the grid

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Sunday, 21 October 2018

September-December: Week Seven

I loved DEH's topic last week, and I wish I could rip out the grading plot right now because it has gone absolutely wild and become extremely invasive, so much so that I didn't end up making time to respond to DEH's topic.

This week, I'm thinking about a few of you who are planning to do NaNoWriMo. I'm wondering how you do it--how you make time and how you keep pressing forward through the shades of uncertainty and into the thickets of imperfect prose. I have thought about doing NaNo, and I'm curious. I also think your insights will be useful even for those not doing NaNoWriMo because it's likely we all have projects that could use some extra attention in November before the holidays hit.

Another possible topic for those who aren't doing (or haven't done) NaNo is how you're adjusting to shorter days. Last week, heu mihi mentioned having to give up early runs because it's getting darker, and I, too, am starting to notice the daily differences. What changes to your rhythms will you have to make as your gardens receive a little less light?

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Bardiac (held over)
1. Practice a LOT for orchestra rehearsal and lesson. (We didn't have an orchestra rehearsal this past week, but the week before, I was BY FAR the weakest player. I'm so much a beginner, in many ways, but good practice should mean that I can learn these parts. 
2. Revisions.
3. Regular exercise, stretching.

Daisy
1) Get the major figures for Northern Paper finished
2) Do point form discussion sections for each figure
3) Complete figures for co-authored study
4) Write my section for cool joint paper

DEH
1. Health: go to bed by 10:30 every night, stretch daily, walk or cardio daily, weights 3x. Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck. Fun reading and self-nurturing acts daily.
2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages.
3. Teaching: grade two more things (undergrad short paper, grad bibliographies). Design and post assignment for undergrads (another one).
4. Life Stuff: lump bills and form together and do it all at once. Plan another trip to see my dad.

EAM
Write for 3 hours as many days as possible.
Straighten and organize on days I can't write.

GEW (held over)
1) Finish stitching leaves onto dress.
2) Finish and submit funding request.
3) Write belated thank you notes to people that hosted us this summer.
4) Read one chapter of SF criticism.
5) Hem my son's curtains. I've been putting this off for over a year.
6) Finish all but one stack of essay by Thursday (eep!).
7) Do more planning for the novel and write at least 300 new words.
8) Hang more pictures in office.
9) Get rid of something from garage pile.
10) Dare I plan to clean out the linen closet? Probably not.

heumihi
1. Write x 5, language x 5, sit x 5, exercise x 3
2. Article review
3. Submit Wonder
4. Official abstract for Impatience
5. Finish reading diss for Impatience; figure out next steps

humming42
1 Complete revise and resubmit
2 Prepare and present Craft
3 Prepare and present Castle

JaneB
1) do second piece of late refereeing
2) do straightforward research thing for FocusedWomand
3) clear off my desk at work.
4) type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.
5) no refined sugar, make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing break every 45-60 minutes of desk time.
6) coffee shop with pen, notebook and fancy coffee!

oceangirl101
1. Read and comment on grad student diss chapter
2. Email/talk with two prospective graduate students
3. Skype into workshop meeting that I had to miss traveling to
4. Liase with Mom's hospice team
5. Get things done around house- move Mom TV into bedroom, new call system etc. 
6. Exercise x 4
7. POA stuff at bank, go through security box

Plant Girl (held over)
1. Finalize my conference paper, get to conference, enjoy/do well at conference. Try not to be shy/awkward at conference.
2. Try to squeeze in FL work in spite of conference travel
3. Keep on top of applications 
4. Try to at least think about chapter edits? I got some encouraging initial feedback from the peer review on my proposal so I really should be motivated/excited about it.

Waffles
1. Reimbursement paperwork for LV
2. Finish that darned review!
3. PTSD paper - revise and send onto collaborators
4. Revise asthma paper (review)
5. Finish analyses and figure out journal for quant asthma paper
6. Take stock of journal review project and push to get it done
7. Get audio recordings to transcriptionist and figure out what is wrong with backup recorder


30 comments:

  1. This semester is way more hectic and stressful than any other semester during my postdoc. I’m not getting much writing time - and I don’t know how I will move forward on my first authored pubs without it - but I *need* to get more first-authored stuff under review before I apply for my K. I think I need to include the qual interviews I am doing for my study and work on my NIH K in my weekly goals because they are both taking a lot of time and I’m not giving myself credit for working on them.

    Last week:

    1. Reimbursement paperwork for LV - DONE!!!
    2. Finish that darned review! - DONE!!!
    3. PTSD paper - revise and send onto collaborators - Yeah, no.
    4. Revise asthma paper (review) - DONE!!!
    5. Finish analyses and figure out journal for quant asthma paper - Nope
    6. Take stock of journal review project and push to get it done - Nope
    7. Get audio recordings to transcriptionist and figure out what is wrong with backup recorder - Figured out what was wrong with my recorder, have’t gotten anything to a transcriptionist yet.


    This week
    1. Dyad and election portion of manuscript
    2. Stupid PTSD paper
    3. Stupid asthma paper
    4. Finish research strategy of NIH K
    5. Do 4th interview
    6. Winnow down results of intersectionality paper and see if a clearer story emerges


    I hope you all have a good week!

    Waffles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there's something in the air, or the water, or just "going around." It seems like many of us are having stressful semesters, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for reasons that aren't really clear. But you've got three Done things and are on your way to resolving a problem, so good work!

      Delete
    2. Lately I've been thinking about including additional "done" items when I check in. It's worth being aware of things that are taking time but that we're not giving ourselves credit for. It's great to check things off a list (which is why we sometimes write them down after we've done them just for the feeling of crossing them off!), but it's also important for time and productivity tracking.

      It's always hardest to focus on the work that most benefits ourselves, isn't it? It's so easy to put other people first. It seems really important for you to make sure your 1st author projects get top billing in TLQ.

      Good luck with the stupid papers! ;)

      Delete
  2. My cold is fading but last week was survival mode and I'm concerned my voice won't cope with this week. Well, we'll see...

    Prompts - NaNoWriMo - I tend to give up some messing around time and some housework time. Not much of the latter to give up at the moment... but there is a good chunk of the former. So I step right back on checking social media etc. I also step back on evening and weekend work email and writing, a little, which is partly why NaNo is so good for me! It actually enforces some balance. One reason I envy people with partners and kids - yes, I know their needs are a nuisance and a bind, but they do also create a balancing tug to the tug of work - it's probably sad that I find doing things FOR ME so hard, even self-care things, but I think that it makes sense that there are both cultural and biological pushes to do stuff for others which are stronger at times than the urge to be lazy rather than tend to stuff oneself. Some of it is without doubt the depression which has been quite bad lately and the anxiety which creates a spinning cycle of complication and complexification which can turn starting a small innocent ten minute chore into a daunting multi-hour wall of impossibility (says she, who recently took two days to clean the cat tray). I do not like this side of myself but getting mad and blaming myself or calling it mean names like lazy or pathetic do not help make things any different, so I try not to. It's like weather, it comes regardless and it will pass, regardless.

    last week's goals
    1) do second piece of late refereeing DONE. And very depressing it was too, because the authors had so completely misunderstood a piece of theory I work with all the time. They barely cited me, which helped me stop assuming it was partly my fault for writing bad papers, but it's kind of frustrating when that's actually a positive. But it's done.
    2) do straightforward research thing for FocusedWoman haha no
    3) clear off my desk at work.no
    4) type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.no. Must determine if new cat Fluffball is a knitting compatible kitty...
    5) no refined sugar, make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing break every 45-60 minutes of desk time. not too much sugar, mostly drank fluids, bad about the breaks (because as usual most of the time I had the cold if I sat still and worked I felt OK, as soon as I moved the coughing and aches and all the rest came back loudly. Plus I wasn't actually in the office all that much...
    6) coffee shop with pen, notebook and fancy coffee! no. Moving this to the top for the coming weekend!

    the coming week
    is quite busy, as I skip my day off in order to be there to be part of a handover for part of FlatProject from Enthusiastic (an MSc researcher from a nearby country who's been with me for nearly 6 months & goes home in a couple of weeks) to FlatPostDoc, who is based a long way away from NorthernUni. And there is more teaching than last week. Hope my voice holds out...

    this week's goals
    1) coffee shop with pen, notebook and fancy coffee!
    2) do an hour on straightforward research thing for FocusedWoman
    3) type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.
    4) no refined sugar, make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing break every 45-60 minutes of desk time.

    And that will be that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is there any chance that you can do #1 on Monday or Tuesday? It might feel really good to do the fun thing first!

      Delete
    2. Your theme echoes Waffles's: the difficulty of prioritizing oneself, whether its regarding self-care or one's own projects. The pressure to attend to others really is so much stronger--whether those others are colleagues, students, or family members.

      And I think you're right about partners and children creating some balance. Yes, they certainly put pressure on TLQ or attention to self (they tug hard toward their own needs), but they definitely mitigate and soften concerns related to work. But I'm not sure they'll make room for me to do NaNo. I think it would take me quite a bit of time to write 1666 words a day. I doubt I'd be very fast . . .

      I hope Fluffball is knitting compatible.
      I hope you have gone to the coffee shop or plan to go tomorrow.
      I hope your cold has gotten better rather than worse.

      Delete
  3. I'm feeling very ambivalent about NaNo this year. Last year was my first time doing it (though not my first time binge-writing a novel), and I loved it, but creative writing for me also brings a strong feeling of dread.... It's both the "What a lot of dreck I will write" dread and, oddly, the dread of the total immersion that comes with fiction-writing. It's so engrossing that it's a little scary. And it did take up a scary amount of my time last November.

    On the other hand, I have a novel that I really want to write before someone else does, and when else am I going to do it?

    Last week:
    1. Write x 5 - Yes, language x 5 - Yes, sit x 5 - x4, exercise x 3 - Yes
    2. Article review - Yes
    3. Submit Wonder -Yes
    4. Official abstract for Impatience - No
    5. Finish reading diss for Impatience; figure out next steps - No

    This week is going to be hellacious with the busy-ness, so I'm going to focus on keeping the foundational things going. Also, my knees are still squirrelly, and now my back is feeling really tight, so I'm going to prioritize stretching over exercising. (Also, I found out last week that I need gum grafts. And my eyes have been getting tired easily. What the hell, man? It's like all of middle age hit in the last 10 days.)

    So, this week:

    1. Write x 5, sit x 5, language x 5
    [by the way, "write" includes "read for research," which is pretty much what I'm doing with Impatience these days and is often less daunting than actual writing]
    2. Stretch x 6, exercise at will
    3. Read something for pleasure
    4. Just stay on top of all the stuff, and don't overuse alcohol as a reward for long days

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it terribly wrong that I read this last night, said "Oh, yeah, alcohol," and poured myself a glass of sherry? The eyes, don't get me started. I just got new glasses, and hoped that the combination of new Rx and new slightly larger lenses (so more room for progressive Rx changes) would help. I cannot get them adjusted comfortably and I have no idea whether they are "better" because they're never in the right spot on my face. I am feeling old and cranky, so, yeah, right there with you.

      Delete
    2. If I remember correctly, you finished NaNo is just 2-3 weeks last time, didn't you? You really *did* get immersed, and you must have also been quite fast. If you decide to get that novel out of your head and onto "paper," I will certainly cheer you on!

      And thank you for noting that "write" includes "read for research." That's reassuring and helpful. When I think of "writing" the novel I want to write (or even working towards future academic articles), it might help me move forward if I count research as part of "writing" time. I might be more likely to move forward.

      Also, aging does seem to happen in sudden fits, I find.

      Delete
    3. Oh, not that fast, and I also cheated and started a few days early. I've started drafting this year's and am at nearly 3000 words--some of them quite terrible words, but oh well--the good thing about this particular project is that I don't have to make up the story, as it's an adaptation of a 13th-c. romance! (I bet DEH can guess which one.)

      Delete
  4. I loved the prompt last week, I would like to rip out the students/colleagues/bosses/general people who do not do what they are paid to do, supposed to do, or promised to do. They clutter up the garden and choke the productive plants so I think they would make better compost than border plants...
    My trip was good but exhausting. I got miserably sick while away and when I got home went straight from the airport to the emergency room. Was greeted with the ominous-sounding “good that you came in when you did" when I checked in. Antibiotics are wonderful, knocked me right out for several days and I'm just getting back to being up for more than a few hours... So most goals were a sad failure.
    Last goals:
    1) Get the major figures for Northern Paper finished NOPE
    2) Do point form discussion sections for each figure NOPE
    3) Complete figures for co-authored study YES!
    4) Write my section for cool joint paper NOPE
    This week's goals:
    Keeping the same ones since they are really important, and adding a relaxation activity because...
    1) Get the major figures for Northern Paper finished
    2) Do point form discussion sections for each figure
    3) Write my section for cool joint paper
    4) Do one relaxing thing like yoga or a run or a walk, anything counts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, what a week. I'm glad the antibiotics are doing their job. Look, you finished the figures, so you got something done even in a bad week! Just keep moving forward.

      Delete
    2. So glad you are okay! Hope you continue getting more healthy this week and that you enjoy one (or more!) relaxing things.

      Delete
    3. That sounds really tough! Flying is horrible even when you feel well, and flying when getting sick enough to need an emergency room sounds awful. Hope you are fully recovered...

      Delete
  5. My adjustment to shorter days seems to be wanting to sleep longer. Last night was the first night in a week that I have not slept 10 hours or more.

    I am beginning to feel a bit anchorless- I let my own personal work drift last week as well as exercise, so my hope is to get back to doing both this week. I also need to make decisions about next semester and if I should take one more semester of family leave. It seems like way too far to in advance to have to make the decision but I understand why my department chair needs to know now. My hope is to take one more semester of leave, but I need to discuss this with my Mom and with some of my colleagues.

    Last Week:
    1. Read and comment on grad student diss chapter DONE
    2. Email/talk with two prospective graduate students DONE
    3. Skype into workshop meeting that I had to miss traveling to DONE
    4. Liase with Mom's hospice team DONE
    5. Get things done around house- move Mom TV into bedroom, new call system etc. DONE
    6. Exercise x 4 NO 2x
    7. POA stuff at bank etc. DONE


    THIS WEEK

    1. Make decision about Spring semester leave
    2. Email/phone meetings with potential graduate students
    3. Read books x 2 and take notes
    4. Exercise x 4
    5. Help Mom with some estate planning loose ends
    6. Think about work that needs to be done for collaborative paper
    7. Liase with Mom's doctor and hospice team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same way about shorter days; I start wanting to go to bed around 7:00. I usually don't manage it, but I want to. I've been like this since I left the west coast for the grey belt.

      You met your goals and exercised twice in a busy week. That's very good. I hope you're able to increase the exercise this week, as it helps with balance and stress relief. I also hope you can arrange for time off in the spring. Best wishes.

      Delete
    2. Ditto DEH on the exercise. Based on your past check-ins, the exercise seems so valuable for you. But I totally understand just feeling tired.

      And I see you got the TV into your mom's room! I'm guessing she'll really enjoy that. :)

      Delete
  6. Topic: in the past, I have sometimes set myself challenges to run either a certain number of days, or as long as I can keep chaining days together. (A couple of related posts: https://dameeleanorhull.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/forty-days/
    https://dameeleanorhull.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/20-day-challenge/ ) I'm considering setting up something like that for the rest of calendar 2018.

    How I did:
    1. Health: go to bed by 10:30 every night, stretch daily, walk or cardio daily, weights 3x. Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck. Fun reading and self-nurturing acts daily. SLEEP and STRETCH: about half. Doing better with bedtime and sleep. WALK yes; gym only twice, both at the weekend. WEIGHTS twice, both at the weekend. DOC no. FUN yes.
    2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages.
    3. Teaching: grade two more things (undergrad short paper, grad bibliographies). Design and post assignment for undergrads (another one). GRADING yes and yes. ASSIGNMENT no.
    4. Life Stuff: lump bills and form together and do it all at once. Plan another trip to see my dad. BILLS YES.

    I have to go to a meeting so will come back later for this week's goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I could almost just hold over the last goals, except that since I realized my "goals" are really just a task list, I wanted to make some larger-scale resolutions:
      Act for my own health and well-being; work efficiently; be responsible and helpful; enjoy leisure time.

      Toward those goals, do the following:
      1. Health: go to bed by 10:30 every night, stretch daily, walk or cardio daily, weights 3x. Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck. Fun reading and self-nurturing acts daily.
      2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages.
      3. Teaching: grade the next iterations of undergrad short paper, grad bibliographies. Design and post two new assignments for undergrads.
      4. Life Stuff: file form, make deposit. Plan another trip to see my dad. Plan trip with Sir John in January. 2-3 household tasks. Haircut.
      5. Several boring work admin things (not my idea of important, but required).

      And now I must depart to catch a train. I can only do this twice a week, but it is way better than always driving. Only now I notice how very stressful I find the drive. I have been trying to hide this awareness from myself, though my husband says he has observed it for some time.

      Delete
    2. Great news on being able to take the train 2x a week, seems like such a less stressful way to commute! Now you have carved out a bit more time for yourself each week where you can do other things (ie. during the commute).

      Delete
    3. Yes, great news about the train! Perhaps that opens more time for fun reading? I certainly hope so.

      Delete
  7. I tried to do a AcWriMo a couple of times (academic instead of novel) and I just felt frustrated and defeated by setting goals that I didn’t make adequate time for in my daily routine. This year I am trying to learn my through making sure that I connect the things I plan to do with the things that show up on my calendar. This seems fundamental obvious, but it somehow hasn’t been happening here.

    I’m happy to have the big things done, and to have presented at conference, which I have not done in a long time. There may be more conferences coming up next year.

    Last week:
    1 Complete revise and resubmit: yes
    2 Prepare and present Craft: yes
    3 Prepare and present Castle: yes

    This week:
    1 Finish and submit current book review
    2 Four hours on Tiny Project
    3 Draft curriculum proposal and send to committee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a productive week last week was! I hope the conference went well and that you enjoyed the experience and found it motivating.

      Regarding you AcWriMo attempts, your experiences speak to why I'm hesitant to try NaNo. If I'm honest with myself, I'd probably be just setting myself up for failure. I have thought about a smaller goal like, say, 10,000 words.

      I hope re-entry from the conference has been smooth!

      Delete
  8. I'v been terrible about checking in, so even though it's Friday, I still want to do it in order to put these held-over goals behind me.

    1) Finish stitching leaves onto dress. YES, and the dress looked beautiful, and she felt beautiful.
    2) Finish and submit funding request. YES! We can only get a max of $500, and attending the conference will cost nearly three times that much, but it's still good news.
    3) Write belated thank you notes to people that hosted us this summer. NO.
    4) Read one chapter of SF criticism. NO, but I read half of a chapter.
    5) Hem my son's curtains. I've been putting this off for over a year.NO. *hangs head in shame.*
    6) Finish all but one stack of essay by Thursday (eep!). YES, and I have done so much grading over the past few weeks that I just can't even.
    7) Do more planning for the novel and write at least 300 new words. NO, but I started typing some of what I've written by long hand.
    8) Hang more pictures in office. YES, one.
    9) Get rid of something from garage pile. YES, one thing.
    10) Dare I plan to clean out the linen closet? Probably not. OF COURSE NOT

    This week (what's left of it):

    1. Celebrate my 50th birthday, which is tomorrow. I'm having a party (which is unusual for me and a last-minute choice).
    2. Move like water through daughter's Halloween party, which is tonight.
    3. Grade a little bit on Sunday despite all inclinations not to.
    4. Read for fun a lot.
    5. Fiddle with the novel project just a bit.
    6. Don't feel guilty about ignoring some work things.
    7. Revisit goals to plan for rest of this TLQ session.

    ReplyDelete