the grid

the grid

Saturday 24 August 2019

Intersession Week 1

Welcome and welcome back to the four week tiny intersession. For many of us, these are liminal weeks between one season and another, one semester and another, or the summer (in the North) and the new academic year. With that in mind, these are good weeks to remember the small things to take good care of ourselves and to facilitate the transition from here to there. 

Being intersession, and since most of us are familiar with this space (new folks are welcome tho!), let’s skip introductions and set goals for the intersession and for the coming week. Common themes include research, teaching, home stuff, family, self-care, crafts, exercise, writing, and gardening. Be as detailed or brief as is helpful to you. If you anticipate any challenges for the weeks ahead, you can note them too.

Looking forward. 

Monday 19 August 2019

Summer-north, Winter-south week 13: The End

The time has come for us to part--or so says Mr. Phillips, the schoolmaster, on the last day of his tenure at the village school of Avonlea in Anne of Green Gables, which I'm currently rereading with my son. None of the students likes Mr. Phillips (except, of course, Prissy Andrews), and yet all the girls weep into their handkerchiefs through his parting speech and all the way home. Some sessions feel a little bit like that, don't they?

**Picking up from where I left off several hours ago: Huge apologies, again. I got caught up in Family Stuff today and am only now grabbing 5 minutes to finish this before it's off to Bedtime Rigamarole. (I've been helping Bonaventure do a major overhaul of his bedroom--not something to discourage, let me tell you.)**

So, anyway, this is it: Time to reflect on the session as well as last week. And please let us know if you're willing to host the Intersession (about 4 weeks) or Sept-Dec (12-13 weeks)!

Last week's goals:

Dame Eleanor Hull:
Final check of syllaboi and send them to be copied.
Some Blackboard set-up for both classes.
Post-conference e-mails.
Mow lawn, pay bills, other household whatnot.
Pack and organize for next trip.
Regular exercise, stretching, safe food, adequate down time.
Stretch goal: if I can do most of the other stuff today, lock myself in my study tomorrow and finish off the f^(&!%g R&R that is still hanging albatross-like round my neck.

heu mihi:
1. Reread Wonder?
2. Work on conference paper?
3. Prep week 2 of classes
4. Sit x? Language x?
5. Anniversary book

1 Write and submit one book review
2 Keep up with grading and comments
3 Write something every day
4 Finish reading a review book
5 Submit Square abstract

1) meet with postdoc
2) research/data crunching, writing on Ch 6
3) travel plans for fall
4) meet with postdoc
5) get MRI

1. Syllabus #1: Get sections outlined
2. Violence: Start quick revision 
3. Keep walking
4. See people

Session goals:

Dame Eleanor Hull:
1, underpinning all the rest, maintain healthy exercise and eating routines.
2, live with uncertainty and work the process w/r/t house.
3, finish 3-year-old R&R.
4, conference paper/part of book chapter.
5, plan all 4 classes for next year.
6, regular reading/study of foreign languages.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell:

  • Organizing Goals:
    • Create and execute a clear organization to the scholarly apparatus for Prudence.
    • Slash and burn through three lateral file drawers
  • Writing Goals:
    • Edit three pages a day of Prudence. 
  • Health Goals:
    • Get through surgery and recovery.
    • Continue to walk, dance and 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, or story bible.
    • Knit for at least a half-hour daily.

Good Enough Woman:
1) 5 hours of exercise per week
2) 5x meditation per week
3) 5 hours of writing per week
4) 5 hours of prep work per week
5) 5 hours of house chores per week (organizing, gardening, etc.)
6) 5 new family-friendly plant-based meals to add to the repertoire

heu mihi:
1. Read 20 books (mix of work and leisure)
2. Meet deadlines: (a) submit Death essay by June 15; (b) draft/write/submit up to four conference abstracts (due June 3, Sept. 15(?), Sept. 15(?), and Oct. 1); (c) submit proposal for edited collection by Sept. 1; review copy-edited book MS (June/July-ish--depends on when it comes in)
3. Revise Wonder essay and figure out where to send it next
4. Revise novel draft from NaNo 18
5. Yard work for 3 hours/week
6. Run 6 miles one time
7. Language study (30 minutes, 5 times a week)
8. Sit (in meditation) some amount

1 submit Perform abstract
2 write Perform as if I will present in Fall
3 write and submit Slow
4 develop full outline for Tiny Project
5 organize and outline for December essay

1a - self-care. water (lots), food (eat well), sleep (get into better habits), calm (cultivate it), less noodling (more deliberate choices)
1b - creating domestic order (a sub-class of self-care, but one with particular needs right now). continue to make progress with decluttering, with particular goals of having a kitchen I want to use and to have gotten a series of small handy-person-needed tasks done.
1c) making things. I want to get on with the research-related squares which have been quite neglected, finish never-ending project (which is in cotton yarn so pretty summer-handwork-friendly) and a pair of socks. Work on my NaNoWriMo novel from last year, and if I find the right mental space write some poetry.
2a - research writing. Get ProblemChild2 dispatched if possible to its first choice journal. Fragment (a new project F paper) - this will be a conference presentation in July and should become a complete paper manuscript by the end of the session. And get FlatProjectFirst into a fairly complete draft (assuming the problem I spotted last week is just a quirk and not an oh bug*ger we need to redo everything). Also write equivalent of one research grant application.
2b: teaching prep (to make space for more calm in semester). Key areas are "new" modules (complete rewrites of the GiantFirstYearModules, which I rather resent right now) and setting up a new teacher bag and teaching prep system (I like making systems).
2c: research data and admin things (I need to do some sample analysis on samples from FavouriteIslands, work out some storage solutions for twenty-mumble years of samples which are bursting out of their boxes and implement them, and refresh our collection of teaching/outreach visual materials for my core area, so it comes under research as it will be fun...).

- have a creative work complete to the point of showing to collaborator
- have a complete first draft of conference paper
- complete WIL project to the point of having report/actions written up
- complete coursework masters internal review to the point of having draft proposal ready for senior leadership group
- do a park run

1. to build in writing time into my schedule. Aim: 1 hour per day.
2. to research-analyse-write deliberately and to a plan. Aim: make a plan for each project
3. to work modestly on teaching prep to make space during semester time for items 1 and 2 on this list. Aim: 1 half day per week
4. to work modestly on admin tasks to make progress, but on a schedule that suits me, not the latest 'emergency'. 

- complete 2.5 chapters of book (or more)
- work on resilence and time paper with colleagues
- widen/strengthen group of local friends/support network
- self care: eat well, garden, exercise 4x a wk

1. Finish Violence
2. Review collaboration paper (almost done)
3. Finish memorial
4. Prepare two semi-new courses
5. House stuff: roof, new floor for bedroom, new ceiling fans? Decluttering
6. Keep (return to) walking
7. Read for fun as well as work

Monday 12 August 2019

Summer-north, Winter-south Week 12: Acceptable Work

Hello! Apologies for the late post. I bought 20 lbs. of paste tomatoes yesterday, so I've been up to my ears in pizza sauce and puttanesca. I anticipate purchasing another 40 lbs. next weekend. God help me.

I've just gone back to try to figure out when this session ends, and the best I can do is "end of August." Since the actual end of August tends to be a hectic TRQ mess for most people, how about if we have one more check-in after this one? That'll be the check-in both for the week and the full session. I know that seems abrupt--at least to me--but so does the end of summer!
As we approach the end, then, I encourage you to think about (at least) one thing that you've done this session that you're proud of, or--if "proud" is too much--that you feel was acceptable, or not-to-be-ashamed of, or whatever. And then just go ahead and be proud of that. Sometimes "acceptable" is beyond good enough!

Last week's goals:

Dame Eleanor Hull:
Regular exercise, stretching, safe food, adequate down time.
Pack everything necessary.
Some other bits of trip prep.
Get to the airport on time.
Have a good time at the conference.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell:
Finish application. 
One hour x 2 on framework and schedule for Prudence apparatus. 
One hour x 2 on framework and schedule for Illumination. 
One hour x 2 on framework and schedule for Dial. 

heu mihi:
1. Reframe and rework all of Wonder
2. Fleshed-out outline of Nov. paper
3. Syllabus 3
4. Sit x?, language x?
5. Read/skim most of dissertation for upcoming defense
6. Prep week 1 of classes

1 Write and submit one book reviews
2 Keep up with grading and comments
3 Write something every day
4 Consider writing Time abstract
5 Send comments to independent study student
6 Prepare for review meeting for online course

1a) self care - get the water levels back up, eat sensible food, move some.
1b) domestic order - I have a decluttering session booked, and would like to do some smaller projects - let's say at least half an hour every day other than the day I have the session
1c) making things - slow progress so far. Would like to work on neverending project this week. I've been playing around with the sort of arty bullet journalling spreads one can find on youtoob and the like lately and have been enjoying that as a creative outlet, so I've been doing SOMETHING.
2a) research writing. ProblemChild1 was finally re-re-submitted to the second journal, and ProblemChild2 is off with co-authors again. the conference talk for Fragments went well and FormerPDF and I have a plan for the paper (which may be bigger than originally conceived).
2b) teaching prep. UGH. But I have decided to set up a teaching bullet journal, so will aim to do a bit of that this week because that bit is fun (I have washi tape... and metallic pens...)
2c) other stuff - ignore for now.

1) start editing/writing second half of Ch 6
2) Meet with drafter/illustrator for book
3) Admin for post doc
4) Move downstairs office upstairs- I have been wanting to do this for months so need to push now before the new semester. I am also taking in a part-time lodger, an adjunct faculty who needs a place to stay 2x a week, so this is a must do!
5) Fun x 2 
6) Exercise x 3

1. Catch up on email & business stuff, get inbox down to 800 emails.
2. Finish last edits and footnotes on Memorial
3. Look at new editors comments on violence, and decide whether to go through with it or not (This is a self-care decision.)
4. Start work on syllabus #1. 

1. Get SPSS license!
2. Run and write up analyses for interracial paper
3. Outline for interracial intro
4. Resubmit diss paper
5. Figure out reviews on my plate and put deadlines into calendar
6. Review CVs and choose student helpers!

Sunday 4 August 2019

Summer-north, winter-south, Week 11: Resources and achievement

This will be the last cycling-metaphor post for awhile, promise! The Tour de France finished last weekend. Julian Alaphilippe, who spent fourteen days wearing the yellow jersey of the fastest rider, dropped to fifth place by the time it was over. Is it because he wasn't as good a climber as the men who gained time in the mountains? Or is it because his team just doesn't have the resources, either the money or the personnel, that Team Sky Ineos has? Even in the mountains, professional cyclists move fast enough that it makes a big difference to have people in front of you, so you can ride in their draft. Alaphilippe's team had one other climber, who turned himself inside out (as the commentators say) to help JA climb, but at a certain point, climbers have to go it alone. It also makes a difference to have more and better support personnel, accommodations, meals.

Of course I rooted for Alaphilippe. The French haven't had a winner of their own race since 1985, and Skineos have dominated the race for several years now. If JA hadn't come so close to winning the race outright, I wouldn't even be disappointed that he finished fifth. Even top ten is really good, and he's in the upper half of the top ten. He also won the combativity award, for Most Aggressive Rider. If Deceuninck hire more climbers, Alaphilippe might do better in future years. He certainly made the race exciting. He stayed on message in every press interview: I'm really happy to be in yellow. We'll see what happens tomorrow. My team are great. I'm very happy to be in yellow another day.

So consider: if you're not happy with where you are, is it really that you're not good enough? Or are you outgunned by someone with more resources, more help on the road, better end-of-the-day support? Are you in the top ten, or some other meaningful category, and do you just keep showing up, gritting your teeth, doing your best, and being gracious to the people around you? Then you are winning.

Of course, you might think about whether you can provide yourself with more resources, as well.

Anyway, here we are, summing up week 10 and moving into week 11. Tell us how you did and what you mean to do next. If you feel like extending the cycling metaphor, are you a climber, a sprinter, a time-trialist, a break-away specialist, or a domestique? What kind of person could you use more of, on your team?

Dame Eleanor Hull
1, gym/walk/swim x6, stretch x6, usual low-FODMAP cooking.
2, gardening, paper-sorting etc.
3, complete conference paper draft; finish R&R (may be a stretch goal but let's try!).
4, finish syllaboi.
5, drill grammar or vocabulary x 4 in one language.
6, trip arrangements.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
One hour x 3 on framework and schedule for Prudence apparatus.
One hour x 3 on framework and schedule for Illumination.
One hour x 3 on framwork and schedule for Dial.
Put in next 5 ILL requests.
Meditate x 5.

Good Enough Woman (carried over):
1) Write 5x
2) Exercise 5x (and get at least 5000 steps most days)
3) Take daughter to waterpark on Tuesday
4) Enjoy anniversary celebration. Try to relax and not worry about what's happening with kids, chores, academic tasks, etc.
5) Check in with son to see if he wants to go on any special outings
6) Find one good plant-based meal to try
7) Get 201B and 201C syllabus work mostly done. Write two sets of study questions for new texts.

heu mihi
1. Write x5: Kzoo proposal; organize Nov. paper; work on Wonder
2. Finish copy-edits
3. Grad student work (1)
4. Sit x?, language x?
5. Read a monograph and read for fun
6. Finish syllabi

1 Write and submit two book reviews
2 Keep up with grading and comments
3 Write something every day
4 Consider writing Time abstract
5 Send comments to independent study student

JaneB (carried over):
(Pre-conference:) make sure I prioritise self-care over what I "ought" to do or owe the faculty for part-paying-for the trip
(At the conference:) every day, attend one session's worth of talks, read one poster, talk to one person about science who isn't involved in FlatProject (so that can be a current collaborator or a science friend or a new person), and drink at least 2l of water! And that is ENOUGH.

1) edit Ch 3, cut lots and lots and lots of pages if you can
2) Admin work to prepare for postdoc
3) Meet with collaborators on GIS paper
4) ongoing illustration work with drafter
5) exercise x 4
6) long weekend with friends

Susan (carried over):
1. Finish edits on text of Memorial. (I got comments from the editor, which were "BE BOLD", so . . .)
2. Start working on footnotes for Memorial (There are a lot of placeholder ones)
3. Keep walking
4. Enjoy London
5. Keep reading for fun

1. Get diss R&R done and resubmitted
2. Start re-shaping victimization paper #1
3. Apply to 2-3 faculty positions (eek!)
Interracial/interethnic paper (my focus project!)