the grid

the grid

Sunday 28 June 2020

Summer Session Week 8

Hello everyone!
We’re hovering around our halfway point for this session (damn that went fast!) so this would be an excellent week to check in with all of our session goals! I’ve collected them below for the end of the post, and then as I was doing that realized I had not been collecting the weekly goals in the front end of the posts! Sorry about that! So they are here too now!

I was thinking about some of last week’s answers to Susan’s prompt about bad days and getting through them. Many of mentioned that our coworkers and colleagues are major sources of encouragement and inspiration. We all know they are critical to one’s work success and can make or break a professional environment. So my question (spurred by some hiring committee work that I’m doing and will be on the other side of soon) is… “What is the one quality you want in a prospective colleague?”  Especially given what we’ve all learned about work and crisis management etc. in the last few months. With the follow-up question for the current times: “How would a prospective colleague convey that quality in a virtual interview?”  I’m very curious!

So, on to last week’s goals for everyone:
1)      Two figures for neglected paper
2)      Make full draft of talk set up practice days with trusted colleagues
3)      MORE data processing for favourite co-authors, what can I say, I like being valuable to my co-authors…
4)      Daily stretching and injury rehab and test run – must do better on this!!
5)      This week’s fun thing for child: at least two outdoor visits with friends
6)      Bonus fun thing for child: giant ice cream after online music exam
7)      Fun thing for me: backyard visits with friends and beer

Mammoth-grooming and cleaning up, not to mention a certain amount of paperwork (even for a live mammoth, there's paperwork), but the big hurdle is over. And there's a bit of time before the hippogriff is due!

Read two articles on one of the presentation topics.
Edit 1 hour x 5.
Proofread 1 hour x 5.
Follow up with co-editor.
Contact Office of Research for extension of grant-funded travel.
Figure out what to work on in the two week writing course.

heu mihi
1. Finish draft of Fairy Tales talk
2. Read rest of diss ch. 1, all of diss ch. 2
3. 2 Nunnery essays
4. Compile teaching section of promotion dossier
5. Write 30 minutes/day (x5)
6. Good Thing daily

1 present at online conference
2 submit two essay peer reviews
3 write 500 words for Tiny Project/online class
4 write 1000 words for Perform

1) self care - going to bed before midnight (already failed twice...)
2) more setting up work for the theory workshop - finalise the web site and get the adverts out
2a) finish draft text from LikesMaths
3) make progress on big outline for the giant first year thing (sigh. Thinking about this causes the Mood Mammoth to get grumpy for university-politics reasons)
3a) do action points from last CollaborativeThing meeting
3b) spend a tiny chunk of time on Hated Paperwork, as I don't really have time - see external examining, I have about 110 long projects/reports/essays (3000-6000 words) to read for another uni and have to be done by next Monday
4) reply to an email from FormerPDF which will take an hour or so as I have to hunt down details from years ago... well, tell her I'm aware of its existence anyway
5) tick off another 5 things from the list of small but necessary jobs
6) have a two day weekend!

1. Read essay for colleague
2. Read book proposal
3. Spend an hour three days on Famous Author, write something
4. Six more journals
5. Clear desk at weekend in preparation for the arrival of the new desk / reorganize books.
6. Keep walking
7. Try to turn out the light before 11 (this seems to be the magic divide between good nights and bad nights)

1. Ch 7 x 4 days
2. Outline list for upcoming pubs with post doc and collaborator
3. Tax stuff, finalize
4. Medical appts
5. Exercise x 4 including some swimming


Now for the Session Goals! This is a great time to think about what is going well, and what needs to be labelled as excess baggage and dropped. Are there things on this list that are being dragged along and slowing us down when other things would be more important? Are there things we need to add? Remember a good rule for picking up new things – it rarely works to just add things, you have to put something down to make space…

How are the Magical Monster Fences holding up? How are your potion and elixir supplies doing? Can you restock any of those for the second half of the journey? With some extras just in case there are uphill bits that we did not anticipate in the beginning?

Session Goals
1) Focus on paper writing – I have three in progress where I’m the main author, and two with students
2) Maintain healthy habits and keep moving
3) Focus on my child and make sure she has a fun, exciting summer even with restrictions and uncertainty
4) Do one fun/frivolous/new thing every week

Session goals
1. Health/self: exercise & stretch daily, eat safely, get sufficient sleep & down time.
2. Moving/life stuff: Pack, move, unpack, other house-related tasks, as efficiently as possible.
3. Service: Evaluate promotion packet.
4. Teaching: prep fall courses thoroughly.
5. Research: brief but regular dead language review; read & take notes on 4-6 books; make plan for finishing my own book.

Session goals: I will probably add specifics later in the week, but here is a first shot.
Make mental and physical health strides by creating and maintaining habits--walking, meditating, eating better, contacting people.
Be kind to myself and others.
Maintain the contacts I have, and expand to some of the people I’ve neglected.
Return scholarship to my schedule, rather than stuffing it around the edges.
Continue to organize and declutter paper and pixel files, keeping only what furthers my work or sparks joy.
Create an order of approach among the special issue, Illuminated, Perseverance, and North.

heu mihi
Session goals, as of now:
1. Reintroduce some of the good habits that I've neglected: any combination of sitting, journal-writing, waking up early, reducing alcohol/sweets, yoga
2. Required writing: -Fairy tale paper; -Nunnery paper; -Promotion statement
3. Read at a steady rate for New Project (NP), and take *sensible, ideally helpful* notes
4. Draft a grant proposal
5. Clean the workroom and figure out a better way to organize it
6. Make progress on the yard--I'm thinking that I need to pick a bucket of bishop's weed (which I've taken to calling My Episcopal Foe) a week

Session goals
1 Write and present at PH online conference
2 Write and submit four book reviews
3 Submit three conference abstracts
4 Write and submit Square
5 Revise and submit two online courses
6 Finish Perform
7 Write 20000 words for Tiny Project

Session goals:
1) Self care: lose the few lb I put on in the first panic of the Pestilential Pivot and get my diet back into a better balance, improve the amount of movement I'm doing (let's say 5x a week I want to do a 25-30 minute online workout - each one has 5 'tracks' and at the moment I'm doing 2-5 tracks spread through most working days, so I think it's realistic to be doing it all in one go in two and a half months!), and have done a few clear things to improve my home environment ready for the new semester (when I expect to be working from home quite a lot, regardless of the official decision...)

2) collaborative research/science: run a free course on the theory and software WeirdBugMan wrote years ago, since I'm getting more interest from ECRs (because if fieldwork and lab work are disrupted, modelling or synthesising published data suddenly seems like something worth investigating...), continue to work with SocietyThing to build community and progress at least three of the projects where I'm mostly supporting ECRs or helping out colleagues (I count 14 currently on my radar... some have been in abeyance for a long time, some are very early stage, some are at the sending manuscripts around stage. So progressing three seems like a realistic amount of work).

3) teaching planning and preparation. This has to be a bigger chunk of the summer than usual! Here I'd like to have a clear PLAN for who is teaching what and for how we are rearranging the contents of the big first year class (which usually starts with six weeks of outdoors and indoors very practical group work which just cannot be relied on), have a session by session plan for all my own teaching up until Christmas (team teaching, so I don't teach all the sessions in any of my modules), and keep CommunityThing going effectively (as so often, someone has to keep things moving, and apparently that's me in this group). CommunityThing has a workshop in late August so that should be a solid achievement in this summer.

4) MY research. This has to take a back seat, but I'd like to do some thinking and documentation of stuff before the new PhD student starts this autumn, I'll be working with FormerPDF on a paper for a festschrift for someone who's been a great support and inspiration to us both, and I have a smallish but useful idea I want to start writing about to see if it wants to be a grant or a small paper or a whatever.

Session goals
1. Finish book ms, writing 3000 words a week.
2. Redesign course for remote or semi-remote teaching
3. Maintain physical health by keeping up with walking
4. Maintain mental health 1: get regular sleep
5. Maintain mental health 2: read for fun
6. Maintain mental health 3: keep in touch with friends in whatever way possible.

Session goals
1. Finish Ch 7 and 8 of book and be done with it!
2. Advise two graduate students and undergrad in summer research
3. Maintain healthy habits- exercise 3x a week, cook and eat as well as I can
4. Work in the garden and make my own DIY compositng bin
5. Maybe try to learn Tahitian??? I have DVDs somewhere but no way to listen to them now. There might be online sources or someone I could Zoom with.

Hippogriff-wrangling Advice Corner (aka sharing spot for online teaching resources)

This space is for posting any helpful teaching advice for the upcoming experiment academic term. We've had some great ones already (DEH please add yours you mentioned last week!) and I think it would be good to have a place to collect them where it could be easy to find. If you have useful advice from your institution or elsewhere please do share! Book recommendations, links, personal experience, ideas are all very welcome!

Saturday 20 June 2020

Summer Session, Week 7

I've noticed in conversations with friends that many of us are still adjusting to the loss of our pre-COVID life.  And some things will not be coming back; some of those we may be happy to say good-bye to, but others we miss desperately. I want to be back in archives, for instance; a friend commented recently that she desperately wanted to go sit in a restaurant and be served a meal. As a result, I've found that many of us have unpredictable mood swings, "good days and bad days": it's really clear in the comments people have posted. Just writing this it finally dawned on me that we're all dealing with grief, which works much the same way.  (Duh. Sometimes I'm slow.)  So I thought it would be useful to talk about how we handle the bad days: do you have ways of changing your mood? do you just decide to go with it? Some balance?

Hoping that Dame Eleanor has survived her move, and COVID  complications start to resolve for Oceangirl!

Goals from last week:

1) Two figures for neglected paper
2) Work on now rescheduled fancy talk related to neglected paper
3) Data processing for favourite co-authors
4) Daily stretching and injury rehab
5) This week’s fun thing for both: brave the insane mozzies and try a camping night? Maybe…

Dame Eleanor Hull
(Carried over from week 5) Successfully get moving mammoth over the mountain!

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Proofread 1 hour x 5.
Edit 1 hour x 5.
Continue to clean up fallout from revising introduction outline, and remind yourself that it reads much better and is totally worth the work.
Contact co-editor.
Contact Office of Research for extension of grant-funded travel.
Spend two hours reading new articles on one presentation topic.

Heu Mihi
1. Write 2 single-spaced pages of Fairy Tales talk (a general-audience talk, so I don't feel too much research pressure here)
2. 2 Nunnery articles
3. Read one diss chapter (getting urgent!)
4. Write 30 minutes a day
5. Good Thing daily

1 write and submit one book review
2 submit two essay peer reviews
3 write and submit two conference abstracts
4 write 500 words for Tiny Project

1) self care - going to bed before midnight would be a sensible focus but we'll see...
1b) finishing up my summer plans (I get superstitious about this because that's usually the point at which I get ill or something else comes along and destroys them, but the act of planning is useful, right??).
2) setting up work for the theory workshop
2a) working on a draft text from LikesMaths
3) making a big outline and setting up a meeting for the giant first year thing (sigh. Thinking about this causes the Mood Mammoth to get grumpy for university-politics reasons)
3a) resist urge to nag about CollaborativeTHing except for one small area where I actually care, and postpone that until Monday evening in case someone else acts
3b) spend a chunk of time on Hated Paperwork, since I HAVE chunks this week... face it and it might turn into something easily squished, right?
4) reply to an email from FormerPDF which will take an hour or so as I have to hunt down details from years ago...
5) tick off another 5 things from the list of small but necessary jobs
6) have a two day weekend!

1. Work on Ch 7 4 days
2. Reread Ch 6 to outline rest of Ch 7
3. Medical appts
4. Exercise x 4
5. Fun x 2

1. Write four paragraphs of chapter, one a day for the rest of the week.
2. Make final decision on book orders
3. Read essays for article prize #1
4. Read essay for junior colleague to help her figure out how to reshape it for publication
5. Finish long overdue book review
6. 6 more journals
7. Keep walking
8. Make some healthy stuff with food from farmers market
9. Get regular sleep

Friday 12 June 2020

Summer Session, Week 6

Hello everyone!
Here we are in week 6, I think this is usually the point in the session (and whatever the parallel academic session is) where we feel like we’re running out of steam… The novelty has worn off, the end is nowhere near, and the daily worries are getting to be a bit overwhelming. Well , lots of things got done this week, everyone should be pretty happy about those I think! I loved all the pleasurable activities listed last week so I’m going to pick up on one of those… 

Many of us mentioned “reading for fun”… I know all of us do it, and we value it deeply, but if you are anything like many academics, sometimes that gets hidden in conversation because, well, nobody has “time” to “read for fun”…. Well, that’s a garbage attitude! We should take time, and we should celebrate it!

So I want to know… What do you read for fun? This question is purely for fun reading, not the stuff that is work-adjacent. Not the stuff we love because is transformative and terribly serious (hi Ms. Neale Hurs*ton I love you). Not the stuff that is deeply moving and makes you cry for three days every time (yeah I’m looking at you Coet*zee!). Not the total brain candy that should really come in a brown paper wrapper. No, I’m looking for the book or the series you would give to a friend who’s having a rough month and say “you should read it, this book was so much fun”…. (Extra credit for something that might be a bit obscure so your friend would not have found it by themselves and you get points for introducing them to a lovely new author!) Share authors if you wish, genres if you don’t want to get too specific (I know, books are very personal and sometimes I think I would rather have someone rifle through my underwear drawer rather than my e-reader!). And who know, we might meet some awesome new-to-us authors!

Monday 8 June 2020

Summer Session, Week 5

Apologies on the late post.  I keep forgetting the day, since they are all mostly alike.  Here it us Sunday afternoon.  It's a lovely summer day here, not hot at all.   I'm about to go out for an evening walk.

I loved hearing about everyone's research superpowers last week - ideas, close reading, synthesizing, balancing theory and science -- we're an impressive bunch!

I've been thinking about how to keep going given the state of the world, between pandemic and politics.  I'm trying to think about nice things.  So for this week, I thought it would be a good week to share one thing that gave us pleasure in the last week.  It helps me remember pleasures when I write them down, and I also get pleasure from seeing what other people have had.

Goals from last week:

1) Finish editing awesome paper for main co-author so he can submit it!
2) Make three new figures for neglected paper
3) Write plan for new paper on local area
4) Process data for co-authors on cross-Atlantic project
5) 30 Day Challenge - stretching , stretching and rehab
6) Fun thing for me: bike to coffee shop when they have surprise pop-up hours
7) Fun thing for child: let her bake a cake with buttercream frosting, her idea...

Dame Eleanor:
Establish a routine for work/house/exercise.
Sleep: aim for both more and earlier.
3 x 2 hours work; notes on another ILL book, an assessment thing from last year, some dead language study.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Update the third presentation with what I scrawled the night before the talk.
Schedule time to post the presentations.
Finish annual Faculty Activity Report.
Mail the birthday card.

Heu Mihi
1. Reading: Finish Theoryish book; read 2 Nunnery essays; read 100 pp. of Big Honking Book
2. Writing: Minimum of one freaking paragraph, come on, seriously
3. Students: Try calling advisee; follow up on students with incompletes; read at least 1/2 of a diss chapter; one full day of advising (no choice about this one, I'm afraid)
4. Fun: Start reading a novel; knit
5. Yard: Bucket o' bishop, plus some other yard work
6. Good Thing daily

1 write and submit two book reviews
2 submit one more essay peer review
3 write and submit conference abstract
4 write 1000 words for Tiny Project

1) self care whilst
2) making more lists
3) doing small things on the followup of community project
4) ticking off at least 10 things from the list of small but necessary jobs (mostly around 15-45 minute jobs that keep getting copied from week to week...).
5) finish one small section of FlatProject1.
6) have a two day weekend!

1. Reread CH 6, outline rest of CH 7
2. Copy edits/additions to co-authored ms.
3. Exercise x 2, walk x 4
4. Bunch of medical appts
5. Paperwork to get aunt on state system (I am her POA)
6. Begin to suss out what articles/books needed for fall classes

1. Start next chapter - write 1500 words
2. Get book orders in
3. 8 more journal issues
4. Do a bit of clearing in old office
5. Keep walking
6. Go to bed at a normal time and get sleep
7. Try not to get sucked into twitter and the disaster that is the US right now.