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Sunday 16 February 2020

Week 6: The Rest

It appears I was not alone in struggle last week. Service projects have been tiring, leaving little enthusiasm for the usual load of grading. And that all barely got done. I have an R&R on DQ that I want to work on, so I’m hoping that I can sweep through the emergency weekend list and have time for research next week. 
I am not a gamer, but my husband plays an occasional video game in our shared space so I am a gaming observer. I’ve noticed that in some of the adventure games (of the Zelda type), the protagonist checks into an inn or curls up on the outskirts of a village for a restorative nap. After the protagonist rests, they wake with points for “life” or “strength” or “energy.” 
If your character (or you) could take a break in an ideal restful space, where would it be? And what kind of additional points would you like to boost your resources in the coming week? 
Below are last week’s goals along with those (including myself) carried-over. If I’ve missed including you on the list, my apologies. Everyone is ever welcome. 
1) Find a way to schedule fancy future talk work every day – try early mornings 
2) Work on figures – pick 3 and done those 
3) Do lab work for upcoming lab trip, fun and rewarding but really really time-consuming… 
4) 2 runs 
Dame Eleanor Hull 
Daily stretching, exercise, 8 hours sleep. 
Finish and send article; start dealing with queries about Huge Honking Translation; read Thing to which I am soon to be a respondent. 
Grade new set of short-ish papers; update online quizzes; meet with independent study students. 
Finish dealing with all the stacked-up mail; gather tax documents; do some house-market-prep. 
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell 
Finish peer review. 
Read three articles for class paper. 
Draft the first presentation. 
Call the co-editor to discuss scope. 
heu mihi 
1. Read/write 5 days (30 minutes) 
2. Check in with project IN WRITING twice 
3. Quick bibliography for Kzoo 
4. Apply for thing 
5. Send info about promotion recommenders to chair 
6. Use coupon before it expires 
humming42 (carried over) 
1 submit revised conference prospectus 
2 submit article review 
3 write essay for online writing course 
4 write 1000 words for OKC 
5 keep up with grading 
6 watch film for short essay 
JaneB (carried over) 
1) take one day COMPLETELY OFF this weekend 
2) take the time this weekend to clean the kitchen and do meal prep properly, so I have good food to get me through the following week 
3) spend an hour with my NaNo writing, because I enjoy it 
4) not worry about other research things this week, just put them onto a list for future reference. 
Karen (carried over) 
-clear 2 boxes (the ones next to the bookshelf) 
-start all course F draft documents 
-run x 2, yoga x 3. Wondering if I can fit in a weights session somewhere in my schedule because I realise I need to work on upper body strength, but can't see where. 
-order wind sock, book in 4 field recording days. 
-write up notes from this mornings library trip 
- prepare reading lists in new format 
- prepare teaching materials for polymers session 1 
- prepare assessment guidelines for article assessment 
- mark group projects, send materials off for moderation 
- resubmit student ethics after final edit, watch student presentations 
- aim for 30 minutes per day on professional development application 
- collate sustainability paperwork 
- aim for 2 x 2 hours of data analysis for engagement project 
- work on draft of sustainability paper ( 2 hours minimum) 
Susan (carried over) 
1. Writing: 2000 words on famous Author who was famous author 
2. Have one or two conversations at library 
3. Enjoy the desert 
4. Get exercise 
5. Have fun 
1. Finish IRIE paper and send to collaborators (hopefully then edit and post by end of the week). 
2. Talk with E about MST abstracts and resolve conflicts. Plan next steps. 
3. Set L&S team meetings. 
4. Have decent draft of new version of job talk done by Wednesday (meeting with mentor). 
5. Really need to get YRBS paper sent to collaborators this week. 
6. Figure out variables and chunking of variables for IPV paper. 
7. Review something a collaborator sent to me that I am really mad about. :) 


  1. I am so tired. In every possible way. I just want to hide from everything, to press pause, to have it all go away. Even my cat and my family, just, leave me BE for a few days.

    I am about to cancel a social thing this afternoon (I'm not going to be good at it, I will get stuck in either complaining mode or hyperbabbling mode and not enjoy either), finish Monday's lecture prep (sigh) and then go back to bed. We have another storm this weekend so that's not entirely unreasonable...

    1. Feel the same way - so very tired, just want a week's break from everything. Hope you have a restful and relaxing afternoon after the lecture prep.

    2. Wisdom to cancel instead of endure. As I see Millennials and Gen Z students push for more open discourse about mental health, I see that as a result, it is easier to simply say that I'm not feeling up to an event than to construct a serious-sounding excuse.

    3. I went back to bed and slept! I've been retreating to bed to either read or nap a lot this weekend (and the last month) - it helps suppress the stress-driven eating of unnecessary things, and posturally it's actually better for most of my creaky joints (I should get a new sofa, but at the moment I only have chairs, for what seemed like perfectly good reasons at the time of making the relevant decisions...). Not ideal, but we do what we can sometimes.

    4. I hope you're not in the flood zone...

  2. I'd like to just rest...and be fed and watered without having to think of what to cook. Extra points- meals magically appearing in the fridge for evenings, lunches with easy company to break the monotony of me vs computer screen the rest of the day. I can dream...

    Last week
    - prepare reading lists in new format - NOPE
    - prepare teaching materials for polymers session 1 - YES
    - prepare assessment guidelines for article assessment - NOPE
    - mark group projects, send materials off for moderation - Nearly done
    - resubmit student ethics after final edit, watch student presentations - YES
    - aim for 30 minutes per day on professional development application - NOPE
    - collate sustainability paperwork - NOPE
    - aim for 2 x 2 hours of data analysis for engagement project - NOPE
    - work on draft of sustainability paper ( 2 hours minimum) - YES

    This week

    - prepare assessment guidelines for article assessment
    - mark group projects, send materials off for moderation
    - aim for 30 minutes per day on professional development application
    - collate sustainability paperwork
    - aim for 2 x 2 hours of data analysis for engagement project
    - work on draft of sustainability paper ( 2 hours minimum)

    1. Ah, that kind of rest you describe is real rest, so hard to make happen and so very needed. If there are any tiny ways you can make some of that happen, like getting a pre-prepared meal so you don't have to cook, strongly encouraged.

      I hope the coming week brings you some magical rest.

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  4. “What about i.d. and money and stuff? The Librarian-in-Residence is supposed to supply a packet with information for visiting Librarians.”

    “Well, but you’re not exactly a visiting Librarian, are you? You’re undergoing a self-administered crash course in field training. A resourceful young person like yourself should be able to make your own arrangements, particularly since you can’t count on there being a Librarian-in-Residence on every world you visit. You’re on a university campus! Where there are students, there are fake i.d.s. I have every confidence in you,” I said, modulating my voice to warm yet brisk. “Start with the i.d., then look for a job, and then you’ll be well on the way to establishing a cover identity of your own.” Once again, I gathered my things. “I’ll be on campus again on Monday, and we can meet to discuss your progress. Office hours begin at 11:30. Given your skills, there’s not much point in my showing you out of my office, but the student lounge is one floor down, right across from the restroom. Till Monday, then, and good luck!”

    I didn’t expect to see Charlotte again. Her supervisor would miss her and work out where she’d gone, or her accomplice would start feeling guilty and confess that they’d been opening doors to other worlds and dashing briefly across the threshold, when Charlotte overstayed the safe window. With luck, the Library would retrieve her without further reference to me. But just in case a more senior Librarian came calling, I wanted a cover story of my own. Charlotte was an LRU student participating in a role-playing game, I decided; she must have heard that I was trying out gaming as a teaching device in my undergraduate classes, and come to me as part of a similar project, perhaps for a class in library science, or as part of my department’s Introduction to Research Methods. The temperature fluctuations in my office were just the hot and cold flashes not uncommon to women of my age. No doubt I ought to look her up in the campus directory, when I got home, and perhaps speak to the colleague teaching Research Methods this year: no need to write down that resolution, as I could surely remember it for an hour or so.

    That was my story. Obviously I forgot all about Charlotte by the time I drove home through heavy traffic, listened to the details of my husband’s day, and spent a busy weekend in which we had two social engagements (a concert and brunch with my husband’s mother), along with the usual shopping, cooking, laundry, gym workout, and efforts to do a bit of grading and class prep in the early mornings. I also tried to shoehorn in an hour or so on my current research project, analyzing an obscure Latin translation of an only slightly less obscure vernacular text. Some judicious forgetfulness, or at least delaying action, tends to encourage many problems to solve themselves.

  5. How I did:

    Daily stretching, exercise, 8 hours sleep. YES, YES, NO: sleep has been bad this week. I think I'm anxious about having so much to do.
    Finish and send article (1); start dealing with queries about Huge Honking Translation (2); read Thing to which I am soon to be a respondent (3). (1) NO, still need to groom footnotes; (2) YES, ALL DONE; (3) NO.
    Grade new set of short-ish papers; update online quizzes; meet with independent study students. YES, NO, ONE (of two).
    Finish dealing with all the stacked-up mail; gather tax documents; do some house-market-prep. NO, NO, NO. (What was I thinking??)

    New goals:

    Daily stretching, exercise, 8 hours sleep.
    Finish and send article; read Thing to which I am soon to be a respondent.
    Update online quizzes; meet with other independent study student; some other class prep.
    At least one of these: finish dealing with all the stacked-up mail; gather tax documents; do some house-market-prep.

    1. I want to create a category for those things you feel need to be done but you just won't get to, so putting them on your list is a self-sabotaging failure. I actually have three spreadsheets with categorized lists of things I need to do. First, I had a Now spreadsheet. What didn't get done was moved to the Future spreadsheet. Then the Now spreadsheet still felt urgent, so I create the Just Now spreadsheet. As previously noted, I'm currently working from the Emergency Weekend Spreadsheet. I don't know if any of this is even effective. But I very much like your switching the domestic life goals from Do All to At Least One of These.

  6. Carried over goals:

    JaneB (carried over)
    1) take one day COMPLETELY OFF this weekend yes, but felt guilty about it and it WASN@T ENOUGH ::pouts::
    2) take the time this weekend to clean the kitchen and do meal prep properly, so I have good food to get me through the following week NO, and ISH
    3) spend an hour with my NaNo writing, because I enjoy it no
    4) not worry about other research things this week, just put them onto a list for future reference. easy, and done

    I think I just keep similar goals... I am a LITTLE more ahead than I was last week, and the decluttering lady is booked for next weekend (and I have provisionally rescheduled meeting one of the acquaintances-who-might-be-friends-if-I-make-the-effort for next Sunday)

    JaneB (carried over)
    1) take one day COMPLETELY OFF next weekend
    2) take the time next weekend to clean the kitchen and do meal prep properly, so I have good food to get me through the following week. For THIS week, I'll aim for 5 fruit and veg a day, plenty of water, no bread, and sugar only in high cocoa dark chocolate type stuff (there is now a 90% cocoa chocolate bar available on campus/at the petrol station which is not tongue-curling-ly bitter, so I have an option that meets this rule when my inner toddler gets screamy).
    3) spend an hour with my NaNo writing, because I enjoy it
    4) answer three emails to research collaborators this week, and otherwise not worry about research things, just put them onto a list for future reference (ugh)...

    1. Similar goals each week is the best way to develop new habits, no? Cheers to that, and to spending an hour with NaNo for the sheer pleasure of making sure we schedule things that bring us joy.

  7. Love the idea of recharge and rest built into a video game! An excellent example to follow! My character wants a break at a cabin in the woods, or near the ocean, with a fully stocked fridge and lots of places to take nice walks.

    This week I'm actually on my version of a "break" - I'm doing lab work at a different university. The B+B provides breakfast, the lab has coffee on tap, and I don't have to feed or organize anyone except me, so I can choose to live on take-away donair pizza and work until things are done instead of worrying about being home at a planned time. It feels a little bit like the fun parts of grad school without any of the stress! Not quite cabin in the woods kind of rest, but fun and relaxing in its own way.

    This week I really want to get a good handle on the fancy future talk that needs time for thinking. I have evenings and quite a bit of waiting time during the days while machines are going beep, so I have no excuse not to do it!

    I did very badly with the idea of getting up early to work on it last week... Sleeping won out, and there were 165 midterms that had to be marked during the week so I should have just given it up for a lost cause - late nights of marking and early mornings of writing are incompatible! On the good side, the class did much better than the Fall cohort over the same period, not sure why but I'll take it!

    Last week's goals:
    1) Find a way to schedule fancy future talk work every day – try early mornings NOT EVEN CLOSE, TURNS OUT SLEEP IS BETTER...
    2) Work on figures – pick 3 and do those NOPE
    3) Do lab work for upcoming lab trip, fun and rewarding but really really time-consuming… DONE
    4) 2 runs DONE

    This week's goals:
    1) Write fancy future talk
    2) Do actual thinking about paper that goes with fancy talk
    3) Do some thinking/writing for book project, lots of small paragraphs would be fine...
    4) Sit down with both my grad students based at this university and get a good handle on their progress and what they need me to help with.

    1. Your lab work certainly has good side benefits! It's always interesting to learn how much time everyday living takes up--cooking, dishwashing, cleaning, sorting stuff--that doesn't [usually] exist when we're away from home. I hope you have time for the thinking and writing you want to achieve this week.

  8. Semester in overdrive. As I told my students today, spring break is almost here and incredibly far away, because the next three weeks are full of meetings, campus events, deadlines, and a conference I’m organizing.

    As mentioned in a reply last week, I have a revise and resubmit to work on that is a serious expansion on what I’ve already written, so I’ve put aside OKC, which is something I want to work on but are not obligated to do so. All of this complicates my goals of focusing on specific projects and setting boundaries.

    Last week, carried over:
    1 submit revised conference prospectus: no
    2 submit article review: yes
    3 write essay for online writing course: yes
    4 write 1000 words for OKC: no
    5 keep up with grading: no
    6 watch film for short essay: now TRQ urgent

    This week
    1 write and submit short essay about film
    2 revise and submit conference prospectus
    3 write 2000 words for DQ revision

  9. Last week went pretty well. Yesterday was a holiday here (Presidents' day) and we actually had it off. I woke up at 3am feeling anxious and decided to just get up. That ended up being a good thing as I got the next revision of the IRIE paper done and posted to a preprint server. My h-index also went up one point yesterday, which was a nice boost. If I can now just get some good news about my K, I will be thrilled!

    I got an email from a university I'd really like to work at, in an area I'd be happy to live in, in a department I'd like to be in asking if I was still interested in the position. The catch is that I would have to 95% fund my position from day 1. I've been going back and forth with trying to figure out if it is worth taking the interview at least (I think I would not fare well in a position with absolutely no safety nets - basically if I covered 50% of my salary, I would only get 50% of my salary - as I am single that would be far too precarious for comfort, and that school isn't in a cheap area of the country!). My goal is to get at least 2 offers to improve my negotiating power - but I doubt this job would offer me a salary beyond what my K (if funded) would cover and little startup. So my ability to negotiate would be not helped. Interviews are really good practice though … clearly I'm still not settled here.

    Goals last week:
    1. Finish IRIE paper and send to collaborators (hopefully then edit and post by end of the week). DONE
    2. Talk with E about MST abstracts and resolve conflicts. Plan next steps. DONE
    3. Set L&S team meetings. DONE
    4. Have decent draft of new version of job talk done by Wednesday (meeting with mentor). DONE
    5. Really need to get YRBS paper sent to collaborators this week. NOT DONE
    6. Figure out variables and chunking of variables for IPV paper. DONE
    7. Review something a collaborator sent to me that I am really mad about. :) DONE

    I've been creating my weekly goals by looking at my monthly goals for the rest of this academic year - and that has been helping a lot (though I am behind already!). Last week I sketched out a 5 year plan to help with my upcoming job talks. I'm hoping that will be helpful as well.
    Next week
    1. NY job talk
    2. T32 draft
    3. NJ job talk
    4. Qual analyses
    5. Relat ID methods and results
    6. YRBS paper
    7. Maybe PTSD paper

    1. Look at those job talks! That's great--good luck!

    2. It's a pleasure to be here to cheer you on through your hard work and tenacity! Could going out for the interview potentially give you insight into other funding sources?

      As a person working in the humanities, I can't even imagine the labor of finding my own funding. Not sure this extreme introvert could even make it happen.

  10. My ideal rest/recharge place would be in a place with ample walking trails and a good collection of books to browse in, with one or another of my good friends for conversation between reading, sleeping and/or hiking. THe meals would appear without anyone working on it... And when I got home, there would be no emails in my inbox.

    So I didn't post last week because I got sidetracked... Goals from two weeks ago:

    1. Writing: 2000 words on famous Author who was famous author -- PROBABLY 1500
    2. Have one or two conversations at library YES, of course.
    3. Enjoy the desert YES
    4. Get exercise YES
    5. Have fun YES

    The library was great (aside from the day it was closed because it lost power in a windstorm), and included yoga in one of the gardens led by an excellent scholar who is also an excellent yoga teacher. The desert was beautiful, and I was with a friend who is a congenial travel companion.
    I came back and tried to catch up with a bunch of admin things, and I had a dissertation defense so had to re-read the diss, and we got a last minute appointment to record with my mother for StoryCorps. Then -- because of insomnia while traveling that led me to reorganize my office -- I did a major clear of my desk that is getting it close to the point where I can get a new desk and reduce clutter accordingly.

    I've spent the past weekend trying to figure out a tech thing that we ended up solving with a slight modification of what I proposed before 8 hours of struggling with software. I'm tired.

    I also made a lovely pumpkin stew, so I have healthy food.

    BUT, I've done I think all the admin things I need to the decks are clear.

    Goals for next week:

    1. Do required reading, and revise Race/Patriarchy
    2. Follow up on last bits for Big Book (we've got 28 of 30 contributors!!!)
    3. If time, figure out next steps on Famous Author
    4. Take a day off
    5. Keep sleep going, and start reading at bed time instead of playing games.
    6. Exercise
    7. Keep up with healthy eating

    1. What a whirlwind of fine adventures (tech thing aside)! Library + Yoga = lovely. And the opportunity to contribute to StoryCorps is very cool.

      I cannot help but encourage #4, take a day off, just to restore your strength.

  11. Topic:
    My character and I have common ideas of restful places and activities, as do many of the rest of you, given the comments you’ve shared. A well-stocked cabin in the woods, nestled between mountains and water, affording walks and restful seating on the wide porch after the walks; lots of books in the library, catered meals, and good company to enjoy the meals and discuss the reading.

    Most importantly, I need the ability to turn off my brain. I’m still detoxing from the former position, but even apart from that, I have always had that mouse-on-the-wheel brain that is worried about the NEXT thing, and wouldn’t know restfulness if it slapped it in the face. Meditation helps, but (as is the case with many of my better habits) it has fallen off the schedule. Time for accountability, I think.

    The key turned as it had before, but now the door swung open. I turned on my phone flashlight to look into the cavity. A volume bound in limp vellum lay on a shelf. Mindful of Jess’ admonition, I reached in with my uninjured hand.

    Cradling the book to avoid my bloody finger, I carefully opened it. The flyleaf was stamped with the armorial insignia of Otto Heinrich, Elector Palatinate. My ears buzzed suddenly. It could not be the lost book I hoped it was. With a deep breath to calm my nerves, I carefully flipped the flyleaf, to a blank leaf, and then with excruciating care, the blank leaf to the hoped-for first page. I read “Markou Antōninou autokratoros tōn eis eauton bib. 12” with increasing disbelief. Basis of the editio princeps of the Meditations, printed in 1558, this manuscript had disappeared soon afterwards. I had often mourned the fact that it was probably used by a chip shop to appease hungry late-16th century diners.

    Struck with the incongruity of explaining to the rare book community how I had happened across this text, I looked around to make sure I was unobserved, tucked the codex back into its hiding place, and locked the door behind me. Sadly, I had forgotten the security cameras that festooned the ceiling of the stacks.

    Last week’s goals:
    Finish peer review. Not quite.
    Read three articles for class paper. Yes.
    Draft the first presentation. Yes.
    Call the co-editor to discuss scope. No.

    It was a week like many of you have shared in the previous comments, the “death of a thousand cuts” sort of week. I have a new student, who is smart and personable, but who is therefore creating more work for me more quickly than I expected. She is finding amazing things that no one found before, partly due to the fact that most rare books do not look like much of anything on the outside. Therefore, I am having to find new places to stash things she is finding that I need to do, so I feel like I am on constant catchup detail. However, I don’t want to complain, because she is a gem, and a freshman, so I hope I can keep her employed for several years.

    Other than that, there have just been a lot of meetings this past week and a half. This afternoon, I have three hours of meetings in a row. Sigh. Dame Eleanor, might you have some Meeting-Spraye? I’m trying to keep my head above water, but it is proving more difficult.

    Next week’s goals:
    Really finish peer review.
    Read three articles for class paper.
    Finish the first presentation.
    Call the co-editor to discuss scope.
    Meditate at least once a day.
    Walk at least three tours of the stacks a day.

    All the best to everyone finding a restful moment and place. Bonne courage as we head into the next few weeks of mid-semester madness. Float like mist, everyone.

    1. Your comment about wanting the ability to turn off your brain strikes a chord with me because of something I've been thinking about obsessively lately. A friend posted the following link and inspired a long discussion on Facebook. Lately I have been explicitly trying to shut off my internal monologue so I can go to sleep or stop fretting with the admonition "NO WORDS." I'd be very interested if any among us do not have an inner monologue.

  12. I'm late--it's a weird semi-holiday week, we visited my folks, Son is out of school for the mysterious New England "February break"--so I'm going to jump into it.

    Last week:
    1. Read/write 5 days (30 minutes) - 3.5 times
    2. Check in with project IN WRITING twice - once, I think--I just forgot about this
    3. Quick bibliography for Kzoo - yes, very quick
    4. Apply for thing - drafted
    5. Send info about promotion recommenders to chair - no, but info has been gathered
    6. Use coupon before it expires - yes

    This week:
    1. Read/write x 4
    2. Check in with big project in writing once
    3. Language x 3, please
    4. Start revisions for edited collection proposal
    5. Grade the pile
    6. Revise draft of application stuff

  13. You should see how my colleague Wesley Virgin's biography begins with this shocking and controversial video.

    You see, Wesley was in the military-and shortly after leaving-he discovered hidden, "self mind control" secrets that the CIA and others used to get everything they want.

    As it turns out, these are the EXACT same methods tons of celebrities (especially those who "became famous out of nowhere") and elite business people used to become rich and famous.

    You've heard that you use only 10% of your brain.

    Really, that's because the majority of your BRAINPOWER is UNCONSCIOUS.

    Perhaps this expression has even taken place INSIDE your own mind... as it did in my good friend Wesley Virgin's mind around seven years back, while driving a non-registered, beat-up garbage bucket of a car without a driver's license and with $3 in his pocket.

    "I'm absolutely fed up with living payroll to payroll! Why can't I turn myself successful?"

    You've been a part of those those types of questions, ain't it right?

    Your success story is waiting to be written. You just need to take a leap of faith in YOURSELF.


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