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Sunday 2 May 2021

2021 Session 1, Week 17: Disembarking procedures

Greetings, passengers and crew! First Mate T'Melnor speaking. Senior bridge crew have completed negotiations with Primaveran officials regarding docking procedures, customs inspection, fumigation and Albatross handling. We have docked at the spaceport in orbit around Primavera Prime. Passengers proceeding to other destinations will be able to make connections within the spaceport. Those heading planetside should go to Dock 17H3 for the shuttle to Primavera Prime.

  • Passengers, please fill out the paperwork that has been delivered to your cabins, then proceed to your designated airlock. Crew will take your baggage from the hold. Take only your hand luggage to the airlock. 
  • Crew, expect an announcement regarding shore leave, not to begin before all passengers have safely left the ship. 
  • All those who wish to say goodbye to Captain Ivan Vorpatril, please proceed immediately to Docking Bay C, where he will rendezvous with a Barrayaran escort shuttle to take him directly to the embassy. We thank Captain Vorpatril for his stimulating company during our voyage and wish him well with all his endeavors, diplomatic and otherwise. 
  • Albatrosses are to be quarantined at the spaceport. Those responsible for them must post bond to ensure that they are not abandoned at the port. Visiting hours can be arranged through the Primaveran Office of Ecological Security.
  • All personnel must leave the ship before fumigation for Demotivators begins at 1200 hours on Wednesday.
  • Among the rest of the paperwork, each of you (both crew and passengers) will find a form with goals for the voyage, either the original set or those amended mid-journey. Please check these and indicate which goals you have completed. There is extra space in which to include significant activities performed during the voyage that were not listed among your original goals.

Thank you for joining us on this research mission. Captain Daisy and I wish you the best with your projects, and we would be pleased to travel with you again. I understand that heu mihi and Humming42 are organizing a mid-year mission, dates to be determined. We look forward to working with them on their mission. Live long and prosper!


Captain Daisy
1) Start slow and sensible strength training/exercise program
2) Analysis and Report on fun local project
3) Do a good graduate course for lovely students
4) All the revisions for all the things, mainly student stuff
5) Survive classes

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Reassess my 5-year plan.
Get a polished draft of Illuminated.
Get as far as I can with steady progress on an outline for Translated.
Organize quarters.
Deepen and normalize self-care practices.

heu mihi
1) Research and writing:
   a. Public/private conference paper (due March).
   b. Pedagogy conference paper (due May).
   c. Collection intro - This is going to be March's project.
   d. Death essay.
2) Teaching: Have fun, be good, and don't let it take over my life.
3) Habits:
   a. Sit regularly.
   b. Language study at least a few times a week.
   c. Write/research three hours/week.
   d. Try out Monk Manual for this term.

1 Keep up with teaching things .
2 present at three online conferences that unfortunately all fall in March.
3 submit Boredom to online conference.

My overall goal is professional survival:
*prepare and deliver class materials just-in-time,
*grade before the absolute final final deadline for grades,
*be kind to students,
*do research things that yell at me (basically, revisions for manuscripts that ECRs need, things for ECRs, things for collaborators who are less in the hole than I am, keep community thing ticking over - I am definitely Community Thing's Group Mom and it is a pain).
*Try not to lose myself in the chaos of my house, and
*continue to move and eat in a balanced way

-Deliver new course with at least two weeks lead time in prep across the semester
-Complete NTRO output
-Hand over all service responsibilities esp Hons project
-Get two postgrads through examination
-prep the mighty kombi for long service leave

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

*Deliver quality classes online, keep up with grading, give my students a decent learning experience.
*Finish the article that has turned into my Albatross.
*Revise Schedule.
*Prioritize sleep and physical health.


  1. It has been great fun traveling with you these past months. Sometimes it felt like we'd never get here, but Stuff has Happened, Things Have Changed, and some Tasks have been Completed or at least Progressed. The view out my window is now green-green-green instead of snowy and bleak. Classes are over. Grading is almost over. I'm back to doing research every day, though writing hasn't resumed yet. We have a new roof and a new microwave, and a new washer and dryer will be installed later this month.

    How I did:
    *Deliver quality classes online, keep up with grading, give my students a decent learning experience. YES.
    *Finish the article that has turned into my Albatross. NO.
    *Revise Schedule. Let's say that I learned some things about scheduling and the amount of time that online teaching eats up.
    *Prioritize sleep and physical health. YES.
    OTHER: I mentioned some in my intro paragraph. A lot of the things I've done have been little things, like getting paint chips, or things that come around annually, like gathering tax documents, but they're still things that had to be done and I did them. I've had some dental work and bought some vegetables that I need to get into the ground, and planted a few seeds. I'm looking forward to the summer. I was reminded this spring that I was eligible to apply for a sabbatical, and since I am massively embarrassed that I haven't finished the book I was working on during my last sabbatical, I want to make a big push this summer and try to get it under contract, so I can apply next year for a sabbatical without embarrassment.

    1. You had a huge term! Lots of changes and all of them needed time and energy and effort. You got lots of great stuff done and now there is a summer of research and writing and gardening to look forward to!

  2. Thank you to Captain Daisy and First Mate T'Melnor for a delightful voyage especially the range of entertainments and opportunities to manage our luggage.

    -Deliver new course with at least two weeks lead time in prep across the semester
    Getting there - managed delivery, even if I just stayed barely ahead, and I'm about to hand over the last two weeks to someone else to deliver, and I have a good stab done of next semester's planning.

    -Complete NTRO output
    Will be finished by the end of this week.

    -Hand over all service responsibilities esp Hons project
    Yes, all done.

    -Get two postgrads through examination
    One done, one deferred to later in the year for their reasons

    -prep the mighty kombi for long service leave
    Yes, thought that was more in the nature of enabling other people to do the van work and taking care of the trip planning and packing.

    Wishing you all a good end of semester, victories over grading and with many thanks for your companionship on the voyage.

    1. Congratulations on getting so many things done!
      Happy travels! Hope it is restorative and fun and a wonderful break!

    2. I hope to hear about your trip when the next session starts! If vicarious travel is all I get, then I want to enjoy it as much as I can. Echoing Daisy on the hopes for your break.

  3. I was thinking of all of you, so I thought I would stop by. Consider me part of the welcome party that is waving at you from shore, greeting you as you disembark!

    Hallo! Hallo! *waves brightly colored scarf back and forth*

    (Also, if you have another journey coming up soon, I might join you if you'll have me.)

    1. Hello! So good to see you! Of course you'd be welcome back. Not sure when the next iteration is starting, but I'm sure that it will be soon

      I hope that you're doing well!!

    2. It is lovely to have a welcoming party! Thank you!

    3. Thank you for the welcome! It would be great to have you on the next journey, as heu mihi said.

    4. Definitely enjoying a welcome party!

    5. How lovely to see you! How nice of you to come and greet us!

  4. Hard to believe it is the end of our trip… I’m in the in-between season – classes and teaching and grading are all over, the real summery research feeling has not started yet and left-over administration and service stuff is still dominating most days. But there are glimpses of a different phase on the way! I’m looking forward to it!

    Session Goals
    1) Start slow and sensible strength training/exercise program
    This was a great success. I’ve been consistent and am currently not injured which is a first for the last year! Will continue with this and slowly add running back into the mix… but only when it stops raining every single frigging day…

    2) Analysis and Report on fun local project
    This was good, also finished another local project and got final reports done for that.

    3) Do a good graduate course for lovely students
    Yes, it was a good course, and the students got something useful out of it. I enjoyed it, it wasn’t perfect, but it was good. The students came out with some really good skills that they will use in their thesis projects so I’m very happy with that.

    4) All the revisions for all the things, mainly student stuff
    One MSc student defended successfully, one MSc student had a paper published, I revised three of my papers with lovely co-authors, and made a good start on another one, so this was good.

    5) Survive classes (dropped the part about having fun with them)
    Student feedback was wonderful and really encouraging. Turns out trying to forcibly “have fun” did not work but sucking it up and doing what was necessary worked just fine and weirdly the students seemed to have fun with things. There is a lesson in here somewhere…. But I can categorically state that after trying everything pedagogically recommended, after busting my ass to create good courses, after spending double time on teaching compared to any other year, after doing excellent courses and getting wonderful student feedback… I HATE TEACHING ONLINE. I really do, and I am willing to own that!

    I’m sad that the good intentions my Albatross did not go anywhere (except where the road paved with good intentions usually lead?). This is going to be a big focus going forward, along with the projects that have students involved.

    Extras: picked up two research projects related to small local one, presented at two conferences I wasn’t really planning on, ran an EDI workshop at one conference, organized one big student conference that was very successful, organized a two-week long speaker series for professional association (happens next week), did an insane of work for my department, found a nanny for baby albatross paper, possibly found more grad students, stayed reasonably cheerful and positive, managed not to drink excessively, didn’t yell at anyone… I think those are all decent check in the “win” column!

    Thank you to everyone for keeping us company on this voyage, it really was a lot a lot of fun! And thank you to First Mate T’Melnor for being a brilliant member of the bridge crew!

    We will miss you Captain Vorpatril! Thanks for joining us!

    1. Thank you, Captain Daisy!
      My motto for this year is we've done the best we can do, and that's all we can. But I'm totally with you on online teaching...

    2. You have done most excellently well with exercise, teaching, research, and extra things. Our Albatrosses have had what I hope will prove a lovely rest, and we'll wrangle them when we're off this ship.

  5. Hello everyone! Thank you, thank you to our bold leaders. You provided a lot of levity as well as some important prompts for reflection--without leaving me feel too pressured to match your creativity. (I can be creative, I swear. Just not on this blog, for some reason.) I will be delighted to co-lead a workmanlike summer session for you all in the coming months.

    Session goals:
    1) Research and writing:
    a. Public/private conference paper (due March). - Had to happen, so it happened.
    b. Pedagogy conference paper (due May). - Had to happen, so it happened. Actually the talk isn't until next week, but I'm all set. It's a low-pressure one.
    c. Collection intro - I've drafted my part. My co-author is under considerably more stress this semester than I am, so I'm mostly just waiting on her at this point.
    d. Death essay. - I have a substantial draft, which is what I'd hoped for. I think that I'm almost at the point of needing someone else to read it and tell me whether it has any sort of point to it at all.
    2) Teaching: Have fun, be good, and don't let it take over my life.
    ....I did okay. I didn't really have fun, even though it's a mostly fun course. I found myself feeling very angry at certain selected students, especially over the last few weeks; there were a few who simply sucked all of the energy out of me, either by needing way too much hand-holding or by, in one case, glomming onto me in an oppressive and borderline inappropriate way. Actually, no, just inappropriate in some cases (e.g. telling me about dreams, including dreams that I was in...). Said student also didn't seem to do much actual READING for the course, hence my rage. I also had to intervene on her behalf TWICE in cases to do with maybe-Title-IX-ish sort of things. So it was exhausting.
    I get it, the pandemic is wreaking havoc on her, too, but I've been feeling really depleted by the energy-leeches out there.
    3) Habits:
    a. Sit regularly. - YES, usually 5 times a week!
    b. Language study at least a few times a week. - At least 3 times a week!
    c. Write/research three hours/week. - YES, I was very good about this!
    d. Try out Monk Manual for this term. - Yes, and it was fine, but it's expensive and only lasts 14 weeks, which is annoying. I'm going back to my week-by-week moleskine for now and will probably just stick with it.

    ALSO DONE: Knitted a sweater and started a cardigan; continued teaching my son French (as a third-grader, he's now on chapter 6 of a high school textbook); just this weekend shoveled about TWO ACTUAL, LITERAL TONS of gravel from the spot where our "greenhouse" was recently torn down and used it to re-cover most of our driveway (I'm absurdly proud of this labor!); planted a few new things in the garden; ran a good bit; kept doing yoga mostly; read a few fun books; successfully found my replacement as Undergraduate Program Director; served on two grad students' exam committees. And presumably did some other stuff as well.

    Looking forward to our next session! Thank you all for your good company, as always!

    1. heu mihi, I will be in touch via email about scheduling our next session--I have your info from co-hosting with you long, long ago!

    2. I am so impressed with your habit of habits! That is a huge think for sanity and balance, and I take my hat off to you for making them all stick through this insane term. And you got some really substantial research work done while surviving classes, I would definitely call that a huge win for the session!
      thanks for offering to host the next one!

    3. Sorry to hear about the energy-leeches! Probably a little nasty we picked up in the Globulon Nebula; we'll have to make sure the hull is cleaned as well as getting the inside of the ship fumigated. You've had a brilliant session, and I am so impressed by the gravel-shoveling!

  6. First, I must thank Captain Daisy, and First Mate T’Melnor for a very productive and enjoyable trip to Primavera. Thank you to my fellow travelers whose company and support were greatly appreciated. I also enjoyed blasting everyone’s excess baggage out the airlocks and seeing how disintegration works in a vacuum. Finally, I have thanked Captain Vorpatril for the enjoyable conversation and dancing, which also livened up the voyage. All in all, it was an enlightening and supremely enjoyable trip.

    As for what I accomplished on my voyage, I am heartened that I did more than I expected.
    Reassess my 5-year plan. Yes. This was a very interesting exercise, giving myself permission to think about other trajectories and voyages.
    Get a polished draft of Illuminated. No. Simply put, I just could not work on this project. I believe I needed to take a break from it, because I found myself thinking about it in short stints the last couple of days, which is a sign I’m ready to go back to it.
    Get as far as I can with steady progress on an outline for Translated. Yes. I managed to do a fair amount of work on two sections of this project, and I feel good about it.
    Organize quarters. Yes. I think this is where I needed/wanted to put my energy, because it was something I worked on more than on any other project.
    Deepen and normalize self-care practices. Yes and no. I do not have a suite of habits, which was my goal, but I have created several habits. More importantly, I made huge strides in being kinder to myself.

    I am looking forward to the trip that heu mihi and Humming are planning--I am putting things into order in preparation for a good outcome. Here’s to a lovely break and a great summer journey! Float like mist, everyone.

    1. Five-year plan assessment and self-care and quarters-organizing are all so important. Especially when all the other things are slightly or a lot out of control having the space to be comfortable mentally and physically is a life-saver. Congratulations of everything you got done, that is a lot of research work, and it is nice to see the one that didn't get the main attention sneaking back and making you want to think about it, a very good sign for future trips!

    2. I agree with Daisy, you've done well and I'm sure all your organizing and steady work was a help in staying balanced and sane.

  7. Thank you Captain Daisy and Dame Eleanor for piloting a delightful session here at TLQ. My lack of showing up was always a result of my lack of meeting goals, but I enjoyed reading through and supporting this wonderful community regardless of my goals.

    Also, with gratitude for encouragement, the Because paper I was fretting about was accepted and scheduled for publication.

    So those session goals, as they were revised
    1 Keep up with teaching things. This was really a struggle for me and I will be grateful to be back on campus in the Fall (with hope) where the small everyday interactions with students will help me stay on track.
    2 Present at three online conferences that unfortunately all fall in March. They were all good experiences, the best being the one that is focused on my former discipline (as an undergrad and MA) that also leans into my current discipline. I learned a lot about what I do and don’t want to do with regard to research and scholarship.
    3 Submit Boredom to online conference. I was surprised by how dearly I wished I was in the same room with the people on zoom at this conference. Wonderful community. I will be drafting an abstract for a collection coming from the conference, among the other too-many-already summer projects.

    heu mihi and I will convene and report back with summer plans. Wishing you all happy departures and celebrations of all kinds as the semester(s) wind down.

    1. Congratulations on the accepted paper!!! That's wonderful!
      So glad your conferences were good experiences! March is a hard point in any term, it is good that they added something valuable rather than be the last straw that makes everything too much! Congratulations on the submissions and all the keeping up with things despite the insanity!
      Thanks for hosting the next session!

    2. Yes, congratulations! I'm glad to hear that the paper was accepted. And I know what you mean about wanting to be in the same room with people.

      Thanks to you and to heu mihi for coming forward to do the next session!

  8. Many many thanks to Captain Daisy and First Mate T'Melnor. It was a mostly good voyage, though my disembarking has been delayed due to the illness that often plagues cruise ships, norovirus. I'm delighted to have purchased a new ballgown, and to have had the chance to dance... I'm sorry the last few weeks have been a little inconsistent in my participation in events! The end of semester always does me in.

    Anyway, how I did:

    1. Finish chapter 2 of Famous Author ALMOST Just need a couple of more stints
    2. Keep up with teaching, but don't let it take over my life. . YES
    3. Finish big transition for Proforg. YES, DONE
    4. Repeatedly going to the decks for relaxation and exercise programs. YES, DONE
    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, DONE - and in person has been a joy!
    6. Watch out for my mother (she's in assisted living, I can't visit, so. . .). YES. I CAN VISIT IN HER ROOM AND, YAY.
    7. Other duties as assigned. YES

    I count this session as a win. While I had more ambitious goals, I'm glad with where I got. I got over a big hump on Famous Author, and I think I can see where the project is going. If I hadn't got the norovirus this week, I'd have finished. I'll still draft what I think is the last big chapter over the summer but the revision will be mighty.
    Teaching went well, students seemed to appreciate that I was flexible and kind. But it's exhausting online, and all the back office stuff is just tiring. Still, I survived, my students survived, and. . .
    Work with ProfOrg continues, but less stressful now that contracts are signed with major press etc. The last few weeks there was an online conference, and I really struggled to build that into my life. I know they are the future, but it's really hard when you DON'T LEAVE YOUR NORMAL LIFE to engage with others.
    As to the rest, being fully vaccinated, and having more friends fully vaccinated, and my mother, has been awesome. I've had people over! Met at restaurants! Visited! So exciting...
    Looking forward to the summer! Thanks, heu mihi and humming42 for volunteering to lead us!

    1. I love being able to "go" to one-off talks; even for local ones, it's such a time-saver to be able to attend from one's own home. But conferences, where you have to switch gears to listen to multiple short papers in a row, with your normal life going on all day, instead of being in the room with other listeners . . . yeah, no, I do not like that.

      You made a lot of progress with chapter 2 and got through the big ProfOrg thing, so yay! I'm so glad you can visit your mother again.