and you'll be admitted and properly announced by the butler! 


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Inter-session (Change of Season)

 We're now in the change between seasons and between sessions, as summer (or winter) ends and as the teaching year comes ever closer. Change is the only constant, it seems.

At the moment we have offers to host from me, Susan and Dame Eleanor - how does a triumvirate sound? Beginning the next session at the start of September, and going for fourteen weeks would take us through to mid-December.

For now, I'll leave this post open if anyone wants to check in to say hello, set some short term goals, or vent.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Summer Session, Week 13: Entering the liminal

 Scrolling back to May, I have learned that this is the last week of our summer session! On one hand, it makes sense since we seem to be moving into that liminal space where summer disappears and we are all-in on fall. I so wish it were a covid-free fall, and am sending out vibes for good health, good circumstances, and no undo stress. 


Session goals follow last week’s goal below. Please report as you wish on the past week as well as any last shifts you want to make during the final week of the session. And, as usual, seeking volunteers for the next round. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Not setting any goals.


heu mihi

1. Finish anniversary book (an annual project, due August 15)

2. Draft another lecture for Fall class

3. Car upkeep

4. Yard upkeep

5. Read/write for 5 hours, minimum

6. Exercise as appropriate


humming42 

1 overdue academic book review

2 other (now) overdue academic book review

3 draft two modules for collectively authored online course

4 two creative submissions


JaneB

My goals for the next week are all domestic, as I am on annual leave and my house is beyond messy. I also intend naps and D&D!


karen

- get up all AT2 materials online and maintain one week buffer.

- clear all postgrad feedback

- SoTL notes on 3 articles/chapters and 1 pomodoro writing response

- walk 10 000 steps at least one day a week, 2 x yoga classes and 3 x online exercise program thingy

- transplant aquilegias etc into flower bed, prune berry/currant bushes

- cast on second sleeve of jumper, mend jeans and dishcloth


Susan

1. Finish syllabi for fall classes

2. Two writing sessions of 2 hours on book

3. Make progress on self-study and survey

4. See friends

5. Resume exercise/healthy eating

6. Get regular sleep (big challenge is that the cats seem to think my wake up time is 4:30 AM. Somehow that's worse than 5.)


Session goals


Daisy

1) For research I have four papers in various stages, I would like to finish and submit at least three of them.


a) The Albatross - it has been far too long, but this one is the furthest from being finished so it is by far the scariest. It is also the most difficult of the lot, so will take serious effort.

b) Problematic local project - was submitted and pulled back last session, did more analysis, and the answer is exactly the same as before but with better documentation. The good part is that the paper is 90% written, so once the new analyses are complete it should be an easy win.

c) Fun new local project with new co-author - this one is a completely new one for me, and the co-author really needs it to be done so it will be a great chance to "do something nice to help an ECR" type submission. This one needs quite a bit of analytical work but will be the foundation of some future things so absolutely worth doing.

d) Cool very old thing - paper is written but has revisions to do and first author switched to a new job and will never have time for this. I am taking over the revise/resubmit job to get it going again.


2) For habits and health I want to:

a) keep exercising without injuries

b) add some consistent creative activities that will keep through the coming sabbatical year


3) Field Work - the best part of the year! If we're allowed... who knows when...


4) Vacation! As in take one and enjoy it!


Dame Eleanor Hull

*paint a couple of rooms, maybe even three;

*unpack a lot of boxes;

*revise Albatross & send out;

*achieve one polished chapter and the introduction for Book in Progress;

*work on other chapters as inspired;

*prep all four syllabuses that I'll need for next year;

*find new doctor;

*garden as needed/desired.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Mantra: Evaluate

Research: Finish a polished draft of Illuminated.

Begin the process of turning Prudence from a dissertation into a book.

Outline the last of the three translators to finish up Translators.

Contact Co-editor.


Health:

Make medical appointments, especially with those doctors with whom contact was lost during 2020.

Walk in the stacks 3 times daily as well as the early morning and evenings during the hot days.

Be more mindful about eating.

Meditate at least three times a day.


The way I interpret my mantra is "do not agree, without extremely careful thought, to do anything that will impact my research time."

By the end of the summer, I want to have a finished draft of Illuminated, and a rough draft of the early translators article. Finally, I have to reconnect with my co-editor, because we need to start pulling things together.


Good Enough Woman

Academic and Academic-Adjacent:

-Draft the Rambling essay

-Draft the Vampire paper


Creative work:

-Plan and begin DIY MFA

-Outline novel

-write 5,000 words of novel

-write at least one short story


Health:

-More veggies (2-3 servings per day)

-Exercise Daily (walking, stretching, dancing, swimming are all options)

-Try to fix feet (plantar fasciitis)

-Go to the dentist


House:

-Do 3-5 maintenance or decluttering tasks per week

-maintain sanity and marriage equilibrium during some home improvements (new flooring, etc.)


People:

-See my mom at least once per week

-soak up time with son before he goes to college

-keep training the dog and try not to let him drive me crazy (he's not a person, but he affects my relationship with people, so . . . )

-write a couple of letters/cards each week


heu mihi

1. Writing: Book review; Death article; plan for next big project; grant proposal; submit manuscript for edited collection. Ideally start on another piece of next big project.

2. Teaching: Prep lectures for two new books in fall course; read difficult stuff for spring graduate seminar.

3. Exercise: Stick with the exercise regime and run more than 3 miles at least 10 times.

4. Self-care: Eat two vegan meals per week; stretch most nights before bed; take periodic Forest Days.

5. Reading: as many books as I can.


humming42

Teaching

Clean up and add content to summer online class before mid-June

Finish edits and get approval for online class

Draft curriculum proposal for new academic minor


Research

Enjoy summer batch of book reviews: 4 for online journals, 2 for academic journals

Draft DQ book proposal

Create PowerPoint for virtual conference presentation


Creative

Write and submit gun violence piece

Submit to EK competition

Write enough of tiny project to send to manuscript editor before end of July

Organize existing drafts of poems and flash nonfiction

Create a submission plan


Domestic

Finish cleaning office

Build and fill bookcases

Clear all recycling from house and garage


Susan

1. I'm on a book prize committee for the major professional organization in my field, and I have about 80 books now sitting in my office which will have to be read over the summer. (And in answer to last week's questions, my guess is that I will in fact read seriously 10-20 books: in the first read, the only question is whether it's a serious contender, and that becomes clear pretty fast)

2. Get class prepared for fall. Still need to do book orders, and then get a syllabus done. (Classes start right after this session ends.)

3. Start working on the next (last big?) chapter of Famous Author, a book I'm envisioning as short but which is turning out to be much harder to write than I'd like. I finished chapter 2, the chapter which would not end, last week. I'm not going to set big goals, but I'd like to feel as if it's underway before the semester starts.

4. Draft part of the self-study for the program review of our graduate program. Why did I say I'd do that (I know - so that it didn't land on an assistant professor with a 2 y.o.) Most of the hard part will be done when school starts up again, but there's a lot that is formulaic and/or straightforward that I want to get done this summer.

5. Odds and ends: I have a book review to finish, and am - in addition to the book prize -- on an article prize committee (but it's only 8 articles, so not onerous)

6. Admin fragments for professional organization of which I am president, but that should be pretty manageable.

7. I have the fancy bike and its exercise programs, and I want to just keep working out so I stay healthy.

8. Read for fun

9. Get good sleep

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Summer Session, Week 12: Losing Track of Time

First thought: Oh right! I was supposed to do something today!

Second thought: Week twelve????

So, um...how is everybody? Clearly I haven't prepared anything for this week. Let's hope it's not a harbinger of semesters to come. Judging from the number of people whose goals have been held over, though, I'm not the only one losing track of a thing or two!

Daisy (held over):

1) Get vacation organized

2) URGENT Finish last bits of photography, now possible thanks to tech fix

3) Keep reading about new area

4) Add content to paper section outlines

5) Fun lunch with friend

Dame Eleanor Hull: taking a week off from goals

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell (held over):

Start converting photocopies of articles to digital copies. 1 hour x 4.

Look for 3 new articles, then trace back through the footnotes for relevant articles.

Check citation indices--not as impressive as in the STEM fields, but often revelatory.

heu mihi:

1. Work through draft intro to edited collection; maybe check in with co-author
2. Read graduate student's chapter
3. Draft one lecture for fall course
4. Re-review an article
5. Exercise as possible and appropriate*; attend a gentle yoga class (virtually)
6. Do some other research/writing-related activity; perhaps try to get organized about what research/writing-related activities I ought to be doing???

humming42:

1 overdue academic book review
2 other (now) overdue academic book review
3 draft two modules for collectively authored online course
4 two creative submissions

Karen:

-build one week buffer of online content for new class
-finish postgrad feedback
-finish one pager, and take notes on two articles
-hit at least one day of 10 000 steps for team walking challenge, 2 x live or streamed yoga class
-force child to sit still enough to check sleeve length for knitting, and finish one sleeve

Susan (held over):

1. Get to at least 2500 words on this chapter (which is no longer chapter 3 but I don't know what it is)

2. Outline next two sections of self-study, and figure out what we need, maybe talk to colleague to figure out focus

3. Watch training session to prepare for grievance hearing when I get home. (It started at 11 PM my time, so I didn't go in person)

3. Go on vacation!!!


Also: Hello JaneB!! So very nice to see you last week. I'm just catching up now, so I figured I'd say it here rather than in the comments.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Summer Session, Week 11: Salves for burnout and reentry

These two things--burnout and reentry--stood out for me from last week’s discussions. The common denominator between them might be something like the “can’t open a document” syndrome. I’ve always been a person who tries to keep fewer than five or six tabs open at once--and I would guess there are some people who would find that excessive. Lately I’m close to 20 tabs open on the notebook because I can’t seem to actually work on anything. So I click from one tab to another, look at them, then click on the next. 


JaneB inspired me moons ago with the idea of sneaking up on your project--don’t plan, don’t decide what to do, just open the document and start working. That works sometimes, but if it worked all the time, I’d only have five tabs open. This week’s prompt asks you for wisdom on any ways to navigate the distance that’s part of both burnout and reentry. What do you do when you can’t get out of your own way? How do you get from here to there?


Consideration of the prompt is, of course, optional. Last week’s goals are posted below so let us know how you did, how you’re doing, where you’re headed.


Daisy

1) Get vacation organized

2) URGENT Finish last bits of photography, now possible thanks to tech fix

3) Keep reading about new area

4) Add content to paper section outlines

5) Fun lunch with friend


Dame Eleanor Hull

Latin, Greek, Domestic/write, T-reading, Other Reading, class planning, all x4.

File papers, tidy study.

Exercise early, eat carefully, go to bed by 11.

Do two things that will Stay Done, not including Campus Trip Things.


Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Start converting photocopies of articles to digital copies. 1 hour x 4.

Look for 3 new articles, then trace back through the footnotes for relevant articles.

Check citation indices--not as impressive as in the STEM fields, but often revelatory.


heu mihi

1. Re-enter research and find something to write 2-3 paragraphs about.

2. Catch up on journal work (as always)

3. One run of more than 3 miles

4. Exercise 5 days--this doesn't have to involve running

5. Start reading another academic book


humming42 

1 overdue academic book review

2 overdue article review

3 creative journal submission

4 page proofs for academic book review

5 submit conference abstract

6 draft two modules for collectively authored online course


karen 

- get seeds for chillis, capsicum and eggplant planted

- go to/stream 2 yoga classes

- finish feedback on both pieces of postgrad writing

- one pager on SOTL research and start a reading list


Susan (if returned from vacation)

1. Get to at least 2500 words on this chapter (which is no longer chapter 3 but I don't know what it is)

2. Outline next two sections of self-study, and figure out what we need, maybe talk to colleague to figure out focus

3. Watch training session to prepare for grievance hearing when I get home. (It started at 11 PM my time, so I didn't go in person)

3. Go on vacation!!!