the grid

the grid

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Week 9: late but present

Thanks for the placeholder, JaneB! I am back from conference travel with a bunch of delays that thankfully were not that burdensome to me. More soon, but for now to sleep!

Allan Wilson: 1) eat chocolate on no more than 3 days. 2) try and finish writing draft of whk paper, even without the new clumped analysis. 3) prep slides for someone else's talks this coming week.
Amstr: Goals for the week: 1) write 4 hours; 2) exercise 3x; optional: read one diss chapter.
Contingent Cassandra: Goals for this week: (1) make further progress on fence if weather and schedule allow; (2) make soup; (3) deal with professional-association stuff (TRQ-ish at this point); (4) begin dealing with financial stuff
Daisy: 1) SEND off paper 1 with nth round of revisions to supervisor. 2) FINISH discussion and methods for paper 2 and start on revised introduction and lit review. 3) Back-up goal, any work on either paper would be a win...
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: 1. A couple 30-minute sessions in preparation for November deadline. 2. Start shredding my newspaper and paper for the composter. 3. Grading. 4. Start collecting Thanksgiving fixings, like the turkey. 5. Take care of self, including food and sleep. 6. Be good professor. 7. Purchase relaxation yoga video.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Finish first draft of article by Friday. 2) Write to my “known” referees to ask if they will write a letter if contacted. 3) Write or call my friends. Call my sister, who is recovering from thyroid cancer surgery. 4) Get more sleep, watch less television, and spend more time in conversation.
Good Enough Woman: No check in.
humming42: finish the paper, have good balance for conference, talk to an appropriate publisher’s rep.
Ivy: 1) survive and try to get some sleep! 2) finish experiment - colleagues have actually been surprisingly helpful here (for one of them helping me is a great form of procrastination!) 3) Two lots of 30 mins on Paper 2 and comments on former technician's paper
JaneB: 1) be kind to myself. Make time to NaNo or crochet, read something fun for half an hour, pet the cat - the world won't end if I do these things and turn up to class less than perfectly prepared. 2) brutal triage on what might get done before Christmas and when it might get done. 3) For this week, survival and TRQ have to take priority though.
KJHaxton: No check in.
Matilda: No check in.
Susan: As for next week, I have two days of interruption, between my bi-weekly trip to campus for a seminar, and there's a job candidate that day, and a day taking my mother and myself to doctor's appointments in nearby city. But I've mapped out where I'm going, and the two plays I have to read, so if I can read those plays, and write what I need to write about them, I'll be pleased. I want to walk four days, and go through the ginormous pile of solicitations from charities and organize my end of year donations.


  1. TRQ has taken over existence! Completely overwhelmed with paperwork for meetings and teaching prep, just cannot make time for anything else at the moment. Sorry if this sounds a bit negative but I've reached a point in the semester where I don't have the energy to structure my days in elegant ways to make time for TLQ and student facing activities naturally seem to be both important and urgent.

    Goal for the week: make a start on Christmas related stuff in the evenings/weekend or no one is getting gifts (or cards) this year :(

    1. Much empathy - I'm at the same point myself. Sigh... every year I think things will somehow be different...

    2. I think many of us are in similar straights. But I am planning to put up a small sign near my desk that says "structure my days / in elegant ways." Thank you for that beauty!

    3. I, too, am in the same boat. Maybe all we can do is plan for things to be this way in late November? And, yes, start thinking about Christmas/end-of-year holidays, because if we don't, we'll settle down to final grading, only to look up and realize that the holidays are upon us and we're completely unprepared. So thinking about them now counts as TLQ, sort of -- right?

  2. Hello,

    I missed last week’s check-in.

    Last goals:
    1) Finish the important article and work something to revise my book plan. - The article will be done soon, and I am doing somethig about the book plan. So it is ok.
    2) Write for at least 15 minutes every day. - 2 days.
    3) Exercise for 5 minutes every day. - 3 days.

    I went to the doctor and got some medicin for my cold. It is worth taking time to visit doctors when you are really ill, I think. Now feeling better, I think I can work on my TLQ things. I hope all you are well!

    Next goals:
    1) Finish the important article.
    2) Work on the book and the book plan.
    3) Write for 15 minutes or more a day.
    4) Exercise for 5 minutes evedyday.

    I like the saying, too - 'structure my days / in elegant ways'

    1. I hope you're feeling better! You're right--sometimes the best thing we can do is to make time to go to the doctor and expedite our return to health. Despite not feeling well, you still had a productive week!

    2. Hope you continue to feel better. Sickness is, indeed, one of those things we can't really plan for (except to realize that it *will* happen, and plans will have to be adjusted when it does), and taking time to focus on recovery makes a lot of sense.

    3. Thank you for your comments, humming42 and Contingent Cassandra! This kind of warm communication is one of the many reasons I like this group!

  3. Well, I began to make progress as planned, but not as much -- the interruptions were real interruptions. So I'm a little behind, but maybe not as much as I think. (I hope.) Right now I'm slow because I'm coming down with a cold (I'm at the heavy eyes and slightly stuffy head stage); the week will be interrupted by traveling a long distance for American Thanksgiving. But I'm squeezing in a library day, otherwise known as "escape the family, go do your own thing". So I'll hope to at least finish writing about the play I'm on today, and get through another -- maybe two.

    As for the rest of life: I walked three days. My injured shoulder is almost back to normal. And I did get through some of the pile of paper. I've planned a lot of stuff.

    Goals for the week ahead: try not to let this cold actually happen. (We can dream, right.) Finish tragedy 1, read 2 and 3. map out the relevant sections of the chapter. Since I'll be traveling, a lot of TLQ stuff is off the table, but I want to keep walking three or four days. Especially given the amount of eating we'll be doing. . .

    But I think the idea of "Structure my days/ in elegant ways" should be the motto for this group.

    1. See header - added!! :-) Love it

    2. Holiday weekends are often a mix of's good clear time to get some work done but also the best time to spend with family and loved ones. Wishing for balance and relief from the oncoming cold!

    3. Sounds like a good balance to me, too. I hope the cold holds off.

      And yes -- nice addition to the header.

  4. I missed the last check in.

    Last goals:
    1) Submit sabbatical proposal by Friday. YES. I did this enthusiastically.
    2) Read at least 50 pages of primary source. CLOSE.
    3) Walk 3x with dog. TWICE.
    4) Order MIL's b-day present. YES.

    Like most, I am in survival mode, and I have been doing very little TLQ. I'm hoping to get a hotel night to crank out some extra work, but it's hard for it not to feel kind of pointless right now since, immediately following such work would be the scramble of finals, the craziness of the holidays, and a long trip away from home. Won't I just forget everything I researched? But I know this is not a healthy approach to TLQ. But I'm not sure I can find a night to do the hotel thing. So much going on.

    This week's goals:
    1) Maintain my equilibrium and patience with four extra people in my house for the holidays, several of whom are very ungracious guests.
    2) Walk the dog at least twice (my standards are slipping).
    3) Make sure all bills are paid.
    4) Finish Christmas shopping for all recipients except for my kids.
    5) Read at least 25 pages of primary source (I doubt this will happen, but I feel remiss not included *something* dissertation-related.
    6) Each day, today thru Sunday, write down something for which I'm grateful.

    Here's today's entry for #6: I am grateful for this group! Even though I have gotten very little dissertation work finished this term, I'd be in even worse shape (with no clear path for recovery) without this group. Thanks to all of you!

    1. Lots of deep breath and humming under your breath, knowing that peace is just around the corner. House guests always unsettle the everyday, but no much as those who are ungracious. I wish you well!

    2. Good luck with the ungracious guests. I guess I have to do the reverse, and take care not to be an ungracious guest (or, more precisely, not to behave ungraciously with/to some of the other guests). At least I'm only doing an 8-hour-or-so stint; it sounds like you've got a longer period to weather. Maybe everybody can take turns walking the dog? At least you can walk the dog if you really need to escape for a while.

    3. Doing something on the diss--even 5 pages of reading that you have to skim later--will feel like progress. I hope your holiday is a good one!

  5. Last week's goals: (1) make further progress on fence if weather and schedule allow; (2) make soup; (3) deal with professional-association stuff (TRQ-ish at this point); (4) begin dealing with financial stuff

    Accomplished: some fencing, a lot of student conferencing (not on the list), and not much else. So it goes. I've been spending very long days holding student conferences, and spending the few days I've had at home pretty thoroughly exhausted, so any progress on anything other than school work has to count as good enough.

    Goals for this week (a short one, since I'm in the U.S., with Thanksgiving to be celebrated: (1) make a bit more fence progress (already accomplished on Monday, but I'm putting it down) and perhaps some other garden progress (on Sunday, weather permitting); (2)make soup (and side dishes for family Thanksgiving feast); (3) maybe a bit of house-straightening/recycling/etc., and definitely some laundry (getting TRQ-ish); (4) deal with professional-association stuff (definitely getting TRQ-ish); (5) make progress on grading backlog (definitely TRQ; it's a TRQ-ish time of year); (6) relax a bit on Friday (and Thursday as possible; relationships among some family members who will be present are complicated); I'm working on the theory that relaxation Friday (which will probably include cooking) will pay off in greater productivity Sat./Sun. Financial stuff deliberately put off until next week.

    1. It is a strange time of year...lots of TRQ and also the obligations of celebratory time. Someone asked me recently if I don't miss going home for Thanksgiving with family, and honestly I enjoy the opportunity for a work-intensive retreat with lots of food.

      You have a good balance of goals...enjoy the remainder of the week!

  6. Last week’s goals: finish the paper, have good balance for conference, talk to an appropriate publisher’s rep.

    My gratitude to this group is tremendous, because having fixed my intentions I was able to have a really fantastic conference experience. I sat for awhile and waited for publisher rep to finish talking with other visitor dude, then figured the rep probably wouldn’t be too enthusiastic after a long conversation. So I left the book fair, and went back the next day. He seems maybe interested in my project, and encouraged me to send a proposal. I also touched base with others who invited submissions. The talk was good, and visiting with friends and family was excellent.

    This week (although well underway): 1) I have serious TRQ grading but will get it done, because it must be. 2) Write abstract and submit tiny project. 3) Write/research 15 minutes a day.

    1. Sorry for the late post--and I'm having trouble posting a Reply to the main post.

      1) write 4 hours--probably close
      2) exercise 3x--YES!
      optional: read one diss chapter--ha!

      The big success of the week was planning for and surviving our early Thanksgiving/Christmas with the in-laws.

      My kids are out of school all week and we’ll be at my parents’ place for the holiday, so I have minimal expectations for myself. Most have to do with planning so I get the most out of the next three weeks that they’re in school.

      Goals for the week: 1) write 2x; 2) walk 3x (to counteract the pumpkin pie); 3) prep for the next three weeks: a) plan for healthy eating and exercise, b) plan for effective work, c) get the house in order.

    2. Apologies for the posting problems...I'm nearly wholly dependent on the wisdom of JaneB for resolving tech matters here, and am glad you were able to post somewhere.

      Writing, exercise, and in-laws is an excellent group of accomplishments. Enjoy your time with family and enjoy the pie too.

    3. ...and I have very little wisdom whe it comes to tech matters here, so very glad you were able to post somewhere! Hope it behaves bettter next week... and that sounds like a pretty accomplished week as well.

  7. Goals for last week:
    1) survive and try to get some sleep! - went to the doctor and loaded myself up on antihistamines and steroid cream… the wonders of modern medicine!
    2) finish experiment - done!
    3) Two lots of 30 mins on Paper 2 and comments on former technician's paper - done!

    and managed to get Christmas shopping done! - we went in with the mantra of "present doesn't have to be perfect - it just has to exist". And got it done - most of the people we're buying for are <6 (nieces and nephews) so not the most discerning folk!

    Goals for next week
    1. last lot of fieldwork for the year and deal with all the samples in the fridge / drying oven
    2. read through paper and send to postdoc advisor
    3. exercise - yoga and/or swimming

    we've decided to head off on a pre-Christmas holiday from the 15th so everything has to be done in the next two weeks!

    1. Many things done...including Christmas shopping! Sounds like a stellar week. Shopping for small people can be a good deal of fun, especially with a good mantra guiding you.

  8. goals:1) be kind to myself. Make time to NaNo or crochet, read something fun for half an hour, pet the cat - the world won't end if I do these things and turn up to class less than perfectly prepared. 2) brutal triage on what might get done before Christmas and when it might get done. 3) For this week, survival and TRQ have to take priority though.
    accomplished: 1) ish (50400 words on the NaNo, another six inches of crochet, and an antisocial cat who has responded to the recent cold spell by deciding the radiator is her best friend, not me). Was not perfectly prepared for classes, the world did not end, although a couple of classes ended a bit early - mostly because the students didn't engage much with activities and clearly also wanted to just go home. 2) ranted about it a bit, pretty much decided sod it I've had it with 2014, get the teaching and administrivia (another report is due with Faculty in December) done and anything else will be a bonus, especially as the week with the parents over Christmas looms (which is fine, but their spare bed isn't very comfy, their house and stuff make me feel enormous and clumsy and in the way (they have a small house and have bought small pieces of furniture to suit, and my mum is tiny anyway - the height and width genes pretty much skipped her generation - you can see in family photos that I'm related to the one above, who are tall, busty, big-hipped women, and my Grandad's siblings were all over 5 foot 11 - but my mum wears extra small everything, and all their stuff is neatly piled all over the place - I come by my reading obsessions honestly!), and there is absolutely no place where I can comfortably sit and write/grade/whatever, I'm just the wrong shape. Plus I don't know anyone down there etc. etc. It is fine but it is not a holiday. But they can't bear the thought of me being on my own at Christmas, would be really offended/feel rejected if I did decide I wanted to etc. etc. And they refuse to go over to my sister's and stay in a hotel, which they'd need to for all our sanity's sake, even if I go and pick them up and drive them there, although I'm going to try and suggest that again next year - they'd love to see their granddaughter, she loves to see them, and Sis and I could share some of the hassle (her household is meat eating, theirs and mine are vegetarian, so I can cook for them more easily etc.). 3) I sort of survived.
    what next: Sleep - I had to cancel my last class and come home for a nap today, I just felt horrible - flu-y and feeble and sick - so that's ANOTHER thing I have to catch up on... and makes me think that perhaps I need to cancel that conference, just so I can have an extra couple of class days and to avoid the Germs. SIGH

    1. I so enjoyed the descriptions your family and the tiny house...definitely signs of a fine fiction writer. You have excellent NaNoWriMo grit too.

      I agree with you about the end of this semester. I took on too many things, and while I have enjoyed them, I have not been happy with my just-in-time approach to everything. I hope you'll be able to find way to enjoy time at the tiny house.

    2. My sister & I completely share your sympathy re parentals unable to bear the thought of Christmas day alone - she didn't want to travel last year (already doing multiple trips to parental city in early Dec/ late Jan / Feb). I'd travelled to parental city for Xmas ($500 of airfare *2). Parental decided sis couldn't be alone for Christmas so went to see her.

  9. Allan Wilson:
    Last weeks goals
    1) eat chocolate on no more than 3 days. NO. I was a chocolate desperado this week.
    2) try and finish writing draft of whk paper, even without the new clumped analysis. YES and my collaborator likes it. So on to the next revision. Getting closer to submission.
    3) prep slides for someone else's talks this coming week. DONE. Ungraciously, but done.

    This weeks goals, eerily similar:
    1) eat chocolate on no more than 3 days.
    2) finish next draft of whk paper, and sort out coding for the next wee bit of analysis that needs to be inserted into it, that he can do
    3) on site interview re funding proposal.
    I can't seem to check in here in a timely way, sorry. Just too much going on, and I too am tired. But, nevertheless, will keep going.

    1. Glad you keep checking in, regardless of when. I've been reading a bit about forming habits lately and it seems that just doing the thing, even if it is not done as well as we perfectionists might prefer, is the most important thing. You checking in also gives us the opportunity to say Yay! to getting your draft completed and your collaborator liking it.

  10. Last Week's Goals

    1. A couple 30-minute sessions in preparation for November deadline. I did do one or two 30-minute sessions, but then discovered through reviewing the websites of the relevant November deadlines that I really didn't need to; I could send what I had because they were already long enough. So I sent out the two things I wanted on Monday. Huzzah!

    2. Start shredding my newspaper and paper for the composter. I had meant this in a much more organized way, which I haven't done. It's too late in the semester for new ambitious plans, for goodness sake! But I did start loading the composter anyway.

    3. Grading. I need to grade every day until, and including, Monday. Sigh. But I know I need to do it and get it done.

    4. Start collecting Thanksgiving fixings, like the turkey. I did this early, though I didn't do a final reckoning until the Wednesday before, alas. But this was partially because we had a terrible brown-out in the freezing cold -- of course, before we get the wood stove in! Still, Thanksgiving was lovely.

    5. Take care of self, including food and sleep. I'm eating terrible food. It's the holidays. Yum.

    6. Be good professor. I had to read one class the riot act last week for just getting so out of hand. I hate that. Things are well in hand at the moment. Except for the grading. Sigh.

    7. Purchase relaxation yoga video. I did this! They (yes, more than one) are coming today, or so says tracking info.

    This week:

    Well, I didn't even check in until Friday. My goal for the weekend is to get my grading done. Also, I probably should limit my daydreaming. I'm at that point where I don't care about my classes at all and just want to sit around and daydream. I really should rein myself in on that and on eating. But if I get my grading done, that's good enough.