the grid

the grid

Sunday 26 January 2020

Week 3: central conflict

Welcome to those who joined us last week! Having old friends back with us is like revisiting a favorite book. Speaking of books, now that you've identified your genre, what's the central conflict? That can vary even in a genre where it seems like a given: in a detective story, it might be the obvious detective v. criminal, but it could be detective v. lazy/incompetent superior. In the woman-starts-over-at-50 type of book, the conflict is usually internal, what the woman thinks she ought to have/want v. what she actually wants, although the conflict may be externalized so that the antagonist is a family member or neighbour. In the just-keep-on story that Susan's telling, which sounds to me like Person Against Nature, you can decide whether your story is hiking the Appalachian Trail, going walkabout in the Australian Outback, or trying to make it alone in the Alaskan wilderness.* In fantasy, there may be any number of antagonists (dragons, wicked stepmothers, tyrants), but the conflict often is internal, a search for identity.

If you're not up for the story business, maybe consider where you feel most conflicted or in need of balance: family/work? You/others? Research/teaching/admin? Project A/Project B? If you feel like it, of course. You can just check in with your report on last week and goals for next, if that's what you want to do!

So here are our goals from last week:

1)Check both papers for current state and decide on concrete tasks to get them going again (actually I just did that and I’m horrified that one of them has not even been opened since last October!! On the bright side, there’s some good stuff in there I guess??)
2)Pick one of them (closest to done?) and work on it!
3)Do outline of conference talk for me
4)Make figures for other peoples’ conference talks (co-author stuff)

Dame Eleanor Hull
Daily stretching, exercise, 8 hours sleep.
Finish and send article, or at least keep writing.
Finish last doc for annual review; some other administrivia.
Grade one set of short papers; write syllabus (due dates, mainly) for independent study.
Open and deal with all the stacked-up mail.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Register for class.
Rent my books.
Pack for the conference.
Write the update on the special issue.
Finish the plausible schedule.

Good Enough Woman
1. Prep sufficiently while not prepping incessantly. I keep wanting to get SUPER PREPARED and organized to make the semester easier, but then I end up spending twice as much time on stuff as I would have if I had to cram it in the hour before class, which means I feel more prepared but I work more hours to get there.
2. Research and Writing for 2 hours.
1. A friend proposed we have a "high tea" together, so I want to schedule that.
2. Get together with one friend this week--maybe M or C.
3. Send out 3-5 cards or letters.
1. Walk 4-5x
2. Meditate at least 3x
3. Skip evening treat 2x

heu mihi
1. Read 50 pp for research; incorporate 2 sources into Wonder; look up MS history
2. Sit x4, exercise x5, language x5, write x4
3. Service stuff: email re. workshop, letter of rec
4. Activism stuff: email D & A re. upcoming event
5. Good citizen stuff: PTO proposal for a water bottle filler
6. Upcoming travel stuff: Arrange details with driver, find remaining hotels, attempt to make train reservations, follow up re. visa, contact doctor re. vaccinations

1 submit conference prospectus
2 complete this week’s work for online writing course
3 write a blog post
4 plan a schedule for Squares

1) aim to hit most of these habits most days (stop work at 6, bed before midnight, no sugar or bread, packing food for the day, a movement break every 45 minutes when sitting, at least one non-work non-screen thing every evening)
2) Completely prep next week's teaching and make a start on the week after (6x 1 hour classes, 3 tutorials, a lot of paperwork, 3 x 2 hour classes, some bits and pieces. Only about half of it is new...)
3) pick up the threads of FlatPaper1 (optimistic)
4) arrange a Skype with co-secretary to plan out the year
5) have fun with Niece and Sister!

-run x 3, yoga x 2
-write/add 330 words daily Mon-Fri
-reclaim sound equipment and have a play
-have draft briefing, rules, schedule paperwork for course E uploaded to share next week
-get mini greenhouse out of shed and put seedling trays in, finish direct sewing and put in bird protection

Wade through inbox and deal with the necessary stuff
Mark the articles, reflective diaries, group project reports
Finish arranging, and run the staff coffee thing
Tidy up after the outreach event
Write feedback on student questionnaires
Finish course admin and first session teaching materials for sustainable module, rearrange first teaching session as attending funeral.
Write presentation for conference
Try to survive several meetings
Do expenses for external examining, outreach, conference

1) write/work on book, but mostly Ch 7 3x a week, for 2 hrs each- will involve some number crunching, creation of figures, writing and some revision of Ch 3
2) exercise x 3
3) meet with undergrad students/grad that I am advising on lab projects/independent studies etc.
4) finish syllabi, start BB sites for two courses

1. Write 3000 more words on Famous Writer (goal is 10,000 words by the end of January).
2. Keep up with contributor chasing.
3. Exercise 4 times
4. Read two journals
5. Get regular sleep
6. Try intermittent fasting 4 days

1. Revisit Latinx survey - where are we, next steps
a. Brief cope scoring?
b. PHQ?
2. Need to get MST abstracts reviewed
3. R&R
a. Read hsieh paper
b. Revise intro
c. Edit results
d. Re-org discussion
e. Sex of partner in discussion
4. Marriage paper articles
5. After R&R prioritize IRIE paper
6. Set qual meeting
7. Figure out what needs to be done for YRBS paper
8. Make clear list for PTSD paper

Have a good week, everyone!

*Does anyone but me remember a YA book from maybe the 1960s called High Sierra High Trail, about a girl who goes hiking with her father? He breaks his leg, she hikes out for help but instead of going the long and easy way she goes the short way over Mt Whitney even though she's completely unequipped for serious mountaineering. Fortunately she meets two serious mountaineers who get her off the mountain despite a storm and altitude sickness, dad gets rescued, and she goes on a date with "Star," the tall rangy hero-type of the two men who help her out (being what I am, I always liked the short funny sidekick, Punch or Pounce or some such nickname). I have no idea of the author's name, am not coming up with it on web searches, but I can still visualize the cover of the paperback. Vivian Breck! And the LRU library has a copy. 

Saturday 18 January 2020

Week 2: our stories begin...

Happy week 2! I hope you are finding a rhythm to your days as we settle into the new year. As DEH noted last week, the storytelling idea from last year is adaptable to everyone’s individual needs. Let’s say the weeks ahead are some kind of narrative: a television series, a film, a novel. Metaphorically, what genre do you see evolving during this session? Detective story? Romcom? Prime time drama? Sci fi space exploration? You might consider what you’re anticipating circumstantially and/or what you are wishing for as this short-run story. You don’t have to stick to your story for the whole session--as other questions come up, you might change genres completely. So if you have an otherworldy fantasy novel this week, you might your dream locale in Peru or Tokyo another week.   

Format as usual: comment on topic if you wish, consider how things went last week, set goals for next week. As ever, wishes for you to run with the stars. 

Dame Eleanor Hull
Put together annual review documents.
Finish and send in-progress article.
Plan a “personal syllabus” for the semester, showing both grading and writing.
Finish setting up Blackboard for the semester.
Open all stacked-up mail and deal with contents.
Find my calendar or order a new one (or both, since lost things tend to appear after you've replaced them).

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Call about the prescription service muckup.
Email the dean and the department chair for an update.
Go to doctor’s appointment.
Draft a plausible schedule--what to do when, and set milestones.
Email the research library about working on Illuminated.
Clear off one shelf of detritus.

Good Enough Woman
1. Complete prep for first week of class (finish syllabi, get readings/handouts for first few weeks to repro office, set up classes in Canvas)
2. Revise/create three handouts/assignments
3. Write/Research 2 hours
4. Meet 1 or 2 friends for coffee/walk/meal
5. Send 3-5 letters/cards
6. Schedule son’s dental appointment
7. Research Math SAT availability
8. Walk 4-5x
9. Meditate 3x
10. Get lab work done

heu mihi
1. Prep 4 more days of new class (so that the first 3 weeks are roughly covered)
2. Get all teaching materials in order for the first day(s)
3. Finish & take notes on research-related book
4. Read/write x5, language x5, sit x5, exercise x5
5. Go through email and make sure that I'm not forgetting anything important

1 submit book review
2 write conference prospectus
3 complete syllabi
4 complete 2019 faculty report
5 complete work for online writing course

1) re-establish the pattern of habits I had last semester (stop work at 6, bed before midnight, no sugar or bread, packing food for the day, a movement break every 45 minutes when sitting, at least one non-work non-screen thing every evening)
2) Complete the teaching and admin parts of my 'personal syllabus' (borrowing the term from DEH)
3) pick up the threads of FlatPaper1
4) arrange a Skype with co-secretary to plan out the year
5) write an old-fashioned letter to a friend!

Complete external examining report
Wade through inbox and deal with the necessary stuff
Watch and give detailed feedback on student presentations
Give feedback on reflective diary entries
Mark exam scripts if available
Mark annotated bibliographies
Arrange staff coffee morning event

Friday 10 January 2020

January-April 2020: week 1

And we're off! New year, new TLQ session, new achievements for all (we hope).

This session of TLQ will run until 18-19 April, fourteen weeks in total. This week will be introductions and goal-setting, both session goals and first-week goals; on 17 or 18 April, one of your hosts (Dame Eleanor Hull and Humming42) will put up a post inviting you to report on how you did with session goals. We'll try to remember to have a mid-session goal-review post around the end of February.

I'm just going to borrow language from last year about this time; by happy coincidence, it's Humming42 who wrote these words, or drew upon older posts for them:

The text below owes a debt to those who have been good enough to host here previously...
The format will be the same as ever. Here’s a quick recap: we will set goals for the whole session and then for each week. It's really easy to get carried away setting goals so I encourage you all to be optimistically realistic without creating a new source of pressure to perform! Goals can be in any aspect of life although the key focus is often writing tasks that are personally (and professionally) important but that never quite tip over into important AND urgent. Each week there will be a discussion topic, generally prompted by checkins the previous week. Feel free to suggest topics to throw open to the group. We'll recap the session goals for updating and refining about halfway through. Feel free to comment on everyone's goals as much or as little as you like.
So for this week:
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What's your main focus at the moment? And where are you based? You are welcome to be vague and mysterious in the interest of maintaining anonymity while still introducing yourself to the group.
2. Goals for the session. Common themes include research, home stuff, family, self-care, crafts, exercise, writing, and gardening. Be as detailed or brief as is helpful to you. Many of us give specific projects nicknames that help us keep track of things. If you anticipate any challenges for the weeks ahead, you can note them too.
3. Goals for the coming week. What do you want to get done in the next week? Specific small tasks and “microdeadlines” are typically more achievable than 'tackle big task'. And don't forget, a lot of this is about the satisfaction of ticking things off the to-do list. So you can be as detailed as you want to in breaking goals down.
Newbies are welcome to join. And finally, don't worry if you miss a few checkins. Life happens.
I'm also hoping that we'll recycle the story-telling idea from last year: though at first I was a bit resistant, I wound up finding it really useful and enjoyable. So maybe consider, now, what your story and genre might be, and we could pick that up as a theme for next week. I think introductions and initial goals are probably enough for right now.

So please join us! Happy New Year and best wishes for a good first quarter-plus of it!

Saturday 4 January 2020

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year everyone! 

First, feel free to use this post to share the good and the bad of your holidays, and to talk about the process of setting goals for the new year, semester, month or whatever period is relevant to your calendar.

Second, any volunteers to look after this space for the next session, and suggestions on how long that session should be and when it should start?