the grid

the grid

Saturday 2 January 2021

Intersession hello, new session schedule

 Hello everyone!

We have a brand new TLQ session starting next week on the weekend of January 9/10. We’ll go for 16 weeks, ending the first weekend in May. Right now that feels very far away! Your hosts will be Dame Eleanor Hull and Daisy.

Shameless borrowing of text below from those who have been good enough to host here previously... 

The format will be the same as ever. Next week we will set goals for the whole session and then continue with weekly goals. 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. Urgent things sometimes find their way in here too, that is completely ok too, and process goals are also most welcome.  Each week there will be a discussion topic or prompt to write about if you feel so inclined.  We’ll remind everyone of their big session goals about midway through the session, I for one always find those quite a surprise when they pop up… 

Anyone new or old is welcome to join. And finally, don't worry if you miss a few check-ins. Life happens. This is a supportive, generous space with no intimidation factor so enjoy it!

So for this week:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What's your main focus at the moment? You are welcome to be vague and mysterious in the interest of maintaining anonymity while still introducing yourself to the group.

2. Think and speculate and dream (out loud if you want!) about goals for this session, but sit with them for a week or so and we’ll officially post them next week. Feel free to throw out a whole bunch now and pick from those next week or think about the things you want to clear out of the way to make room for the bigger goals.  

3. I loved DEH’s prompt (corrected, it was heu mihi's!) at the beginning of the last session to set an INTENTION for the whole session, so if that’s something you want to do this is a great time to think about it. 

4. Or just come say hello and tell us how you’ve been over the break and then come back next week for introductions and session goals. 

Our dates are listed below because I usually forget the schedule a quarter of the way in, this will keep it handy for reference.

Jan 2/3 (preliminary announcement)
Jan 9/10 (official start)
Jan 16/17
Jan 30/31
Feb 6/7
Feb 13/14
Feb 20/21
Feb 27/28
March 6/7 (week 8, mid-term post)
March 13/14
March 20/21
March 27/28
April 3/4
April 10/11
April 17/18
April 24/25
May 1/2 (week 16, end of session)

Have a lovely week!


  1. It was actually heu mihi who suggested setting an intention, last time, but certainly, if anyone wants to do that, go for it! My general intention for 2021, posted on my own blog, is "Roll with the punches," and I think it works here, as well.

    I'm a late-career medievalist at Large Regional University (LRU) in the American midwest. Current focus: probably looking for a focus! After three years of trying to move house, we managed it last summer; there's still a good bit of unpacking and organizing to do. I have to get my spring courses prepped and deliver them online. I have revisions to finish on an essay that was accepted with revisions: I had hoped to do them during the winter break, but unless I get it done this week, that task will still be with me. I would love to finish that and move ON to newer and more interesting research projects.

    I look forward to interacting with everyone who joins this session, and hope to see old friends, maybe "meet" some new people or get reacquainted with participants who haven't been here in awhile!

  2. Hi, I'm Susan, a senior humanities scholar at a still relatively new and very aspirational university. I take on more than my share of service responsibilities, both on and off campus, but mostly enjoy them. I live in a small city with 2 cats (one of whom is bothering me right now). My mother, who lives in an assisted living place near me, turns 90 on Friday, and the pandemic has made worry about her a bit more anxiety producing.

    My focus this session will be on my teaching (blessedly, only one course) and trying to make progress on Famous Author. Also, staying sane and connected to other people. We're supposed to be in "shelter in place" right now, so it's a lot of alone.

    I like Dame Eleanor's intention, and mine is "Be kind not just to others but to myself". So I will now apologize, but not berate myself, for not doing the final check-in of the last semester.

  3. Hi! I'm Daisy. I’m an early mid-career (tenured a couple of years ago) associate prof in a physical science discipline that depends heavily on field work and fancy lab machines. I teach at a small primarily undergraduate university in a cold, isolated place with beautiful scenery. I have one child. My classes the last few years have been huge so I’m usually struggling to keep my head above water, but my research is fun and inspiring and interesting so I’m really lucky there.

    This session my focus has to be on the paper I have named the Albatross... It has been driving me up the wall for ages now, I need to just pull an Ancient Mariner and shoot it, either by finishing it or giving up on it.

    For teaching I'm aiming for structure and survival. I hated every single minute of teaching online last term, and am totally dreading doing it again. Fortunately the students hated it less than I did and I actually got some really good reviews and comments about the term. Must have done something right, so I will try to repeat the good things and drop the ones that made me crazy (discussion boards I'm looking at you!)...

    Will have to think about an intention and update that next week.

  4. Hi, I'm Elizabeth, a senior rare books librarian at an R1 in upstate New York. My initial training was in medieval studies, so my post-tenure research nestles in the Venn diagram overlap between medieval studies and rare books. I take on far too many service responsibilities, although I have promised myself after forcibly having to acknowledge the effect of stress on my well-being, to back off a bit.

    My day job can be done with surrogates, so I am not (yet) required to go to my workplace, unless someone is working with non-English rare books. I have mixed feelings about working from home--it makes working on my scholarship easier, but the chores do nip at the edges of my brain. Therefore, my intention is "Float above the fray."

    My focus this session is on Illuminated, which is rapidly approaching the state of Daisy's Albatross. If I can push that out the door, I have a couple of works-in-waiting.

    I'm still recovering from staying up most of the night to watch the insurrection and aftermath. I hope the next few days go well with everyone. Float like mist!

  5. Hello! I'm heu mihi, a mid-career medievalist at a public R1 in the Northeast. I have a son (pseudonymed Bonaventure, age 8) and a husband (The Minister, or TM), as well as an ancient cat (real name Solange, age 20.75).

    Following our return from an 8-day visit to my mother (with all Covid precautions taken--pre- and post-quarantine, tests), I am taking this afternoon to work out my planning and intentions for the coming year/semester/month, so I expect to have more to say about that next week. What I want, though, is a sense of calm--but don't we all? This would include the knowledge that I'm not ignoring important parts of my life (such as my scholarship, or significant relationships, or my mental health), but also requires me not to place too much pressure on myself. So I need to think it all through.

    And it would be really helpful if we could avoid having any more national catastrophes for a few weeks, thank you very much!

  6. Hello all! I haven't been around for a bit, but am trying to take a more intentional and less chaotic approach to this year, so we will see how that goes...

    I'm karen, I'm mid-career (how did that happen) at a regional uni in the southern hemisphere. I'm stepping back from a major service role this year and returning to being a 'balanced' teaching and research academic - this means developing two new courses (one each semester), trying to get a couple of publications out and starting up a new research project and supervising a couple of postgraduate research students to examination. Luckily, my place has been fairly sheltered from covid, so we are planning for on campus teaching, though online content expectations are still ratcheted up. Sending best wishes to those of you in winter lockdown.

    I will be taking two months long service leave just after this session finishes, so it seems an excellent time to plan for. My theme/intention is 'frictionless' - trying to remove the catches and rough bits that stop or slow things down (which tend to be my mental blocks and bad habits, mostly).

    I have two children, one partner who also works full time various birds, and a permaculture-influenced productive garden. Berries have mostly finished and apricots should be ripening soon.

    1. Welcome back! It's good to see you again, and we'll be interested in seeing how things develop for you. It seems like much of the Southern Hemisphere has handled covid better than the US and UK.

    2. Apricots- yum! A friend with a tree has given me big bags the past few years which have made delicious jam.