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Sunday, 7 March 2021

First session 2021, Week 9: The Jettisoning Ceremony

Ivan couldn't help flinching when he saw the baggage closed into the airlock, even though he was very sure it was just unwanted stuff, no bodies, not even dead, definitely not alive. It was still all too reminiscent of various small spaces he'd been confined to, and he remembered having the same feeling when he'd heard about Ekaterin's hours in an airlock with Professora Vorthys, waiting to find out whether the Komarrans or Miles would get to them first. But it was his duty, on this trip, to be a genial companion to the lady professors, so he put on his best diplomatic smile and ushered the Professoras Mihi and Mitchell up to wield the laser-vaporizers after Captain Daisy opened the outer door on the airlock. The bags whooshed out into the vacuum, and, with disturbing glee, the ladies picked them off one by one with the lasers. Ivan sure hoped they wouldn't discover their favorite shoes had accidentally got packed in the vaporized bags. Oh, well, he'd probably be dealing with whatever the Primaverans had saved up for him by the time the professoras were unpacking.


It seems like we have a rather small group for the ceremony. Here's what we're jettisoning, if I've read the posts from last week correctly: 

Daisy: Finish my Albatross paper. Figure out a way to have some fun with my courses instead of just surviving them.

humming42: finished draft of tiny project

T’Melnor: Unpack all my books and do more settling in the new house.

And here are the goals from last week:

1) Conference recording
2) GRADING!!!!! So much grading…
3) Walk every day
4) Do all my research accounting
5) Plan and post remaining course activities
6) Analysis for local project
7) do next year's course planning

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Write at least 250 words a day on Translatio; Feminae; or UnnamedAsYet. 1x5
Write up peer review.1x5 Nearly TRQ
Read background on Famous Printer 1x3
Call three doctors for appointments.

heu mihi
1) Send off essay collection emails (2 batches)
2) Write 2 hours
3) Ask a question at this morning's panel
4) Walk more than run this week
5) sit x5, language x5

1 Submit material for Conference 1
2 Attend virtual business meetings for Conference 1
3 Make some progress with grading: 4 hours/day
4 Create some order somewhere in my life: following EAM’s wisdom, I’m going to try for 1 hour/day in my office


Catch up with grading discussion boards.
New topics for grad writing.
Dead languages 4x each.
Albatross-handling 3x.
Set up March calendar pages.
Fall course descriptions.
Daily stretching & cardio, weights x3.
Get car noise checked out.
Stretch goal: tidy study.

I haven't gone back to find held-over goals, but if you have been holed up in your cabin and want to come to this week's reception post-jettisoning (and post-target practice), by all means, please join us and tell us how your week went! Or, if you can't bear to look back, just come say hello and, if you feel like it, set some new goals going forward.


  1. How I did:
    Catch up with grading discussion boards. YES
    New topics for grad writing. YES
    Dead languages 4x each. NO: 2 or 3 on one, 1 for the other.
    Albatross-handling 3x. NOPE. Totally ignored the Albatross.
    Set up March calendar pages. YES
    Fall course descriptions. NO
    Daily stretching & cardio, weights x3. YES
    Get car noise checked out. NO, but appointment made for car.
    Stretch goal: tidy study. SOME: some books have moved off my desk and to shelves that (having seen the roof) I expect to stay dry until the new roof happens.
    OTHER: contract signed and deposit on roof made. Discussion board questions for grad class complete and on BB through week 12 or 13 (at any rate, I need two more, and I'll be done). All grad readings for the rest of term are on BB. I unpacked a couple of boxes, shifted others around in the garage, and finally located the book I wanted already unpacked and on my shelves. (D'oh!)

    Like Daisy, I've been focusing on teaching prep, in hopes that I'll be better able to deal with the Albatross once I'm less distracted by needing to attend to course work. If I can get to the point where I only have to prep actual meetings and grade, it will be a profound relief.

    New goals:
    Discussion questions for rest of term for undergrads.
    Dead languages 4x each.
    Fall course descriptions.
    Order fall books.
    Daily stretching & cardio, weights x3.
    Get car noise checked out.
    Collect tax documents.
    More tidying of study.

    1. Congratulations on all the things on the list that got done, and the extras! Those extras take a lot of effort and the teaching ones will pay off in time later in the term.
      I heard from the Albatross keeper-in-chief that they're having a grand old time in the cargo hold and they are not missing us at all! He did mention that he had to reinforce the force-field because a couple of Demotivators were trying to get in there, they seem to have taken a shine to the big birds and he was afraid there may have been an attempt at inter-species breeding... We definitely don't want that so I've authorized any extra power he needs!

    2. I've heard from the person I'm supposed to deliver the Albatross to. The deadline is reasonable---I could just put off coping with the Albatross till we reach Primavera. It feels very strange to let go of research goals entirely, though. If I work on something else, I'm afraid I'll totally lose the thread of what the Albatross piece is supposed to be doing. Sigh.

  2. I am very happy with the jettisoning ceremony! Small or not, it was very helpful for me to just admit I cannot do certain things on this trip, and accept that. The blowing them up part was fun too! I was asked very nicely to help out on a very small project that I can do in a few weeks. It is critical for the one who asked so I get the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile and interesting, and helping out someone who really needs it. That will substitute in the “research” slots instead of the Albatross which is just too big and too overwhelming right now.

    Last week’s goals:
    1) Conference recording DONE
    2) GRADING!!!!! So much grading… DONE!!!! Next batch coming in next week…
    3) Walk every day HALF DONE
    4) Do all my research accounting NOPE
    5) Plan and post remaining course activities DONE!!
    6) Analysis for local project ONGOING
    7) do next year's course planning which is so way behind it is not even funny... ONGOING

    I definitely did a decent job of catching up. Teaching is reasonably under control for one class so there’s not a lot of new work to do for that one. I did a huge amount of work on a student conference I’m co-hosting, that will happen next week and then I’m off the hook for that particular activity for the next 5 to 8 years (yay host rotations!). I have to do better on the regular walking, I’ve promised myself if I walk at least 5 times a week for the rest of March I can try running again, hoping the walking helps to not repeat the last round of injury.

    This week’s goals:
    1) Finish student conference and all last minute related tasks
    2) Read and comment on Masters thesis
    3) Try again: Walk 5 times, and stretch
    4) Try again: Do all my research accounting
    5) Keep going on local project analysis
    6) Give really good grad seminar lecture
    7) Take advantage of meeting-free afternoon midweek and go out somewhere

    1. Lots of teaching stuff Done, and as you said to me, that will pay off in the rest of the semester. And definitely yay for being off the hook for the student conference for years now! Beware the "you did such a great job" flattery when they ask you to do it again sooner than you think you should. Good luck with the walking!

  3. Last week's goals were nice and modest.

    1) Send off essay collection emails (2 batches) - Yes (took about 20 minutes all told)
    2) Write 2 hours - Yes
    3) Ask a question at this morning's panel - Yes!! I hate asking questions at conferences, it makes me so nervous, so I was very proud of myself for doing this.
    4) Walk more than run this week - Yes; only did 2 short runs and walked about every day
    5) sit x5, language x5 -x5, x4

    The panel went well; it was nice to be in a conference-y environment again. I was subsequently invited to be on a podcast called "My Favorite Mystic," which should be fun (if a little nerve-wracking!), and found someone to invite to submit to the journal I edit. So it was also productive beyond the panel itself.

    This week:
    1) Write 3 hours (on at least 2 of the 3 current projects)
    2) Run 3 or 4 times (the weather should be lovely mid-week; I can't wait!)
    3) sit x 5, language x 5
    4) Small accounting things that need to happen
    5) Read grad student's thesis bit, read other student's comps essays
    6) Read something, anything, research-related!

    1. Look at all the Yes! You did great! That's how conferences are supposed to work, so it's nice to hear that the online version is productive. Enjoy the lovely weather!

    2. Modest goals or not, that's a lot of things done! Great to hear that the conference was enjoyable, that podcast idea sounds fascinating, you'll have to let us know how that that goes!

  4. I completely agree with Daisy on jettisoning. What a delight to see the tiny project goal--but not the project itself--go up like fireworks. So satisfying. I’m going to secretly work on tiny project in that room behind the mirror in my quarters. I hope you also find the rooms behind the mirrors.

    As much as I wish to avoid my Shiny Object Syndrome, I seem to be swooning over too many cool projects lately. I think I am moving closer to a blending of research and creative writing which will help me manage and enjoy those projects more. After all, when the series editor got my book manuscript, she told me that she didn’t realize my writing was going to be so “descriptive,” indicating this may be a natural progression for me.

    This week, though. When SOS happens during pandemic and you send in abstracts for three national conferences in a two-weeks span. The upside is that all of them are discussion panels and not individual paper presentations. It’s also spring break, which is fantastic timing for Conference 2 and Conference 3, but I also have midterm grades to post on Monday and a half-semester online course to prep. It’s one I teach online every semester, so the build won’t be too difficult.

    Last week:
    1 Submit material for Conference 1: yes
    2 Attend virtual business meetings for Conference 1: no, don’t think I’ll be involved with this organization in the future
    3 Make some progress with grading: 4 hours/day: no, but it is the trend this week
    4 Create some order somewhere in my life: following EAM’s wisdom, I’m going to try for 1 hour/day in my office: no, but I’m thinking about it, for what it’s worth

    This week:
    1 Participate in roundtables for Conferences 2 and 3
    2 Grade 4 hours/day
    3 Finish grading for three courses requiring midterm grades
    4 Build online course

    1. Four hours of grading per day!! My heart goes out to you. Courage, mon amie.

    2. Oooh, rooms behind the mirrors! That's an intriguing, even inspiring, thought! Bon courage avec le marking; I hope you build in some rewards for yourself.

    3. I love the idea of working on a project sort of secretly... That way it is not a pressure generator, but more something that ads a little bit of fun and intrigue to work. And boy we know we can all use a bit of extra fun at this point!
      Your research/creative writing direction sounds fascinating, that can go in all kinds of wonderful directions!
      Good luck with all the conferences!

  5. Interesting that I'm not the only one who just didn't make it last week. Which is too bad, because jettisoning sounds like fun, and is most necessary. There's something about coming up to the one year anniversary of staying home that has been particularly exhausting. So I'll do my mid-course review here, and look at my goals from two weeks ago.

    Session Goals:
    1. Finish chapter 2 of Famous Author, start chapter 3. STRIKE CHAP 3 from this
    2. Keep up with teaching, but don't let it take over my life. KEEP
    3. Finish big transition for Proforg YES, DONE
    4. Repeatedly going to the decks for relaxation and exercise programs YES
    5. Ensuring that I regularly "hang out" with friends (and maybe by the end of the session some of that will be in person!) YES, and in person beginning to happen
    6. Watch out for my mother (she's in assisted living, I can't visit, so. . .) YES
    7. Other duties as assigned.

    So the one thing I'm jettisoning is moving immediately to Chapter 3. I got invited to do a contribution for a festschrift for an old friend, and so I thought I'd take a break from FAMOUS AUTHOR and do a short paper linked to my long term big project. I think that will be interesting, and I'm just psyched to think about it. (Right now, I find it much more intellectually interesting than FAMOUS, which is largely synthetic.)

    Goals from 2 weeks ago:
    1. GRADE PAPERS (TRQ) DONE, but late
    2. Famous Author: 2 sessions NO
    3. Try to get a bit ahead on LMS stuff and assignments NOT REALLY
    4. Start next task for organization CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT THIS WAS!
    5. Get good sleep No and then YES
    6. Keep up with exercise - YES (my most successful activity)
    7. Pull some weeds, fertilize roses: YES AND NO pulled some weeds, need to fertilize
    8. Have some nice conversations YUP
    9. Be kind I HOPE
    10. Float like mist NOT SURE

    Anyway, as I noted above, I've been having trouble concentrating. It was really bad over the weekend I was grading papers (I literally stared at them all weekend) but I'm not sure where the time went. To get writing now I have to do some reading, so that's actually first. Anyway, I'm just recognizing that it's been a year of this weird life of isolation, and I'm tired and unenthusiastic.

    Also, teaching stuff has just taken more time. I've ended up recording longer lectures, and had to provide more support material, and then of course the terrible captions. . .

    In the good news, as someone who has had both shots, I've had a massage, and last weekend I went (as one of about 20 in the audience) to the taping of a concert by our local symphony, on whose board I sit. Afterwards, there was a little party, and I saw and talked to more people at one time than I have for a year. It was amazing!

    Oh, and the shoes can go. After a year of wearing crocs and sandals, my old shoes are too tight. I will have to buy new shoes that are kind to my spreading feet! (Things you discover when you put on proper shoes for the first time in a year!)

    1. Read book for FAMOUS AUTHOR. Maybe write some (2 x 2 hours)
    2. Keep up with class
    3. Read 2 journals from pile I picked up at the office today (these go back to last spring, when the campus closed & mail delivery stopped.)
    4. Make appointment for haircut
    5. Reorganize bedroom
    6. Keep up with exercise
    7. Do something fun with friends in person
    8. Be kind

    1. Hey, one of your session goals is done already, so that's good! And how fantastic that you can go out again! I'm running into the shoe problem, as well, even though the climate here means I didn't wear flip-flops through the winter. On teaching taking more time, I hear you. I don't record videos, but I do put detailed class notes on Bb, and writing them takes way more time than my old three-sentence prompts for myself. One document, I think it was last week, ended up at around 2000 words: no wonder I'm not getting other writing done!

    2. Concentration and ability to focus definitely comes and goes... Just have to let some of those weeks go and start over.
      So happy that you've been able to go out and do things safely again! Fascinating about the shoes... I'm going to test that! Been wearing slippers pretty much all the time, alternating with running shoes and occasional ski boots but nothing else...
      Enjoy the new writing project, sometimes a change is needed, just for a while! And we can definitely throw the Chapter 3 goal out the airlock and shoot at it! There's nothing booked in that cargo bay for the week so have at it! You can pick up 3 again when you have the space and time.

  6. Boy, that jettisoning ceremony was exactly what I needed--a little target practice, a few small explosions--the perfect way to unwind! The stress relief was well timed for an unusual week last week, and so far, more of the same this week.

    Last week's goals:
    Write at least 250 words a day on Translatio; Feminae; or UnnamedAsYet. 1x5 Only 2x4
    Write up peer review.1x5 Nearly TRQ Yes.
    Read background on Famous Printer 1x3 Yes.
    Call three doctors for appointments. No.

    It wasn't a bad week, in fact rather interesting, but odd. I can go months without getting any research questions or needing to write something up. Then the monsoon comes, as it did last week. I had to compose a few paragraphs for local media, research a handful of texts that had inconveniently misplaced their title pages, and contribute to all sorts of administrative conversations.

    Next week's goals:
    Write at least 250 words a day on Translatio; Feminae; or UnnamedAsYet. 1x5
    Write something on Illuminated. 1x3
    Read background on Famous Printer 1x3
    Call three doctors for appointments.

    I want to thank Dame Eleanor for reading the charter hand for me; my thanks also to Susan for looking at the text.

    Finally, enjoy the ball, and float like mist, everyone.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the ceremony! At the end of the trip we'll have a similar one just before we pull into the Primaveran system to make sure our arrival is unsullied by inappropriate baggage...
      Lots of things done in a stressful week, congratulations!
      As an aside, I think it is super cool that this group has actually spawned occasions for people to work together, just wanted to say that!

    2. Daisy, I agree it is very cool to have the possibility of working together in the group.

  7. Running into the ceremony, late, just in time to see the last remnants of the explosions from target practice fade away. All of my goals are must-do, so I don't have anything to surreptitiously kick out the airlock, but reporting on priop[ogress to date:

    -Deliver new course with at least two weeks lead time in prep across the semester. Well, I am delivering it, but I'd estimate prep at half a week behind rather than being ahead. Need to catch up so that I can be on leave at the end of semester.
    -Complete NTRO output. Have plans, next steps is to start putting materials together.
    -Hand over all service responsibilities esp Hons project. All handed over expect Hons project, but that is making progress and will be done by end of month.
    -Get two postgrads through examination. One may cause me to need a long stiff drink with Ivan on a regular basis, but both are getting there, and I'm up to date on feedback.
    -prep the mighty kombi for long service leave. Yes,though a little concerned about the time slippage on the panel work. Need to start making bookings for some key activities and likely-to-be-busy campsites.

    Declaring bankruptcy on previous goals, and setting new ones for the remainder of this week:
    -Collect sample materials from travel day Friday.
    -Turn around feedback for postgrad 1 when next draft comes in
    -Have minimum presence online set for week 1-4 in LMS, and contact 2 industry ppl re contributions.

    1. New goals are good!
      And it looks like the session goals are progressing well, one step at a time and they will get done!

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