the grid

the grid

Friday 1 December 2017

Week 13: Do What You Can

Okay, so I’m tapping this out on my phone in a relatively bare room. Seated on a tatami mat and with a bed laid out on the floor next to me with a small sleeping girl in it, I’m reminded that sometimes, simple is enough. use what you have, do what you can.

I’m not able to cut and paste across from last week on this set up, so would you all mind looking back to last week to see what you posted? And if you’d like to reflect, how can you do what you can (even if not perfect) to make progress on your session goals as we head towards the end of this session and year?


  1. What an appropriate topic! I'm going to do a pre-weekend check-in, hoping that I can make further progress in the next couple of days. If life permits, I'll come back Sunday or Monday to report, so please look for updated goals below before falling back on these.

    The family drama continues. Lots of time on the phone this week. I really hope things are going to calm down and that I won't have to go out there again before 2018 even hits. It's not only my dad; there's some other stuff going on that makes me the only one of his kids who can think clearly right now. I'm still channeling T'Pol as much as possible, and when I'm sure I can afford the time, then we'll see about feelings.

    How I did (as of Friday):
    1) Self: daily exercise and stretching, enough sleep, work on at least 2 languages, do the necessary cooking so I can eat safely. I'm doing okay on exercise/stretching, languages, and cooking. Sleep could use some work.
    2) Research: 10 hours, 3 each on 3 projects, one extra on what most needs it. So far, 1.5 hours total, not counting language work.
    3) Teaching: grade grad drafts and undergrad lp2. Have not even started. Definitely need to comment on grad drafts this weekend.
    4) House/Life: deposit, bills, phone call, parental stuff. No, no, yes, lots.
    5) Remember my session goals: Live with uncertainty and work the process. Had I picked a goal like "Get everything settled," would it now be settled? Did I invite all this extra uncertainty to descend on me? Or was I prescient?

    Weekend goals:
    1) Self: keep up the good work on exercise, stretching, food, and language prep.
    2) Teaching: comment the grad drafts, start on final exam.
    3) Research: try for 2.5 hours a day, in 1/2 hour chunks if necessary. An editor is breathing down my neck, with reason.
    4) Life: Do something fun with my husband.

    Next week's goals (provisional):
    1) Self: the usual.
    2) Teaching: finish final exam, grade undergrad lp2.
    3) Research: submit one revision (this may be a stretch).
    4) Life stuff: deposit, bills, phone call, parental stuff as necessary.
    5) Keep living with uncertainty and working the process.

    1. A pre-weekend checkin seems like a good idea. Hope your weekend goals are going well.

    2. Another anxiety-ridden weekend with many phone calls. My father is in the hospital with pneumonia.
      Weekend goals:
      1) Self: keep up the good work on exercise, stretching, food, and language prep. Good on food, minimal on exercise/stretching, no languages.
      2) Teaching: comment the grad drafts, start on final exam. Drafts commented and returned. I may cancel the final exam, depending on news today.
      3) Research: try for 2.5 hours a day, in 1/2 hour chunks if necessary. An editor is breathing down my neck, with reason. No. Have explained circumstances to editor.
      4) Life: Do something fun with my husband. We tried; it was just TV after dinner, and every time, I had to take phone calls about my father.

      Everything this week depends on whether (or maybe I should say how soon) I have to jump on a plane.

      Minimal goals:
      1) Self: stay healthy via exercise, stretching, safe food.
      2) Grade undergrad lp2.
      3) Life stuff: deal with the bills and parental issues.
      4) Resolutions: Live with uncertainty, work the process, show up, be kind.

    3. Oh, no, I'm sorry about everything. I hope that there's good news and that you're able to focus on things other than family, soon.

    4. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about the pneumonia.

    5. Thank you! He seems to be recovering, though he sounded pretty weak when I spoke to him today. He'll be released to a nursing home sometime this week. I guess that's good, though I don't imagine he'll adapt well to that life. But at least it looks like I'm not rushing out there this week.

    6. So sorry about pneumonia. And all the worry. I sometimes have a lot to worry about with my mother, but at least she's here! Good luck and good wishes.

  2. Hello everyone, I'm still alive here.

    My Mum is bored now, which is an excellent sign I think - she has been for a walk on the flagstone bit of their garden path, and is getting around the house on one crutch... and keeping up with the ironing (odd priorities my mother has at times). She gets a wound check next week and can start full physiotherapy the week after if all is going well.

    I'm tired, and grumpy, and I didn't complete NaNoWriMo (37,000 words written). But I keep going... and I don't have laryngitis yet! (I am getting laryngeal spasms every time I lecture, though... and some near-panic-attack anxiety symptoms at random... so my body/brain are still Not Happy with things).

    Goals for next week:
    1) write and print two posters for a conference
    2) remember to fetch my tickets for said conference (which have to be purchased from the approved supplier by the faculty office, who refuse to use the internal mail to deliver them to other buildings on campus, and for no doubt VERY LOGICAL reasons the faculty office is on the far side of campus from the buildings of the constituent departments/schools/centres/institutes of said Faculty, so I keep not getting around to going over there to get my tickets (I also have to coordinate with THEIR closing hours...). I don't get why they don't use the post!
    3) I should look at ProblemChildPaper2, but I don't want to
    4) I need to send some emails related to SocietyThing and GallimaufreyPaper
    5) grading, present wrapping, card writing, self care, the usual.

    1. I suppose ironing is a good's nice to feel useful when convalescing I think.

      Why are things like fetching tickets such a chore? It should be easy...

    2. Why don't they do e-tickets? In this day and age... Sigh. Sorry about everything.

  3. I'm at the stage where anything done is a good thing and I'm not feeling overly critical about what's not done. In some ways this would be a nice state to exist generally in.

    Last week
    1. run outreach event - done, went well
    2. prepare for interview for new part of role - as much as I can do
    3. ethics forms - some progress
    4. marking - some limited progress
    5. Start Christmas planning. - shopping is done I think

    This week
    1. marking
    2. prepare lectures for the next couple of weeks
    3. work more on ethics forms
    4. carry on with Christmas stuff

    1. This time of year always brings priorities into sharper focus, I find.

  4. Sounds like a good theme to me, especially since that's about all I've been doing for the last few weeks. The good news is that the pedagogy project grant applications are done (completed on the 12/1 due date, but done), and there has been a great deal of student conferencing and grading (with more to come, including some catch-up with follow-up to student conferences that ran over, or presented particular problems. Plagiarism due to ignorance of the rules or laziness, not, as far as I can tell, intent to deceive, has been much more common than usual this semester).

    But I haven't done much else. So the modest (non-grading) goals for this week are:

    --Move a little, somehow, sometime
    --Finish book order & course description

    1. Congrats on completing the grant application! I hope the work with students has good moments of reward!

  5. I feel like this has been a really unproductive semester, and I need to get over that, for lots of reasons. 1) I submitted a book manuscript. 2) I submitted my tenure file. 3) I wrote 7/8ths of a novel--this is just for fun, though, so I have this thing where it doesn't feel like "productivity," and maybe it shouldn't? Anyway, I do think that I might be getting started to be ready to resume research-work in the coming weeks. After the semester is over.

    I also think that one of my goals for next term needs to be to work on sleep. I just don't do it. I try--I go to bed at reasonable hours--but I have a terrible time falling asleep, often, and then there are the noises from the cat, from the child, from the occasional attic rodent, all of which wake me up--and then I can't fall back asleep. And I may need a new pillow. Also, in an ideal world, a larger bed, but that would be a very tough sell with my husband and I'm kind of reluctant, too, so....

    Last week:
    1. Hit 70k of novel (aiming for 80k, and The End, by the end of classes)
    DONE, by the skin of my teeth
    2. Get on top of everything:
    --a) gen ed proposal before workshop tomorrow DONE
    --b) clear out "important" emails that I've been ignoring ?? HOW DO I KNOW if this is done?
    --c) recommendation for a colleague that's due on Friday DONE
    --d) CC proposals that must be read by Friday DONE
    --e) articulate LOs for departmental course MEETING SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW
    3. Grade the papers that come in today NOPE, but this really isn't urgent--I need to grade the last 15 by this Friday
    4. Various church-related service-lite stuff: basically make/buy a bunch of things to donate to different things. DONE

    This week:
    1. Finish the novel??? (Or get close. I can have until the 15th if I need it.)
    2. Grade everything pre-finals.
    3. Order books for second class (due a month ago, but there were scheduling snafus and I wasn't sure whether it would run).
    4. Get organized for next week's UC meeting
    5. Schedule a room for February lecture

    My "goals" have largely devolved into the administrative minutiae, I know, but I think that I need them here to motivate myself to do them at all....

    1. Good quality pillows and mattress make a big difference to sleep, for me. Your news about the writer coming to your class was nice to hear! Good luck with all the stuff you have to do. And to reiterate what you know: you have done a LOT this semester and you are allowed to relax a little after turning in book MS and tenure file!

    2. Everyone I know finds that finishing a book leaves you with a big let down. It's very hard to start up again. (Also, you get readers reports, and things to do, and you're not really done.) It's a good time to think about some short pieces or articles, and not put too much pressure on yourself.

  6. I'd love to have a big push this week, as it's the last uncluttered week before the winter holidays. But the topic is a good reminder that I need to do what I can, not perfectly, and move on.

    Goals met/not:
    -revise 1 PB--NO, but did some planning
    -draft 1 PB--YES! And it has promise.
    -re-read MF and draw a map (bonus: any character sketches, putting scenes in order, developing timeline, etc.)--RE-READ, and it was not as bad as I'd feared. It turns out I can string a sentence together!
    -write 1 blog post--Nope
    -menus/grocery shop--Yes--but a little cheating; I ordered semi-prepared meals and the necessities
    -mediate for 5 min each day--all but 1.

    The meditation has been really helpful in getting me out of frantic mode.

    Goals for the week:
    -revise 2 PBs
    -MF work (scenes in order, character sketches and cheatsheet, map, timeline, list of what's next)
    -write 1 blog post
    -menus/grocery shop
    -mediate for 5 min each day

    1. I wonder whether my meditation problem has been that I set the standard at 20 minutes, which is daunting when I'm tired (or would rather do something else). I should try this 5-minute business....

    2. I'm also using an app--Headspace--that has meditations of different lengths. Sometimes 1 minute is all I've got!

      (I also trick myself into exercise by saying I only have to do 5 minutes, and then if I'm not feeling it I can quit. I think I've only stopped after 5 minutes one time.)

      Some is better than none!

  7. I just looked at my goals for last week and met only one, which had a deadline of today and thus became TRQ. It’s that time of the year when the teaching-service-research triad is seriously imbalanced. I just need to submit to the grind of grading and get it done. And yet. I know I won’t just sit and grade until I am done. So rather than filling my downtime with solitaire and Twitter, I can set some reasonable goals for this week:

    1 Read articles and organize information for meeting next week with other co-author
    2 Really, send that query letter about February article
    3 Write task list for Tiny project (which is, of course, huge)
    4 Sort out plans for Snow blogging

    Wishing you all the best survival tactics, remedies, and cozy blankets for the week ahead.

  8. Well, I didn't even post last week, which says it all. I got #thecoldthatwillnotdie over Thanksgiving weekend, and I thought it was leaving, and then it came back this past weekend. It has slowed me down a LOT. I've done what needed doing, and not much else.

    Anyway, goals from two weeks ago:
    Deck clearing (tomorrow)
    1. Deal with at least some of the paper YES
    2. Finish the book review, email journal for guidelines I've lost YES AND DONE DONE DONE
    3. Try to complete R & R, except maybe the footnote fixing. DONE
    4. Exercise - especially over the weekend (walk tomorrow, walk/go to gym when down south NO (see above for coldthatwillnotdie)
    5. Try to start another book NO
    6. Send off one set of letters; write another DONE

    Actually, that doesn't look as bad as it feels, except it's two weeks. Sigh. I made it through last week, and this is the last week of class. I think I just have to keep it simple.

    Goals for this week:
    1. Write abstract for collection of essays
    2. R & R footnotes: 1 hour
    3. Read job applications (this is TRQ, but I need to list it)
    4. Pay some bills
    5. Get back into exercise at least 4 days
    6. Do some decluttering (it's bothering me, so it's time.)

    1. Congrats on finishing the book review! Woohoo!