the grid

the grid

Saturday 6 April 2024

2024 Session One, week 13

It seems to be conference season! Some of us have already gone, and I'm setting out today for one of my favorite conferences (why this week's check-in post is going up early). Even though NEWSCOMI isn't contributing anything substantial to the travel, I'm going. In a way it's freeing, knowing that I'm paying for it myself: I can choose what I want to do, where to stay, there's no need to document that yes, this IS the official conference hotel, or worry about whether I have a receipt for this or that. And if I decide that I'd rather skip a session to go sight-seeing, there's not the slightest need for guilt that I'm not doing all the conference things, because it's my trip, not NEWSCOMI's.

So for this week's prompt, if you feel like it, tell us about a magical conference experience! Maybe it's a recurring experience at your favorite annual meeting, or maybe it was a one-time event that worked out perfectly, or a serendipitous happening at a conference. 

Alternatively, feel free to grouse about budget cutbacks at your own personal Scummy U that make it difficult or impossible to travel. There is, after all, bad magic as well as good!

Last week's goals: 

Daisy

  • URGENT work permit
  • Continue paper revisions, aim for doing the figures first and then getting started on text
  • Set lab/final exams
  • Finish all term marking
  • Sort out field school stuff
  • Do something fun with friend

Dame Eleanor Hull

  • Exercise: swim x2, cardio x3, trainer x1, yoga x4.
  • Work: finish conference paper, upload PowerPoint, prep Latin, order fall books
  • Social/outings: trip-related errands, annual physical, dinner with friends.
  • Planning: arrange to drop off car for repairs, message VRBO hosts, pack, make sure Sir John has all necessary details.

Heu mihi

  • Conference re-set.

JaneB

  1. self care: move intentionally three days, do seven household tasks, eat mindfully, make sure I rest as needed, journal daily, find out about Access to Work scheme
  2. Fun - read a novel, start a non-fiction book, knit/crochet, do some art, do some D&D prep, play D&D at least once.
  3. work and boundaries - employment advisor meeting (from local neurodivergent support charity; advisor is AuDHD like me and used to work in student learning support at my university, so I'm hopeful they'll at least understand some of my context), maintain boundaries and grey-rock the Interim Head of Dept check in meeting, do minimal work hours (I need to email some students, check emails, plus see 4)
  4. work projects - Mixed Volume paper's final-final deadline is Tuesday so I've promised to read over it tomorrow (Monday) to try & get SOMETHING off even if it isn't what we hoped for, and I need to write a couple paragraphs for the Consultancy Paper too.

 Julie

  1. Carry on marking!
  2. Expenses claim
  3. Figure out travel to conference
  4. Prep for Berlin trip
  5. House/admin jobs - 1 urgent, 1 important
  6. Go to friend's bookshop and buy books for holiday reading.

 

Susan

  1. Return to the introduction to Big Collaboration
  2. Chase down the last 3 contributors on my list.
  3. Catch up on email.
  4. Organize desk
  5. Do something fun
  6. Eat/ sleep/ move


Sunday 31 March 2024

2024 Session One, Week 12

Well, now we know the various forms of creative procrastination each of us has developed!  Since we're at a university of Magical Instruction, it's good to remember that we all experience magic.  Where do you find magic in your work.  Is it in the initial vision?  Some moment along the way?  Or at the end?  And how do you hold on to it in the less magical parts of research and writing?  

Goals from last week:

Daisy

Start on figures for paper revision
Data analysis for paper revision
Data analysis for student project
Get work permit for summer field area
Last of the concerts
Comments for last thesis
Conference admin tasks

Dame Eleanor

Exercise: cardio x5, yoga at least x4. Swim x2. Trainer x1.

Work: ~3-5 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing; focus on conference paper). Order fall books. Schedule one hour on the syllabus. List the "done."

Social/outings: vet run, campus run, book group.

Planning: book trains, message VRBO hosts with arrival times; finish assembling the tax docs; maybe get 2nd estimate on car repair.

heu mihi

1. Write LOR, read prospectus, read & offer feedback on colleague's book proposal
2. Enter ch. 3 revisions
3. Finish France album (so close!)
4. Apply for little tiny professional development thing
5. Read and prep for next week's seminar (I need to start getting ahead; it's the only way I'll survive)
6. Brew beer, re-clean house, and run twice, if I can swing it!
7. Catch up on community service stuff (figure out what to do with some emails for Sustainability Committee; small task for elementary school Yearbook Committee)

JaneB

1 - self care: move intentionally three days, do seven household tasks, eat mindfully, make sure I rest after a few hours. Journal daily, read papers about burnout.

2 - Fun - read a novel, start a non-fiction book, knit/crochet, do some art, do some D&D prep, play D&D at least once.

3 - work and boundaries - occupational health meeting, maintain boundaries and grey-rock the Interim Head of Dept check in meeting, do minimal work hours (this week I have a chapter to comment on and a stack of emails that are high-urgency and need small actions taking)

4 - work projects - nothing

Julie

1. Submit final copy of journal article - formally accepted, just need to add in references removed for peer review
2. Write report on PhD thesis for tedious piece of Spanish bureaucracy (basically a scam where I'm not formally examining, so can skim-read, but still have to read enough to write report, but don't get paid because I'm not formally examining!)
3. Collate scores for recorded presentations & chair meeting to decide prize winner.
4. Carry on marking essays, but don't rush to finish.
5. Mock interview for post-grad.
6. Real interviews for languages post (external panel member, so not too much work)
7. Book theatre trip!
8. Tidy desk
9. House/life admin jobs - aim for 3.
10. Cooking for family on Sunday.
11. Do something creative!
12. Exercise - run x 2, pilates x 1.

Susan

1. Enjoy myself
2. Do enough so that I'm not overwhelmed when I return home.

Sunday 24 March 2024

2024 Session One, Week 11

Let's think about making magic, or if making other things can be magical. This week, I got at least a little bit un-stuck on a must-do task by taking some time to attempt a creative making that I've had on my list literally for years. (PSA: iron-on t-shirt transfers that you've had around for years may not function as well as new ones!) While involved in necessary waiting time for the t-shirt project, I made progress on the must-do. It reminded me that when I used to feel overwhelmed by grading (back in the days of a higher class load and far more students), I'd go bake bread or muffins or scones (also back in the days when I ate grains), and then I'd feel better able to tackle the stacks of papers. 

Do you stress-bake or do other stress-relieving crafts? Could you make time this week to make something for fun, and see if that makes you better able to tackle the things you must? My friend in Magineering says that such activities build up energy that magic can use to help power "brain off" charms and similar devices.

Here's the list of goals from last week. How are you doing?

Contingent Cassandra

Overcome By Events?

Daisy

Get extra sleep if possible
Set up and start academic advising
Practice music for upcoming concerts
Student theses feedback and rewrites
Fun meeting for new joint paper
Accounting for trip
Slightly overdue review

Dame Eleanor Hull

Exercise: cardio x5, yoga at least x4. Swim x2. Trainer x1. See if light weights are okay now.

Work: ignore the syllabus! ~3-5 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing). List the "done."

Social/outings: campus run, medieval talk on Zoom, pick up Susan, go to book group, go to party.

Planning: book trains, message VRBO hosts with arrival times; finish assembling the tax docs; get estimates on car repair.

Heu mihi

1. Reread ch. 6 and complete preliminary revisions (basically, make sure that the chapter is really finished)
2. Round of revisions to ch. 3
3. Festschrift abstract of nonsense
4. Return to notes re. ch. 5 and start figuring out next steps...
5. Read and prep for next week's class
6. Process article reviews
7. Exercise like a fiend
8. Read book I'm considering for next year's class (it's short)
9. Clean house
10. Make cookies
11. Write LOR; read dissertation chapter
12. Send email about workshop for grad students

JaneB

1 - self care: move intentionally three days, do seven household tasks, eat mindfully, make sure I do rest after a few hours. Contact employment advisor at the local charity, journal daily, read next book about neurodiversity, GP appointment about returning to work or having a few more weeks to recover.

2 - Fun - read a novel, make some Easter cards, knit/crochet, do some art. Do some D&D prep, play D&D at least once.

3 - work and boundaries - maintain boundaries (possibly push back on Interim Head of School wanting another check in meeting, contact union to check about that), do minimal work hours (this week I have meetings with two grad students in the diary, plus will do email triage)

4 - work projects - nothing.

Julie

1. Revise grant application & work on costings
2. Start marking latest batch of essays
3. Finish watching recorded presentations for conference sessions (on the judging committee)
4. House jobs - aim for 3
5. Book theatre weekend
6. Exercise if back recovered enough - run x 2, pilates x 1

Susan

Do some more work on introduction; deal with any essays that come in late
Send out list of admits to faculty - write to admitted students
Look over program for conference, make plans
Enjoy myself
Eat/ sleep/ move

Sunday 17 March 2024

2024 Session One, Week 10

 Last week's discussion of rituals was great, but the real energy came around JaneB's suggestion of a "Brain Off Button".   Most of us could use that.  It is possible that some clever undergraduate in Magineering will figure it out!  Until then, I thought we might celebrate the relatively small tasks that end of feeling like we've done something big.   Sometimes these are things that hang over us even though they will take only about an hour or less; sometimes they haven't even been on the list but when we do them we feel extraordinarily accomplished.  

Goals from last week: 

Daisy:

Learn new and review old music for upcoming concerts
Urgent lab work day, send off samples
ALL the student thesis rewrites
Make and give conference presentation, enjoy conference
Make and give student event presentation

Dame Eleanor

Exercise: cardio x5, yoga at least x4. Swim x1. Trainer x1.

Work: do something on sample syllabus for 1 course proposal; ~3-5 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group; finish Alms section; conference paper work.

Social/outings: Zoom with conference collaborator; eye exam; read book for group next week.

Creative: write out story climax idea/scene (may not have time for this, but it's a nice thing to keep around).

Planning: finish April trip arrangements; assemble tax documents

heu mihi

1. Get set up for spring break writing: reorient myself with my current chapter and/or think through ch. 5 some more; try to make some kind of progress on the floundering abstract of nonsense
2. Students: Read advisee's prospectus, take care of an incomplete, bunch of little things for my class
3. Send next issue of journal off to the press
4. Start ch. 3 revisions

JaneB:

1a - move intentionally three days
1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
1c - eat mindfully
1d - make sure I do rest after a few hours
1e - read one book on neurodiversity
1f - the decluttering woman cometh, so I need to brace for that! Some VERY dusty bookcases are going to be purged...
2a - spend some decent fiction reading time, do some doodling, knit/crochet
2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D
3a - maintain boundaries, do minimal work hours (no meetings in the diary for the coming week, so will just aim to do email triage once)

Julie:

1. Revise grant application to make use of positive feedback from colleagues.
2. Talk to research support staff about costings.
3. More meetings, but last week of term.
4. Try to do some other bit of research/writing if time.
5. Restorative stuff
6. Exercise: run x 3, pilates x 1
7. House jobs: aim for 3
8. Book theatre weekend for summer with friends.

Susan 

1. In theory everyone is supposed to get everything on big collaboration to us by Friday. So most of my time this week will be on that.
-- work on introduction
-- start work on illustration table in the form they want it
--read and deal with essays that come in late
--zoom meeting with co-editor
--communicate with authors who are late
2. Administrivia: there are meetings on several subjects that need attention. I will chair one tomorrow, and need to do it with friendliness and grace
-- reach out to admitted students about questions
3. Find time to plan time at conference in great midwestern city. What sessions will I go to? Which museum will I go to when I play truant?
4. Deal with necessary phone calls, schedule cat for boarding, etc.
5. 3 journals
6. Take a trip to the dump with stuff in garage. Maybe go to storage unit for a preliminary scan of the challenge there.
7. Test drive one of the cars I am thinking of buying when I get rid of the current car.
7. Something nice/fun. Ea
t/sleep/move

Sunday 10 March 2024

2024 Session One, Week Nine

Using magic is tiring! Even talking to fairies, or tossing a charmed object that someone else has enchanted, takes its toll on the person wielding it, let alone the enchanter's energy. Mostly in History and Literature of Magic, our jobs have only the normal stresses: reading, grading, writing, preparing classes, trying to hold the attention of students who would rather be doing applied work than learning about old stories. But sometimes we have extra magic-related expenses of energy, and then it's very important to replenish properly. The applied users have their rituals to raise and store magical energy, but the rest of us have to think about how to tend our energy levels. Sleep is an obvious method, and so is meditation; spending time outside is good, as is listening to music, making art, writing in a journal or on a fun project, creating something, spending time with pets or friends.

What energy-restoring ritual would you like to create this week?

Contingent Cassandra (held over)

 --Begin work on conference paper (probably due to panel chair in early March, so it’s time)

--Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, stair-climbing, and/or gardening – at least 5 out of every 7 days

Daisy

More visits

More grading

More fixing data issues

More thesis comments

More thesis rewrites

Dame Eleanor Hull

Exercise: cardio x5, yoga at least x4.

Work: sample syllabus for 1 course proposal; ~3-5 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group; finish Alms section.

Social/outings: attend live presentation at LRU library; take Basement Cat to vet.

Creative: find files on old desktop; write out story climax idea/scene (may not have time for this, but it's a nice thing to keep around).

Planning: make April trip arrangements; make eye exam appt for me; assemble tax documents.

heu mihi

1. Exercise some; sit some

2. Read grad student's chapter

3. Initial assessment of two journal submissions

4. Find reviewer(s) for other journal's submission

5. Read 3 articles for research

JaneB

1a - move intentionally three days

1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)

1c - reduce (lets be realistic here) refined sugar for Lent

1d - make sure I do rest after a few hours (I think that's part of what has messed up my sleep...)

1e - read one book on ADHD, 7 types of rest for burnout recovery reading

2a - spend some decent reading time, do some doodling, knit

2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D

2c - sort out cards and gifts for Mothering Sunday (Sunday 10th in the UK) and my Mum's birthday (which is next week, sigh)

3a - maintain boundaries, prepare for Review, do minimal work hours (one grad student meeting in the diary, possibly one more if it can be scheduled), & check for Gossip

4a - anything that comes up re: future graduate students (I've had another enquiry!)

Julie

1. Viva tomorrow, write up joint report with external.

2. Finish marking (due Thursday).

3. Write final lecture for next week.

4. Two PhD chapters for different students.

5. Short report on research trips last term for funder (due Thursday)

6. More meetings.

7. Nephew's birthday present.

Susan

1. Read revised chapters as they come in, upload

2. Spend a coherent 2-3 hours on the introduction

3. Write the VERY LATE review. (I have just emailed the journal and said it would arrive by next Monday.)

4. Maybe do some journals or decluttering

5. Plan March trip to conference and friends

6. Do something fun

7. Eat/ Move / Sleep


Sunday 3 March 2024

2024 Session 1, Week 8: Midterm check in

 I do hope the ghouls are under control.  They may be minor, but they are clearly annoying, and they definitely set up barriers.   There's clearly no easy solution, but I wonder if anyone has any good fairies around. They are just fairies, so have limited powers, but their small acts render life at least pleasanter (see the extra slice of cake in the break room), and sometimes actually easier.  Alternatively, Dean Tabitha and Associate Dean Fluff are available for purring sessions.  

Today is mid-term check-in, so I'm going to list session goals first, and then last week's goals.  As a reminder, it is FINE/GOOD to change your goals mid-session.  Maybe one goal was unrealistic? Maybe a new project has cropped up that is more interesting or more time critical that you want to take on.  Etc.  The rule is to BE KIND TO YOURSELVES.   

Session goals

Contingent Cassandra

Professional:
--Write conference paper (due to the panel chair, if the usual patterns hold, in early March). (This is related to the study leave project, and I suspect might lead to an article, but is not one of the formal “deliverables” described in the leave proposal).
--Finish creating Omeka site to hold documents related to study leave project and begin populating it (my plan is to spend at least a bit of time on this each week, even if it’s only adding or preparing to add one document).
Personal:
--Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, stair-climbing, maybe bike-riding – at least 5 out of every 7 days (preferably more, especially if I choose one of the shorter options some days). I actually made some progress on this over the break, so here, too, I’m trying to build/maintain momentum.

Daisy 

2 Special Volume papers
1 revision of post-doc paper
1 small invited paper, my part is important but not huge
1 languishing-from-long-ago paper
2 internal grant applications
1 medium-sized external grant application

Dame Eleanor

- Finish off two chapters that are close to done (I think!)
- Outline a conference paper that will form the base of the least-done chapter
- Write the translation-oriented conference paper
- Make the Big MS List, with links, and engage in related correspondance
- Establish and maintain a tidy, organized study
- Plant up the new Native Plants Bed
- Detangle the grass and the sedum from each other in front bed
- Plan new course(s?) for next year
- Set up sewing machine and do some sewing

heu mihi

1. Book project: Finish draft of chapter 6; plan chapter 5; first revisions of chapters 3 and 4; finish up revisions of chapter 2 (possibly this week).
2. Conferences: One paper (due March 5), one brief and easy roundtable presentation (May).
3. Article revision--should be quick; I just want to add in a recently-read essay--due March 1.
4. Abstracts: One is drafted, due Feb. 15; one is nowhere, due April 1.
5. Health and fitness: Adjust exercise routines monthly in order to accommodate weather and daylight. Run 3-5 times/week; attempt to do some stretching before bed; one yoga class/week.

humming42

Draft and submit Squares proposal.

JaneB

1) Survival and personal and environmental self-care habits - health focus, with health defined broadly
2) Fun - making sure that every week I spend quality time with at least two of the activities that refill the well.
3) Workplace Boundaries - formally agreeing appropriate accommodations, navigating a phased return which focuses on my wellbeing not the immediate needs of the school, and never going more than 20% beyond the hours I am scheduled to work by my GP (which is... hard, because even at my normal full time I do at least 50% beyond my hours in term time).
4) Care and Feeding of the research - mixed volume submission, R&R for the never-ending paper, R&R for the many author paper, senior grad students' immediate papers (Consultancy and Method), processes for three PhD students (Consortium, Northern and Exotic).

Julie 

1. Teaching: write three new lectures, everything else is same as last year, so try to keep prep to a minimum.
2. Read and examine PhD for early March (4th since the summer - I tried to say no).
3. Revise and submit grant application.
4. Do some research and writing, however minimal.
5. Health & fitness: work on establishing better sleep, get as much exercise as weekly schedule allows.
6. Self-care/fun: try to make space each week for reading fiction/TV/baking/other relaxation.
7. Book holidays - Berlin trip at Easter, think about summer plans.

Susan

Goal #1: Get Big Collaboration and Famous Author out and on their way to publication.
Goal #2: Finish way very late book review of book I want to read
Goal #3: Start playing with my next project, yet unnamed, but the "Rest of my life project"
Goal #4: Keep program moving, keep working effectively with people
Goal #5: Plan next year at My Favorite Library, where I will have a research fellowship
Goal #6: Keep up with exercise and relatively healthy eating
Goal #7: Do things to have fun

LAST WEEK'S GOALS

Contingent Cassandra

Daisy

All the grading
Record missed lectures
Post assignments for rest of term
Two thesis reviews and comments
Journal review
Data processing for student work
Fix embarrassing mistakes in data work
All the hiring stuff
Read undergrad thesis and edit/comment

Dame Eleanor 

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4.
Work: sample syllabuses for 1 course proposal; ~3-4 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group; attend a Zoom talk. Stick to work schedule except for day of dentist appt.
Social: attend a friend's live presentation; go to a funeral.
Creative: write out story climax idea/scene (may not have time for this, but it's a nice thing to keep around).
Planning: make trip arrangements; make eye exam appt for me.
Technical: turn on old desktop, look for creative files and tax-related stuff.

heu mihi

1. Journal catch-up: read new article; copy-edit article for next issue
2. Website edits--get around to them!
3. Prepare for and give professionalization workshop on Friday
4. Um...my research...remember what it was about? Read at least 3 articles/chapters, touch chapter 6.
5. Graduate students: Comment on draft intro to prospectus; read 1/2 of other student's chapter.

humming42

JaneB

1a - move intentionally three days
1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
1c - reduce (lets be realistic here) refined sugar for Lent
2a - spend some decent reading time and do some doodling
2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D
2c - POST sister's birthday gifts and aunts card
3a - maintain boundaries, do minimal work hours (a couple of graduate student meetings are already in the diary, & I will need to check for Gossip after Friday when the new externally appointed Head of School visits. plus Interim Head of School is using my work email for all correspondance about my absence even though I am supposed to do no work, which to me means do NOT touch the email as that is the main cause of urgent work...
4a - meet with Senior Grad Student and Consultant about Consultancy Paper, meet with External Institution Graduate Student

Julie

1. Teaching prep (last week of seminars!)
2. More marking
3. Finish reading mediocre thesis and write report ahead of viva next week.
4. Submit article
5. Meeting with colleagues to discuss grant application.
6. Read book for book club on Saturday.
7. Host friends for dinner on Friday.

Susan

1. Read co-editors revisions to introduction, revise again
2. Finish uploading what we have (mindless task, but necessary)
3. Start substantive revisions on last chapter of Famous Author/ take account of articles just read
4. Have meetings re admissions
5. Meet with grad students
6. Eat/Move/Sleep
7. Do something fun

8: do some more decluttering or journals

Monday 26 February 2024

2024 session one, week 7

Just as a heads-up, next week should be our midterm check-in, so at that point we'll re-post session goals. If there's anything you want to give a lick and a promise to now, or think about whether it should instead be taken up to the roof and dropped off with extreme prejudice, here's your advance warning!

I seem to have a ghoul living in my office, which Maintenance has declined to deal with for months on the grounds that it was hibernating and not bothering anyone. Everyone knows that that is exactly the time to eliminate ghouls! I'm hearing ominous rustling noises from that corner and I think I'm going to have to deal with it myself, since Maintenance has their hands full with the puddles of water left all over the dorms from students engaging in scrying practice.

Anybody willing to help out with the ghoul, or do you have your own infestations?

Last week's goals:

Contingent Cassandra

--Begin work on conference paper (probably due to panel chair in early March, so it’s time)
--Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, stair-climbing, and/or gardening – at least 5 out of every 7 days

Daisy

All the grading
Record missed lectures
Post assignments for rest of term
Two thesis reviews and comments
Journal review
Data processing for student work

Dame Eleanor Hull

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4
Work: sample syllabuses for 1 course proposal; ~3-4 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group.
Creative: write out story climax idea/scene
Planning: 2024 planning; make eye exam appt for me; get book for next book club meeting.
Technical: turn on old desktop, look for creative files and tax-related stuff.

heu mihi

No goals (get well soon!)

JaneB

1a - move intentionally three days
1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
1c - quit refined sugar for Lent (other than 80%+ cocoa dark chocolate)
2a - spend some decent reading time (new Jo Walton purchase...) and do some doodling
2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D
2c - POST card to friend & another item
3a - be professional in check-in with Interim Head of School and maintain boundaries, do 12 hours, not more than 20% over
4a - meet with Senior Grad Student (who is returning to work from 2.5 months of burnout related sick leave) and set appropriate next steps
4b - if possible spend 1 hour on the paper I forgot we were working on
4c - PhD selection processes (this week - 2 hours interviewing for Northern, emails related to Consortium, any fallout from Exotic)

Julie

1. Teaching prep, keep to minimum.
2. Start marking huge batch of essays.
3. References for student.
4. Submit revised article.
5. Tedious admin: book room for meeting, organise alternative to oral presentation for difficult student, complete moderation report, organise another meeting.
6. Have some quiet reflective time (I may take inspiration from Ginger George here).
7. Enjoy weekend away!

Susan

1. Get intro more or less finished, and complete all the little things for Big Collaboration. Start uploading files to google drive.
2. Keep up enough with administrivia so that we can move forward on admissions stuff
3. Maybe get some work on the last chapter of Famous Author
4. Eat/sleep/ move
5. Maybe bring some grapefruit to popup food pantry

Sunday 18 February 2024

2024 Session 1, Week 6

 The toads are now officially banished.  Pest control will come and deal with any remaining ones.  Please call them and they will be here.  Um. Oh, they are not gone? I'm so so sorry.  We just need more time. Out, toad!  Maybe an elf will show up to help us.  Would you let us know if there have been any elves in your neighborhood?  Maybe elves that make your life easier?   If you have a spell to conjure elves, even better!  If you don't have elves, additional cute (cat) videos are welcome.  In the meantime, Ginger George may not speak Italian, but he knows how to live: 


Goals from last week:

Daisy

Lots of lab work for student analytical trip
Paper review for nice journal
Read and comment on student thesis draft
Set and grade three exams
Keep fire lit for new paper
Trip accounting

Dame Eleanor: 

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4

Work: sample syllabuses for 2 course proposals; ~3-4 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group including setting up documents.

Social: birthday dinner out; make cake for post-dinner celebration with friends.
Creative: write out story climax idea/scene
Planning: 2024 planning; make appointment for BC check-up; make eye exam appt for me.
Technical: turn on old desktop, look for creative files and tax-related stuff.

heu mihi
1. 1 hour a day (average) x 5 on research and writing
2. Finish current round of website edits/updates, since I am now apparently a webpage manager
3. Find reviewer for article
4. Read for class by end of Saturday
5. Figure out graduate student workshop; send out poll re. subsequent workshop
6. Set up sleepover for kid

JaneB
1a - move intentionally three days
1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
1c - quit refined sugar for Lent (other than 80%+ cocoa dark chocolate, because it's hard this year...)
2a - spend some decent reading time (new Jo Walton purchase...) and do some doodling
2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D
2c - write at least one note/postcard to a friend
3a - be professional in check-in with Interim Head of School and maintain boundaries
3b - do 8 hours, not more than 20% over; advocate for myself and for my ongoing issues when I talk to the GP - maintain phased return, NO going back to full hours...
4a - set up meeting with Senior Grad Student (who is returning to work from 2.5 months of burnout related sick leave) to discuss thesis and publications
4b - if possible spend 1 hour on the paper I forgot we were working on
4c - do whatever urgent things have come in in relation to the PhD selection processes (this week that will be emails related to Consortium and any fallout from Exotic)

Julie:
1. Teaching prep - keep to minimum.
2. Feedback to students on oral presentations from last week.
3. References for two students.
4. Second round of article revisions.
5. Exercise - run x 2, Pilates x 1, more if possible.
6. Life admin - book trains for trips away, new football boots for daughter, open bank account for son.

Susan 
1. Revise 2 chapters that need some work for Famous Author
2. Re-read and comment on article for journal
3. Organize events for graduate visitation
4. Deal with graduate admissions stuff
5. Keep up with students in crisis
6. Meetings. All the meetings.
7. Make up lease for people who will rent my house/ care for my cat when I'm on sabbatical next year
8. 3 more journals
9. Eat/ sleep/ move
10. Get ready for trip to wintry climes next week.

Monday 12 February 2024

2024 Session 1, week 5

Toads. 

What toads have you dealt with in the past week? Have they dropped from your lips, or from someone else's lips in your presence? Have they been serenading from the damp patches around campus, or invading the damp patches in your house? Are they falling from the pages of books, or looking up at you out of cereal bowls? Do you see more of them at work, or at home? Do they ever turn into anything else? And if so, is the something else nicer, or nastier, than the toad was?

Susan

1. Read last two essays for Big Collaboration

2. Finish Epilogue on Famous Author and send to editor: I just need two or three hours

3. Deal with data disjunction with colleagues so it's not just me

4. Don't let administrivia overwhelm me. There will be meetings. There will be many meetings.

5. Three more journals/ enter readings in Zotero with notes

6. 15 minutes decluttering

7. Take stuff to Goodwill, take stuff to dump

8. List ramps on facebook marketplace

9. Move / Eat / Sleep

10. Do something fun

 

Julie

1. Teaching prep, keep to minimum.

2. Write new lecture for Monday.

3. Email backlog.

4. Write reference for student.

 

JaneB

1a - move intentionally three days

1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)

2a - buy, wrap & post birthday present for male parent along with the now very overdue urgent letters

2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, play D&D

2c - spend a chunk of time on some sort of art or craft - make a card for my Dad

3a - be professional in check-in with Interim Head of School and maintain boundaries

3b - do 8 hours, not more than 20% over; call GP practice to set up an appointment to review the phased return

4a - comments on Many Author R&R

4b - set up a meeting to go over edits for Never Ending Paper

4c - do whatever urgent things have come in in relation to the PhD selection processes (this week that will be related mostly to Exotic and to timetabling)

 

Heu mihi

1. Review four grant applications--I've been a grant reviewer for this organization for about 6 years, during which time there has been one application, total, in my field. Well, apparently this is The Year for Medieval Studies, and I have four! Due next week!

2. 1 hour a day on my actual research and writing

3. Reread article with diametrically opposed reviews

4. SCHEDULE TAX MEETING

5. Read ahead for class

6. Schedule yet more meetings

7. Get caught up on non-university volunteer service work

 

Dame Eleanor Hull

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4

Work: sample syllabuses for 2 course proposals; ~3-4 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group.

Social: make reservation for a birthday dinner out

Creative: write out story climax idea/scene

Planning: 2024 planning; make appointments for feline check-ups; make eye exam appt for me.

 

Daisy

Record and post lectures for snow days

Drive home and not end up in snowy ditches

Dust off old paper and do revisions

Paper review for nice journal

Read and comment on student thesis draft

Contact coauthor on other old paper and light fire under collective backsides to do something about it

 

Contingent Cassandra

--Begin taxes (putting research work on pause this week to try to forestall an April trainwreck by getting this done earlier than usual)

--Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, and/or stair-climbing – at least 5 out of every 7 days


Sunday 4 February 2024

2024 Session 1, Week 4

 Thank you everyone, we've taken care of the dragon in the boiler room: it turned out it was a vegetarian dragon, so the sheep and even the virgins (or the Admins) were unnecessary.  An amazing feast of middle eastern and south Asian foods was put out, and he's been happy as can be.  You may think hummous and saag paneer don't go together, but you're not a dragon.

Meanwhile we have an emergency: the instructor for Advanced Magineering has had to take a medical leave, and we need volunteers to cover the next 3 weeks.  (This can be 3 separate people.)  Unfortunately, due to budget issues, this is just a work overload and there will be no extra compensation.  Please explain the creatures that you will work with your students in magineering to create.  Bonus points for creatures that help people and do not cause chaos.  

It is obvious that we all work at universities, all of which have slightly temperamental or erratic buildings. (There's probably a bonus section on the particular monstrosity built on campus in the 1960s that is an Architectural Treasure but completely non-functional.)  But somehow we all function, and the universities do too. If the higher admins at NEWSCOMI had to deal with this, they would never manage.  

Anyway, people have been doing lots of impressive things, and here are the goals for this week:

Contingent Cassandra:

--Make further progress on the research project: set up spreadsheet and add at least one source and/or set up Omeka site and add one source.

-- Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, and/or stair-climbing – at least 5 out of every 7 days

Daisy

One small internal grant application (good chance to get)
Make figures for lovely coauthor
Student posters and talks for conference
One conference talk and lots of organization
Enjoy conference!

Dame Eleanor

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4
Work: sample syllabuses for 2 course proposals; ~3-4 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group. Meet with collaborator on one conference paper.
Social: karaoke party Saturday night! Prep, attend, be good sport.
Planning: 2024 planning

JaneB

1a - move intentionally (which is what we are calling exercise for now because exercise sounds tiring just saying the word) three days
1b - do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
2a - write a letter to a friend and get some urgent post items into the post (Cunning Plan - buy a second hand copy of The Golden Bough which nibling really ought to read (according to me, their loving Aunt), send it as an unbirthday present, that means I have a parcel to send so can book a pick up from the post man instead of trying to get the brain squirrels to actually go to a postbox, which they seem to find very tricky right now)
2b - do some D&D preparation for a game I run, and do my best to make sure my character survives the really stupidly dangerous mission we've all decided to tackle this coming week in the game I play in
2c - spend a chunk of time on some sort of art or craft
3a - be professional in check-in with Interim Head of School and maintain boundaries
3b - do 8 hours, not more than 20% over
4a - spend at least an hour on the Mixed Volume Paper
4b - do whatever urgent things have come in in relation to the PhD selection processes (this week that will be preparing for a shortlisting meeting for another programme)

Julie

1. Teaching prep, continue keeping to minimum.
2. Start work on postponed new lecture to avoid temporal dysfunction in two weeks' time.
3. Project proposals.
4. Feedback on oral presentations from last week.
5. Prep for job interview panel on Thursday.
6. Tax return - URGENT!!!
7. Other admin stuff.
8. Exercise more than last week.
9. Organise weekend with friends.

heu mihi

1. Process and probably reject journal submission; read another, more promising submission; reread submitted article that got two diametrically opposed reviews (sigh)
2. Three General Education reviews
3. Review and revise abstract for plausibility of argument (due 2/15)
4. Very roughly pull material for conference paper (due 3/5)
5. Begin ch. 3 revision
6. Reread part 2 of ch. 6 and try to do some revising or whatever

Susan 

1. Deal with Administrators and figure out where the data gap is
2. Don't otherwise get overwhelmed with administrivia
3. Do 4 hours on Famous Author, send to editor and friend reader
4. Do 4 hours on Big Collaboration introduction, read (very late) chapter
5. Do Letter of Rec #2
6. Three more journals
7. 15 minutes de-cluttering
8. Move, eat well, sleep enough
9. Organize housing for next year
10. Do taxes
11. Do more garden work
12. Do something fun

13. Take stuff to city dump, take stuff to Goodwill.


Sunday 28 January 2024

2024 Session One, Week 3

Apologies for the chill in here; the heating system isn't working, that is, the dragon in the basement is on strike.* Apparently bitcoin shares are no substitute for gold, and sheep are all very well but every now and again a dragon needs a virgin or two**,  so there will be no heat until either negotiations with the dragon union get somewhere or the Powers That Be give in and get some mundane heaters. I have some students I'd be willing to sacrifice, but I'm not sure they meet all dragonly requirements. The home-schoolers are more likely to be virgins, but they're also the best students, so I don't want to give them up. However, if the Philosopher's Stone people get on the stick, we may be able to supply the demands for gold.*** 

Furthermore, several of us are dealing with temporal dysfunction of various kinds, such as "next year" seeming more than a month away back in December, so it seems that the Student of Temporal Misuse and Dysfunction is making†† good progress on her project. Let's give her a round of applause, and make sure our congratulations go in the minutes so that she can consult†† them at her leisure.

At any rate, six footnotes in two paragraphs suggest that I need to focus on the goal-setting and checking-in part of our meeting, so if anyone else has announcements, please put them in the Chat when you let us know how you did and what you have coming up. Do the best you can to stay focused on the next seven-day period in this world, not in the Fae Lands or at speeds approaching or exceeding that of light.

Contingent Cassandra

--Try to figure out why the Omeka install is sending error emails, and resolve (fix the current installation, or, since it’s currently empty, reinstall and see whether that solves the problem).

-- Engage in some sort of purposeful movement – short or long walks, stretching, weight-lifting, and/or stair-climbing – at least 5 out of every 7 days (while avoiding opportunities to fall on icy pavement)

Daisy

Write section and make figure for small part in local review paper and send back to main author
Submit giant regional paper
Submit smaller local paper
One small internal grant application (good chance to get)
One small-ish external application (zero chance to get but making a point)

Dame Eleanor Hull

Exercise: swim x2 or x3, cardio + weights x3, yoga at least x4
Work: sample syllabuses for 2 course proposals; ~3 hours/day on research (reading, translating, outlining, writing); prep for Latin group
Social: last week's events, rescheduled; get book for next library book group meeting and read it
Planning: 2023 review and 2024 planning

heu mihi

1. Scan readings for seminar; rethink day 1; re-enter teaching headspace just a little bit (my first class isn't until 2/7)
2. 2100 words of chapter 6: enough to step back from it/start re-reading/rethinking/reworking it in future weeks
3. 15 minutes of brainstorming for ch. 5
4. Reread and edit Mourning article (needs quick revisions which are due 3/1)

Humming42

Finish and post syllabi (no new preps!)
Complete faculty activity report for calendar year
Catch up on uni-related email
Make a comprehensive plan for Squares

JaneB

1a - move intentionally (which is what we are calling exercise for now because exercise sounds tiring just saying the word) three days
1b - to do seven household tasks (check list in my bullet journal)
2a - write a letter to a friend
2b - do some D&D preparation
2c - spend a chunk of time on some sort of art or craft
3a - ensure that I get a meeting scheduled with Head of School and soon to be Interim Head of School (SUPPOSED to meet once a week during phased return...)
3b - do 8 hours, not more than 20% over
4a - spend at least an hour on the Mixed Volume Paper
4b - do whatever urgent things have come in in relation to the PhD selection processes

Julie

1. Teaching prep (keep as minimal as possible)
2. Start writing next new lecture
3. Finish dissertation draft and organise meeting with student
4. Read project proposals
5. Finish preparations for son's birthday on Saturday
6. Exercise
7. Organise weekend away with friends.

Susan

1. Keep up with administrivia
2. Finish edits to Epilogue of Famous Author
3. Revise co-editors draft introduction to Big Collaboration
4. Write two letters of rec for students
5. Read 3 journals from the huge pile
6. Set up interviews with students applying to undergrad alma mater
7. Get back into regular routine of sleep, exercise & healthy eating
8. 15 minutes de-cluttering
9. Do something enjoyable/ fun

NOTES

*And apologies to JaneB for shamelessly ripping off her dragon-in-the-basement idea, particularly as I'm sure I'm not handling it nearly as well as she would.

**I told the Physical Plant people that ages ago, but would they listen? no, just because this has been How Dragons Work since the classical era doesn't mean anyone in Lit of Magic gets any respect.

***Cat knows what that will do to the inflation rate, though. I suppose that's a project for the Econ department.

December indeed now seems like a year ago, not just a month.

††Has made? will have made? had already made? 

††Has, will have, had, shall had might whatever: I need to ask the linguists about modal verbs and their tenses in a temporally disturbed nexus.

‡24 hours in a day, of which humans normally spend about eight hours asleep; 60 minutes in an hour.

299,792,458 meters per second: NEWSCOMI wants to remind you that it's not just a good idea, it's the law, and unless you have filled in all the requisite paperwork to request an exception, the university cannot possibly defend you against InterStellarPol.#

#And two more footnotes in the final paragraph, and now a footnote within a footnote: someone stop me.