the grid

the grid

Monday 16 December 2019

End of Session

I couldn't find a record, but I think this is our last check-in.  We need some volunteers for the session that will start in January, so I will put up a separate post on that.

A few weeks ago we gave ourselves gifts; last week we let go of things.  This week I want to allow us to reflect on the community here.  What has moved you this session? Is there something someone has done you wish to celebrate? What gifts would you like to give? What do you have that you wish you could share?

Session Goals
Semester goals:
1. Keep up with grading and class prep. (I'm teaching two classes I haven't taught in a LONG time, so they're pretty new, with new texts and such, and one class I'm pretty sure of.)
2. Keep up with prep and committee work
3. Do a good job chairing the committee I'm chairing, and working on two other big committee projects.
4. Write a big report.
5. Write a the statue paper that's part of the bigger paper.
6. Exercise three days a week. (Does mowing count?)

Dame Eleanor Hull
*Live with uncertainty and work the process w/r/t the house.
*Finish and submit a very old R&R.
*Polish a chapter and write an introduction to my book-in-progress so I can submit it to the press of my choice.
*Keep up with grading and other administrivia so they get their due attention but not more.
*Keep up with exercise, stretching, FODMAP-safe cooking, and other necessary physical maintenance.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Steal outright JaneB’s idea of setting an alarm for 45 minutes, so that I get up, move about, and take a break.
Instead of haunting the vending machines, make lunches the night before.
Declutter the work office, at least as far as to see the surface of the desk and to have all the books standing, not laying, on the bookshelf.
Outline the Aurelius project.
Edit the Illuminated project.

Heu Mihi
1. Proofs and indexing for my book. Due mid-Oct., and I need to start tomorrow. If I do 12 pages per weekday, I'll be fine.
2. Abstracts: Two due Oct. 1
3. Conference paper: For mid-Nov.
4. Edited collection proposal: ASAP
Self: Maintain good routines.
5. Sit a reasonable amount. I've had good luck these last two weeks meditating at 8:00, after Bonaventure (age 7) gets on the bus.
6. Language work: Finish this textbook already.
7. Daily writing/research/reading.
8. Don't prep on the weekends. (I hate, hate, hate prepping on Sunday afternoons. It makes me monstrously grumpy.)

1 Complete and submit five book reviews
2 Complete two article reviews
3 Submit grant proposal
4 Submit residency proposal
5 FInish and present Perform
6 Write and submit DQ paper
7 Write and submit December paper
8 KR abstract

1) self-care. key features here are sleeping enough (or at least spending enough time in bed, if I can't sleep), moving enough my stupid joints/back don't get too noisy, saying "no" or "not now" more often, working on slowly getting my house and finances into order, and taking some quality time to think about what I might do if I do lose my job and identifying some practical steps (I think, and my most pessimistic and university-politically-savvy colleague thinks, that academics in our area are probably safe from involuntary severance until Summer 2021, and that our subject area is likely to survive if the university does - but who the hell knows in this world of Brexit and Boris-the-career-liar-who-can't-stop-lying being our prime minister and the general cultural turn against experts and what feels like a big looming recession?) (this means a) working on preparing some job materials which manage to sell my strengths (I am very experienced at preparing new teaching, especially in the unpopular areas of "skills in the discipline") and explain my weaknesses (lack of grants) as contextual (new teaching every year, lots of papers despite lack of people) not personal and looking for jobs (unlikely, but...) and b) probably doing one of those short courses in editing or proofreading or indexing, as my specialist writing skills seem like the most potentially non-academic lucrative skills I have (given my creakiness and age, and that even at senior levels industry positions in my research field are both very badly paid and involve quite a lot of outdoors work, hiking and mud and travel)
2) Research: finish and submit at least one substantial grant application, complete benchwork on FavouriteIslands samples, get the paper ProblemChild1 submitted somewhere and FlatProject1 fully drafted and ready to go, and do the equivalent of another paper's worth of data analysis and writing (lots of options, mostly depending on others).
3) teaching: I am leading a complete redesign of the two key first year modules (which will save quite a lot of money as we change out the field trip venue), I have to look after all exchange students going out or coming in, I'm supposed to be setting up a new programme with industrial placements... this trimester I also have a solo honours module which I taught for the first time last year (but it's moved trimester, which changes the timing of everything, there's a big timetabling problem which messes up my teaching plan, and chunks of it were taught by Incoming last year so need to be rewritten so I can teach them - his materials are scrappy & students were not happy so starting over will be easier) and also will be covering some gaps in modules related to my primary research skills (we hired someone who said they could do it all, but I said they couldn't, and I was right, and now I'm the only person left who can cover some parts of what we need - and we can't change ANYTHING of the advertised content this year, so we have to manage), and looking after the final year project module for the big cohort of needy students and the tutorial/study skills support programmes for the other years. Whine whine! (But I am only on an 80% contract so I do feel kind of whiny!). And next semester will be worse. So, goals for this semester are: resist the urge to get fancy with the redesign of the first year and third year. Get the new degree programme to the stage of either progress to full paperwork or denied. Rewrite all the stats teaching for the second semester module so that it is as close to ready to go as possible. Be responsive to students, and focus on a pedagogy of kindness approach (because I will need kindness, my colleagues will, and often the best way to get is to give out. Plus students tend to be forgiving of slip-ups if they feel genuinely cared for, and kindness is a good way of summarising all the things that make them feel like that).

1) Transform two conference papers into two chapters for edited volumes (due end September), finish Ch 7 of book
2) Writing three times a week, lab work one time a week
3) Do Master Naturalist class (one night every other week and one Saturday a month)
4) Decorate house with things from my parents
5) Exercise x 3 a week

1. I will send off what I think are final revisions of Violence (the essay that would not die) this week.
2. I have a short blog post to write that will close a series on a major book in my field.
3. I'm speaking at a session celebrating 50 years of a journal in my field, so I have to read all 50 contributions to the special issue of the journal, and think about what I want to say. I'll call this journal
4. Start revising an essay I wrote a few years ago that needs rethinking. I'll call this "Race"
5. Keep working on Big, the edited volume I'll be involved in.
6. I'm likely to get another essay back from editors, so there will be time for a small amount of work on memorial.
7. Keep up with teaching. Neither of my classes is difficult, but both are semi-new to me, and involve a fair bit of thinking.

1.Take one day off each week
2. Keep walking - 10,000 steps a day is a goal
3. Start reading instaed of iPad at bedtime.
4. Try for 7 hours of sleep

Goals from last week:
Dame Eleanor
*sleep, stretch, exercise, dentist, haircut.
*write one exam, grade All The Things, post grades.
*make research plan, work on something, dead languages.
*pay bills, reserve car, pack, deal with family.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell (from 2 weeks ago)
Begin carefully organizing the new cubicle with writing space in mind.
Write my three statements for tenure and award meetings.
Edit Prudence 30 minutes a day.
Plan the timing of my research trip.

Heu Mihi
1. Read 30 minutes x3.
2. LANGUAGE x3, damn it.
3. Everything for classes except the final grading.
4. Design syllabus for new spring class.
5. Knit a bunch of the first sock for a Christmas gift.

1 Step up and ask for extensions
2 Grade, grade, grade.
3 Write a bit every day

JaneB (implicit in her report last week)
Working computers
Some sanity among PTB

1) submit grant
2) page proof edits
3) 2 article reviews
4) comments to two collaborators
5) exercise x 2
6) make some social plans for the next 2 weeks


Teach last class tomorrow
28 rough drafts back by Friday
Set up grades so final grades easy
Make committees
Use weekend to clear desk

Sunday 8 December 2019

Northern Fall / Southern Spring Week 13

DEH here; pick your tune to which to sing "Let it go, let it go, let it go!" Judging by the number of replies lately, this session has been rough on many people, in various ways. We've had "triage" as a theme for a couple of weeks already, and I think we can still use the reminder to focus on what really needs to happen. What can you let go of, this week? If it's checking in, okay, but we'd love to hear from you and get some ideas!

How are you doing?


*Sleep, stretching, exercise.
*Grade final set of papers, grade two small assignments, write two exams.
*Two hours research, plus dead languages.
*Assorted Life Stuff including ordering presents.

Begin carefully organizing the new cubicle with writing space in mind.
Write my three statements for tenure and award meetings.
Edit Prudence 30 minutes a day.
Plan the timing of my research trip.

heu mihi
1. A billion teaching tasks, both big and little. Finish recommendation letter. Sit through undergrad conference thing that is taking up my whole free day. Attend tiresome but short event that I organized. Watch video of TA's guest lecture and write up comments.
2. Finish reviewing final proofs
3. Read/take notes 3 x 30 minutes
4. Draft syllabus for new spring class
5. Language x 3

Humming42 (held over)
1 Submit DQ, for real.
2 Write next book review
3 Submit old Perform abstract for new publication
4 Grade like a madwoman
JaneB (held over)
1) maintain habits (8 items)
2) research - flat project, do SOMETHING. MAYBE
3a) External examining - read a large, large pile of final projects and prepare for a trip to Crowded Capital on the 20th... this has to all be done by the 15th because of family stuff...
3b) prep everything for next week.
3c) Sit down and look seriously at what is to come, and possibly throw self on the mercy of timetabling to ask for a change of some sort, or the mercy of my colleagues, or just... I dunno, cut something. I just. Can't.
4) NaNo. Discuss family stuff with sister, try to finalise the plan for parents wedding anniversary weekend.

1) finish grading semester based homework etc.
2) finish 9 reports for FP government publications
3) write letters of rec for two grad students and a colleague
4) write a small internal grant
5) gym x 2

1. Make committees and other stuff for org that is TRQ
2. Do expenses from last trip
3. Read 2 journals
4. Comments for students in Course A
5. Grade next set of papers in Course B (due Thursday)
6. Go through charity requests on desk and clear it
7. Get back into exercise
8. Catch up on sleep