I'm hoping I'm not out of order here; according to our original plan, March 4/5 was supposed to be the midterm check-in, but it was also supposed to be Week 8, which this apparently is (?!). So I'm going to take the liberty of doing the mid-term post now and hope for the best. To review from Week 1: April 22/23 (week 16) will be the final week of goal-setting, and we'll do a session recap in the week of April 29/30.
But first, I'm going to abuse my host privileges and post pictures of the NEW KITTENS that we somewhat unexpectedly got this week. (We knew that we were going to look at kittens, but we didn't know that they would be ready to take home! Yet here they are.) Meet the nameless kittens currently known as Smudge (the one with the white nose) and Not Smudge.
They are really very wee--only 6 weeks old (the owner of the mother cat was fairly motivated to move them out into the world)--but settling in quite well. Litter box successes all around, and they love to play like maniacs and then snuggle on laps.
So I didn't have a very productive week. This week's prompt was going to be "What do you think of my kittens?", but an alternative is, "What are your comforting thoughts when you need something to make you smile?" Because kittens definitely serve that purpose.
--And there's not much need for a prompt anyway, because it's time for midterm check-in! How are these goals serving you? Are there any that you want to jettison or to add? --Session goals listed first, followed by week gaols. I mean goals. (Decided to keep the typo there.)
Get my new lab completely functional and organized
Submit 2 papers that have been languishing for far too long
Get my library/music/games/craft space functional and beautiful
Try two 100-day projects (one with yoga, one with drawing)
Get back on the exercise wagon
Do one fun thing every week, bonus points if it is new
Dame Eleanor Hull:
- grade efficiently and return comments in a timely manner
- make progress on book
- do some Responsible Adult tasks (such as get a new driver's license that satisfies Real I.D. requirements, find a new doctor)
- make progress on unpacking and other House Tasks
1. Encyclopedia entry due 1/31
2. Conference paper due 3/7
3. Book review due 3/25
4. Draft three (ha ha! Look at me being ambitious!) chapters
5. Do fun things, like seeing a friend, at least three times a month
6. Sit regularly, run regularly, get back into a steady yoga practice (at least one lesson a week on average); keep track of alcohol consumption, out of curiosity
1) Self-care - this comes first, and is about making sure that when I don't have very many 'spoons', I don't automatically throw them all into work. It's about maintaining the little habits and slowly adding to them, finding the motivation to make a pan of soup on the weekend, practicing saying "later" and "no" and "not today."
1a) reclaim my immediate physical environment. October, I decided to take some steps, and reached out to a professional declutterer plus researched and signed a contract to get the house doors and windows replaced (original wooden ones are close to 40 years old and have not been well maintained, plus drafty). In November, my roof sprung a leak which ended up requiring a complete re-roof of the house which emptied my accessible savings and beyond - but I do now have a water-tight house. And I'm committed to the windows and doors, so they should get done this month (all these expenses makes industrial action and pay deductions scary... but the medium term will be OK, just got to get through the next few months). After which, I want to work with the decluttering lady every few weeks, until I get to a point where I can possibly feel OK having a cleaner in once a month, and start saving again towards getting some redecorating done by persons not me! (unlike the Dame, I am terrible at painting walls).
2) research stuff. This is mostly just "ticking over" - I have two grad students at the moment, and several early career folks who I work with/mentor in various informal ways at other places, plus am part of various collaborative projects. Things which need to happen during this session:
2a) poor abandoned multi-author paper - needs to be revised using all the comments I got 14 months ago and be resubmitted
2b) review paper - a collective effort, the journal wants it in March (already about a 6 month extension).
2c) paper with senior grad student - their first manuscript, a little side project of theirs which we worked on together - would like to get a full draft by the end of the session
2d) consultancy - SGS and I have about a week's worth of computer modelling to do which is applied work on an interesting problem, will provide SGS with a nice bit of extra pay, and form the final section of a paper the scientist from the commercial organisation is already writing, so low effort for a solid reward
2e) wish-we-never-started project - has been and still is a nightmare but I HAVE to start producing outputs, even through I still don't know how to pay for stuff from the project (it's only been 18months of internal confusion...)
2f) what-do-you-mean-we-got-the-money project (I'm a minor partner on a very off-the-wall sort of project idea which was thrown together in about ten days for a cross-funding-body new horizons funding call, and, well, we were all rather shocked and now something has to happen. Thank the good LORD the hiring has worked smoothly and we have a great technical hire locally to actually do the making things happen...).
3) teaching. I have three modules to coordinate (all team taught, all non-standard in some way), a small herd of final year project students to support, and a newish administrative role to navigate on top of the two I already have. This is actually not only my light semester, but I have some extra-for-this-year-only help with some of the in person teaching (for two units, I do the writing/slides/ViLE setup/marking, and teach the virtual repeat, but the in person classes are taught by other people which saves me some commuting)... my main goal here is just survival, but to set something a bit more measurable, I'm aiming to be at least 7 days ahead in terms of prep/paperwork, and more once we reach March, the bulk of the content delivery is over, and the focus is on workshops and projects and the like.
4) fun: this includes writing fiction or poetry, reading fiction or non-work-related non-fiction, making things, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with my nibling and their friends. I want to spend at least a couple of hours a week doing FUN THINGS.
Finish and submit the journal article I was working on last term (I came so close before Christmas!)
Plan how to use research leave next term.
Keep teaching under control - do only essential prep/revisions, resist the temptation to go the extra mile. Remind myself no one will notice whether I do or not.
Try to tackle some of the projects on the list, but not beat myself up about them.
Try to make some time for myself and use it mindfully.
Research - have KL article ready for submission; be on track with body project
Teaching - stay at least a week ahead on VILE; all marking done within 2 weeks
Self and home - keep up monthly and weekly planning in bujo, maintain an intentional exercise schedule each week
1. Actually finish Famous Author (with whom I am very bored) so I feel free. Send to publisher. Get it done.
2. Get draft of Intro to Big Collaboration drafted. I'm not teaching this term (lots of admin instead) so this should be possible)
1. This is the busy season for the garden: prune roses, pull up grass while the ground is (VERY) wet. Put down weedblock and mulch.
2. Plant some low growing drought tolerant plants along the new irrigation piping so the yard looks better.
3. Sort books that I don't want to keep and take them to various places where they might find homes. (This is in preparation for moving/downsizing when I retire, probably formally 3 years from now.
1. Make sure I do something social for fun every week.
2. Regular exercise. At the very end of this session I've signed up for a 10 day walk along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. So I need to be able to walk 10 miles a day. Walking, riding my expensive bike, yoga etc. Something every day.
URGENT Accounting for conference and research purchases
URGENT Requisition forms for equipment
Ship off samples for processing (hard part, finding the relevant POs)
Review that I forgot about, damn…
Do actual research with actual samples!!!!
Write something (anything!) for local joint paper
Start on music for upcoming concert
Dame Eleanor Hull:
- continue to spend 10 hours/night in bed
- walk and yoga 5x each
- set up assignments for both classes to spring break
- read at least 500 lines of Irrelevant Romance
- dead language group prep
- choose new PCP
- one House Thing
1. Read dissertation chapter, like I promised I would
2. Maaayyybeeee reread chapter that I've been working on
3. Ease up on routines; anything that I do in that area is a bonus
4. Don't let my mom mix me any drinks while I'm visiting (seriously--they're dangerous, and I'm too old for that nonsense).
5. Work a little bit on Sustainability Committee stuff (for my town, not my job)
1) self-care: trying again about the food. After pancake day. And prioritising sleep over extra work-y bits.
1a) environment: do the small chores, 1 lot of laundry-from-dusty-corners-of-cupboard, and aim to hoover/sweep every floor surface once
2) R - do something else concrete towards the teaching-related R project. meet colleague about multi-author paper which is crawling towards submission. CRAWLING. But at least we do now have time to meet this week.
3) T - Get fifth and sixth week materials onto all the ViLEs.
4) read a bit; play D&D. Excavate the crochet blanket from the pile of "one more wear" stuff on the chair and put it somewhere obvious so I might work on it. Wrap and mail my sister's birthday presents!
1. Prep teaching for next two weeks.
2. Submit the article!
3. Review a journal article I foolishly agreed to review.
4. Try to get more sleep.
Karen (held over):
KL article - pull apart and outline structure for the two articles
Teaching prep - have everything up to week 3 fully polished apart from the bits being done by the digital learning team
End of year exhibition - send out info to sound/session people
3 x yoga
Plant winter seeds
1. Finish last three essays we have for Big Collaboration
2. Read book for book review
3. Start work on taxes :(
4. Keep up with admin stuff
5. Enjoy weekend trip for a birthday party for NY friend visiting nearby big city.
6. Keep up with sleep/ eating / exercise