Happy Solstice for the week past - midsummer! And it's...
time for HALF-WAY CHECK IN (😱)
- first, respond to the prompt
- second, take the opportunity to revisit and update or remove your session goals if you want or need to (listed below)
- third, report on how last week went. (goals are at the bottom of this post below the session goals
- Submit 2 papers based on conference talks from this week
- Do analysis and write my part of joint local paper
- Field work with 2 students
- Garden project TBD
- Vacation and regular fun with kid
- Expand an article into a chapter
- Cut down a chapter section into a conference paper
- Make progress on another chapter OR preliminary work towards spring sabbatical project
- Work with library colleague on new project*
- Prep fall classes
- Do some sewing/alteration projects
- Get some house/garden tasks done
- Unpack the boxes in the garage
- House re-organization as necessary to accommodate box contents . . .
- Sleep enough, exercise appropriately (consider joining a gym), enjoy the warm weather.
- Chapter 2 (draft by end of May/early June)
- Chapter 4 (if not draft, plan and get ready for fall writing). Accept that actually drafting chapter 4, whose contents I haven't exactly figured out yet, may be an unreasonable expectation and result in the production of total garbage.
- Plan fall course, which is entirely new
- Proceedings essay--this should be easy, since I'm not planning to make many changes to the conference paper that it's growing out of
- Promotion review--should also be relatively easy, since I've already read (and reviewed) the book of the person I'm evaluating
- Make pages for silly handmade book project--more about this below
- Intentionally take two weeks entirely off???? --We'll see.
- Finish and submit Boredom chapter, now that editors have a publisher signed on
- Prepare conference presentation about Squares
- Draft and submit Squares proposal
- Prepare conference presentation about Showcase
- Write and submit Showcase essay
- 1a) getting back on top of my personal finances (I am embarrassed to admit that I know I pay into a savings thingie every month but I can't remember who with, never mind any of the details about the type of thingie. Which is of course why I have direct debits set up in the first place because I am scatty, but... cringe).
- 2a) poor abandoned multi-author paper
- 2b) paper with senior grad student
- 2c) wish-we-never-started-project (ends this summer)
- 2d) paper using consultancy work (led by the people we did the work for which is nice)
- 2e) submit a grant application (for my KPIs - fortunately I'm a partner on several, so one might get submitted this summer)
- and I also want to take some time to read and think about who I am as a researcher and who I want to be for the next decade or so.
- 3a) summer teaching duties
- i) supervising two PhD students
- ii) preparing for an MSc by Research student who will start in the Autumn (in an area related to what I do, but I need to do some reading around!)
- iii) supervising an unknown (small) number of taught MSc student projects on unknown topics (usually these are assigned in March - this year it will be "sometime soon" and there are a LOT of students and a three line whip about everyone taking some on. Sigh! Makes taking proper breaks extra difficult).
- 3b) preparing for next year.
- i) establish what I will actually be teaching
- ii) putting together a "skills resource" for higher level students which makes it easier for them to find handouts etc. from their first year courses when they learnt specific skills or topics
- iii) getting on top of what my 'new' administrative role ACTUALLY needs from me - I've been almost 100% reactive this year.
- 4a) book and TAKE leave
- 4b) crochet - finish "Lithrops blanket", make an anigurumi, start a new simple blanket project
- 4c) read things (whilst social media etc. are very good escapism/mild disassociation, reading can do the same thing but in a quieter mode).
- 4d) do things with words (fiction, poetry, journalling, blogging - non-work things with words always used to be my happy place, so maybe spending time there will bring that back...
- 4e) dungeons and dragons (playing with Nibling and their friends, and I'd like to try out some different ways of playing with different people & maybe get involved in another long-running game but that depends a lot on how well I am doing mentally/socially - I might not have the energy - in which case I can replace that with reading about D&D and preparing extra materials which will make it quicker to play in term time (basically potter around in my elaborate fantasy city and world settings)).
- 1. Grant application. The main aim is to get to archives, do background reading and be in a position to apply for funding that would enable the big project I want to do. So honing research questions, and thinking about project design.
- 2. Writing. Not sure what form this will take, but want to keep some form going alongside the other stuff, because I will feel happy if I do. So adding bits to articles, crafting the grant application (though that's a harder form of writing).
- 1. Ongoing PhD students: give them the time they are entitled to, which is not always the same as what they want/need. I have three currently
- (a) Dream student - works hard, great project, has just gone part-time so deadline has been extended, absolute joy.
- (b) Bright but needy student - works hard, ok project, tends to ask for more meetings that current amount of written work and stage really need, and my co-supervisor tends to say yes, grrr.
- (c) Pain in the neck student - should be finishing in the next few months, is very slow with writing the actual thesis instead of trying for journal articles that are mostly mud-slinging at big names. Does have good project, but never listens to my feedback. Suspect he will become a problem and need to avoid having my time sucked away.
- 2. New module for next year - am going to try to postpone this to the next session so it doesn't distract. Future me may curse present me, but I think this is one ball I may as well place gently on the ground.
- I have some large projects (new kitchen, bathrooms) and lots of medium projects i.e. things that aren't huge in terms of money or time but still require me to find someone to do a job/buy some equipment/give up a weekend. There are far too many for one session so:
- 1. Medium/largeish garden projects, since it's summer (or find new gardener - old one only mowed the lawn and I can get kid to do that for much less money)
- 2. Sort finances
- 3. One or two medium other projects e.g. framing pictures for my study.
- 4. Start one big project (emphasis on 'start' and 'one').
- 1. Holiday already booked in a couple of weeks! Next year Kid 1 has important exams, so travel will need to be reduced.
- 2. Read good books
- 3. Try to establish better sleep habits.
- 4. Start HRT and see if it works
- 5. Try to reduce the high cholesterol I have recently been told I have 😢 - so exercise, diet.
- 6. Find dentist.
- 7. Overall, try for more balance, being more present with the kids and less stressed. Emphasis on try.
- 1. I am co-editor for a massive collaborative project. We've still got some first drafts to receive from the 31 commissioned; we have to write an introduction; and the whole thing needs to be submitted next March. So the goal for this session is to finish first drafts & draft introduction.
- 2. Famous author: I have finished the draft of a very short book on a very famous author, and have comments on it. If the world smiles on me, I want to look at the comments and do revisions. In a perfect world I'd send it to publishers later this summer.
- 3. Book prize. I am on the committee for a major book prize, and that requires reading about 20 books in the first round and then another 15 or so in the second round. First round readings need to be done by the end of June...
- Be ready for the start of the fall semester.
- 1. Be present with my mother as much as possible
- 2. Do nice things for myself
Last week’s goals
Daisy (carried over from week 5)
1. Get fancy machine working with help of friendly physicists
2. TRY AGAIN Take one day for writing a couple of paper sections
3. Write outline for joint student paper
4. Write promotion review
5. Write association report
6. Get myself and students ready for field work….
Dame Eleanor Hull
1. process proofs for article coming out in July
2. expand Alms chapter
3. dead languages 3x each or as possible
4. finish reading book for tenure review
5. read at least 1000 lines of Relevant Romance
6. process at least 3 grad apps
7. at least 2 things from Huge Summer List
1. Finish reading for promotion review and draft letter
2. Read JO, start LMS, skim relevant parts of PL, start BM, read AW
3. Make 10 pages
4. Notes on MM; draft vignettes on JM and MM
5. Process journal article
1) Self-care: baselines, book the Decluttering Lady for sometime soon, make a Drs appointment
2) Researcher: Wish-we-never-started project - at least 5 hours of work. Near-final action steps on very overdue paper. Two "small jobs"
3) Teaching: Feedback to all new MSc students on their project ideas. Make a summer list.
4) Fun. Play D&D or do some D&D planning. Read something. Start the next blanket. Draw something. Make a
5) summer wish list for non- work days
1. Finish French book
2. More archive searches
3. Read two interlibrary loans
4. Read Difficult PhD chapter
5. Garden - find some chairs for the patio, maybe hire a gardener
6. House - 1-2 small to medium jobs
7. Niece's birthday present
8. Get back on exercise bandwagon.
9. Book trip to Liverpool to meet new other niece.
1. Second article review
2. Read 4 books
3. Spring schedule
4. Finish filling jobs
5. Contact attorney
6. Organize forms so I can figure out what needs doing
7. Keep having fun with friend who is visiting