the grid

the grid

Sunday 31 March 2019

Spring Intersession - 1

Hi all,

Thank you to humming42 for running a great session to start off the calendar year!

We didn't quite finalise plans for this intersessional, so - how about we run from now until 19th May, which is eight Sundays in total, giving us seven weeks to actually do stuff?  Then our summer crew can take over - heu mihi volunteered to be part of that.  For those of us teaching in the northern hemisphere, this is the messy bit of the year, when spring is springing, deadlines are lurking, students are panicking, and we're all ready to be done.  The heady days of new stationary feel a lifetime away, and the mythical promise of the academic summer is somewhere up ahead on the other side of the grading and paperwork - goals of self-care and not completely neglecting research work are entirely appropriate!  

This week to start us off, please set some goals for the session as well as for next week, and include whatever contextual material you think is useful (e.g. when your teaching journey ends, or when the next change in routine comes along for those not actually dealing with students directly at the moment) - as usual, newcomers or returners welcome to join in, and hopefully we will all have made a little progress (or at least stayed in the same place rather than backsliding too much) by the middle of May.


  1. Hello!

    I'm trying to sort out my term goals, and they seem very modest at the moment. I think I'll keep it that way; the end of the semester is crazy enough, and this has been a long, exhausting year. Having the book behind me (for now) is a chance for a much-needed respite.

    Term goals:
    1. Daily things x5: Language, exercise, write, sit.
    2. Full draft of Amy
    3. Reread Malory (400 pages to go!)
    4. Knit a lot

    This week:
    1. Get back into morning running--x3.
    2. Daily things x5: Language, write, sit. Make progress on Amy.
    3. Obnoxious service thing that just landed in my lap.
    4. Finish current stage of blue sweater (up to pocket length).

    That's it, I think. Surely I'm forgetting a ton. Well, I could put teaching stuff on there, but I won't!

    Anyone who would like to co-host the summer session, let me know!

    1. Ugh for oboxious service things. Obnoxious service things are not at all fun, especially at the end of the year...

  2. Hello! My term goals are also modest... end of semester is nuts every year, and this year I am co-teaching a large module with Incoming who has basically vanished again (ceased to respond to any emails etc.) which is making me think it's very unlikely he'll do his share of the grading etc. (which is technically after he leaves, only he SAYS he'll do it, but...).

    1) Self-care: water, fruit & veg, sitting, doing something in the evening, sleep, movement
    2) Research: make project list, green data thing, get problem child 1 sent off (please!), problem child 2 full draft, write seminar and public talk
    3) Craft: finish current square, start another, add some more china blue to the never-ending project
    4) domestic chaos reduction: maintain current status throughout marking season! (that will be quite enough of an achievement...).

    This week:
    1) as ever, focusing on water, fruit & veg and sleep
    2) green thing, rough of list
    3) another 20 rows on first square?
    4) actually do the basic weekend chores on Saturday morning rather than half-assing them Sunday night... (I have grading. They can serve as procrastination from the grading, right?)

  3. I have rather modest term goals -- following a trend here, I see! I don’t expect a lot of changes by the end of May. I have a couple of graduations to attend -- the Philosopher is graduating (an added graduate degree) in one and the Political Philosopher is graduating from undergraduate in another mid-May. The only other thing on the horizon is hernia repair surgery, which may cap this session, or start the next.

    Term goals:
    Organizing Goals:
    Finish the term with a clear organization to the scholarly apparatus for Prudence.
    Slash and burn through one lateral file drawer by end of term.

    Writing Goals:
    Edit three pages a day of the dissertation.

    Health Goals:
    Continue to move.
    Continue to eat better than I did a year ago.

    Creativity goals:
    Write at least fifteen minutes a day on a creative project--novella, novel, something.
    Knit for at least a half-hour daily.

    Goals for the coming week:
    Turn in paperwork for tax rebate.
    Make phone calls for doctors’ appointments.
    Spend a half-hour on the faculty review document.
    Draft reference letter.
    Evaluate two-three inches of files.

    Have a great week, and float like mist, everyone!

    1. I hope the graduations take place in pleasant climates and are a lot of fun and celebration without too much standing around waiting for things...

  4. As Dame Eleanor wrote recently: new season, new energy! Also, new strategy. The intersession is strategically great for me. After the current R&R and conference I’ve organized at the end of this week, I have light commitments through the end of the semester, as do others. Final grades are due to the Registrar on 22 May, so the Intersession wraps along with the Spring semester for me.

    I started to make a list of all the things I want to get back to or start work on, then I realized that Perform, which I’ve been poking at every now and again for quite awhile, is the first paper I need to complete heading into the remaining months of the year. What if I focus on one project at a time, and finish a thing? I made that commitment to myself, then this morning I got an email from Camp Nanowrimo to commit to an April challenge. So it’s Camp for Perform, which is also about camp, at least 100 words a day for the next 30 days.

    Session goals:
    1 Write and submit four book reviews
    2 Finish Perform paper
    3 Write abstract for Generations
    I also am waiting for word on two abstracts, one for a journal article and the other for a book chapter.

    This week:
    1 Finish revise & resubmit
    2 Finish reading review book and post review
    3 Write 100 words/day for Perform

    Keep running with the stars.

    1. Glad to hear that we got the timing about right! My grades are due on some undefined date towards the end of May (totally unhelpful, but that's a university for you).

      Sounds like a lot of timing is going well for you at the moment - long may that continue!

  5. Near the beginning of our last session, answering the “story” prompt, I wrote this: “The best I’ve come up with is a sort of military campaign: laying supply lines and making sure they stay open, stocking various caches, fighting skirmishes as necessary, but mainly preparing for the big end-of-term battle to finish grades and K’zoo preparations against deadlines. Apologies to anyone who doesn’t care for the military metaphor.”

    I was resistant to the story at first, but the idea definitely caught my imagination, so that in week 11 I had an elaborate allegorization of house-showing in terms of this scouting/preparing for a military campaign, and now I can’t shake off this plot. So again I hope this doesn’t distress anyone else. I am surprised at my own interest in the campaign, as I have a history of rejecting aggressive metaphors, as here for example, but it’s really working for me. And so:

    I’m working a routine mission, and have nearly finished stocking a series of caches that will be really useful to the army when they get here, and incidentally managing to map a strategic piece of mountain that we haven’t had good plans for, when I hear a dull roar very far away. Uh-oh. When I come to the edge of the forest, towards a farm that has historically been not-unfriendly, the barn is burning. So much for sleeping there tonight. I hope that the farmers fired it themselves, after taking the animals higher up the mountain, but I’m not going to wait around to find out. I will have to go the long way around to get back behind my lines, and hope that the enemy hasn’t mined the mountain passes.

    I now have companions, or subordinates, or something: three talking cats. I think the higher-ups were thinking of them as assistants, but since they are cats, they are more hindrance than help. It’s true that they are excellent at sensing the presence of the enemy, but this is not necessarily useful, as their response is usually to climb a tree rather than helping with the task at hand. It’s also true that they fight fiercely when cornered, but again, as a scout and quartermaster I’m supposed to stay away from action, and the cats are more likely to damage me than the enemy. As usual, the generals have no fucking clue what life on the ground is like.

    I’ve also been training some of the locals in some resistance techniques. They may yet make the war go my way, if they don’t revert to their old loyalties and make things much worse. So, like the cats, there’s some question as to whether they’re allies or not. But it seemed a risk worth taking.

    At any rate, the sound of distant guns signals that the war has started. The steady nerves, good distance vision, and knowledge of the terrain that make me a good scout also make me a good sniper. I’ve stocked some of my private caches with weapons, ammunition, and explosives. Over the next few weeks, I may have to blow up a bridge here, take out an enemy sentry there, and continue to do a little mapping when I have a quiet minute to take notes. I really hope I can stay out of pitched battles, and get the talking cats back to a place where they’ll be happier. Like a general’s bed. I’d love to see one of the top brass get a set of talking cats their dawn nom-noms.

    1. I'm so glad to know that idea yielded such excellent schemes.

    2. Your allegorisation is really taking off! And I too would like to see the top brass sorting out some talking cats' needs...

  6. Would you like me to take the next week of the intersession? I can sort out some postable goals, not just "get talking cats into general's bed." :-)

  7. Oh, I missed this last week. (Says a lot, right?)
    Anyway, I have a few goals for this intercession --
    1. finish the semester (my final exam is May 11, commencement is May 19, so good timing for me) Right now I'm just so tired!
    2. Revise paper from last year for presentation in NYC next week.
    3. Finish Violence, which editors want on May 3. This may be optimistic, but I'll try.
    4. Keep plugging away on collaboration.
    5. Get back to walking
    6. Say no to anything new between now and the summer
    7. Plan some kind of summer vacation