the grid

the grid

Sunday 19 May 2024

2024 Session 2: TLQuest Week 1

 Greetings everyone and welcome to our actual first week of the session.  If the theme does not interest you, or you're busy, please do skip to the final paragraphs with the usual prompts!

As usual for the first week of a new TLQ session, let's use the comments to introduce ourselves and set goals for the session (reminder: we're setting goals for three calendar months with a final report in on 18th August 2024), along with goals for next week.

For the northern hemisphere attendees, it's "summer vacation" season, which we tend to look forward to all year as a special space in the calendar - an opportunity to focus on TLQ a bit more, to repair or improve things about ourselves and our environment, to be reinspired and/or to initiate new research ideas that we'll work on around the edges of the other parts of the job for the rest of the year, or to complete projects to clear the decks, and to prepare for the coming academic year.  But at the same time, every year, it never quite lives up to that promise, because we over-plan, or Life Happens, or the goals we made for our future selves earlier in the year aren't quite the goals summer self actually cares about.  If it works for you, why not add one goal to your list which is what Summer You actually cares about, which if achieved by 18th August would make Summer You feel like something went right this year?  That could be one of your research goals, like completing a paper, a mixed goal like connecting with academic friends at a conference, or a purely "soft animal of your body" goal like read a poem outdoors every week, or buy fresh lemonade and a giant punnet of strawberries from my favourite farm shop....

This week's gameplay:

This week and next we're going to think about character creation in D&D.  In our "light touch" version we're not going to fill out a full character sheet, but we are going to think about the main features of our characters (or let the dice pick them).  In D&D, you don't get to start out as a Mary Sue or Gary Stu, who is perfectly competent at everything.  Your character is someone a little special compared with the general population because of their will to go on an adventure, and they start out with both strengths and weaknesses - the rules are clear that you can't be both very strong and very intelligent and very good at people, both nature and nuture mean your character is good at some things and less good at others (for example, I'm currently playing a ranger, Raven, who is very dextrous and has keen senses, but is not interested in or good at people, so he has low charisma, and is only averagely book-smart.  Our party wizard is extremely book-smart, also "bad at people", and weedy.  our Barbarian Fighter is dumb as two short planks but strong and persuasive...).  This affects how likely you are to succeed or fail at different kinds of challenges (Raven is excellent at moving quietly and shooting a long bow, but terrible at getting information out of a suspicious mayor or pretending to be an ordinaty farmer).  "Nature" and "nurture" in D&D are represented by the character's Race and Class - yes, we know race is a contested term, but there isn't an agreed-upon alternative - in a fantasy world it means things like elf or human, and since at least some of those types of person can interbreed species isn't a good alternative...). Many of the terms in D&D have awkward stereotypes or "general language" connotations reflecting their origin with white men in 1970s USA, and in high fantasy literature of the time (which was generally VERY Not Woke) - we can use alternatives if any of them bother you, please let me know & we'll use an alternative. 

This week we're going to think about character class or profession.   

There are three types of class in D&D - martial, half-caster or full-caster.  Martial classes focus on their physical skills (e.g. strength, dexterity, constitution) and are usually the fighters and/or explorers of the group (e.g. a Barbarian is a berserker, an unusually strong and resilient fighter), casters are magic users who focus on their mental skills (e.g. intelligence, wisdom/perception and charisma) and gain magic from various sources (e.g. a Wizard gains magical powers through book-study and uses spells for most things), and half-casters draw on both halves (e.g. a Ranger's life in the wilds means they are very good at surviving in wild places, but their study of the natural world also grants them some magical powers like talking to animals or supernaturally good archery).  As characters move through their adventures, they can become more skilled - a wizard learns more spells or can cast more powerful versions, a barbarian secures magical weapons and becomes tougher and stronger.  In addition to a general class, a character also has a background - a wizard can come from a noble family, have been a orphan apprenticed to a magical master because of their intelligence, have learnt their basic skills in a war college, or be a scholar who happens to have chosen to specialise in magic.  

To decide your character's class, you can either pick the best option from the lists below, or have the dice make the decision: for this week we're using a standard 6-sided die or as we call it a d6.  If you don't have one around, you can roll a digital dice by CLICKING HERE : set the roller to roll 1 d6 dice with nothing added, click roll, and you'll get a number.

First, roll 1d6 - if your result is 1 or 2, look at the martial list, 3 or 4, the half-caster, and 5 or 6, the caster.  Then either choose a class from the relevant column or roll another dice (if you don't like the outcome, roll again - you deserve to enjoy your character)!  Rogues turn up in two columns because they can choose to focus on their physical skills or to add a touch of magic to their tool kit.

  • Martial classes (do not have innate access to spell-casting, have strong physical skills): Barbarian (a berserker with rage issues, capable of extraordinary feats of endurance), monk (think martial arts, ninja), fighter (classic folk hero adventurer with a sword) or rogue (think sneak-thief, spy. assassin).  If letting the dice choose: 1 = barbarian, 2 or 3 = rogue, 4 or 5 = fighter, 6 = monk
  • Casters (cast spells as their main skills - a powerful but finite resource): Bard (their powers come through their music and abilities to charm or persuade people), cleric (a channel of the power of a deity), druid (channels the power of nature - some types have the option to shape-shift into creatures they know well), sorcerer (gains magical powers through their blood-line, e.g. an ancestor slept with a naturally magical entity like a fiend, a celestial or a dragon), wizard (gain magical powers through careful study), warlock (gain magical powers by making a Pact with a naturally magical entity like a Fey Lord, a Demon or an Old One) - If letting the dice choose: 1 = bard, 2=cleric, 3=druid, 4= sorcerer, 5=warlock, 6=wizard
  • Half-casters (mainly rely on a physical skill backed up by limited spell casting): Artificer (they are skilled crafts people or inventors with skills in potions or gadgets or devices), Rogue (thief, spy or assassin who chooses to enhance their skills with a few well chosen spells), Ranger (a traveller of the wilds - a tracker, hunter, guardian or scout who has survival skills and also learns some magic from their deep knowledge of the environment), Paladin (a holy warrior who channels the power of a deity through both their fists or weapons and through divine magics).  If letting the dice choose, 1=artificer, 2-3 = rogue, 4-5 = ranger, 6 = paladin

Having picked a profession, it's time to think of a background for your character - why and how did they end up in this profession?  If you want a prompt from the dice, roll another d6 - 1 = noble family origin, 2 = raised in family tradition of this profession, 3 = military (learned the profession in the town guard, a national army or a mercenary troop), 4 = education (learnt their trade through a school or apprenticeship), 5 = urchin (this background comes from poverty and has made their way by a combination of luck and graft - adopted, debt-bonded, trained by a master thief...), 6 = black sheep (they come from an ordinary family of farmers or craftspeople but were always the odd one out)   

Next week we'll pick our character's race and think about the equipment and tools they start out on their adventures with.

In summary

your TLQuest prompt is: pick the class and background of your character

your real world TLQ prompt is: what are your session goals?  Do they include one goal that will make Summer You feel satisfied that the time didn't dribble away unvalued by August 18th? what are your weekly goals?  


  1. So, what are my session goals? Right now, "phased return" is taking up all my spoons and it's not easy or pleasant, but it is progressing. Interim Head continues to be a pain in the backside, and the UK university sector is a terrible mess especially for regionals like NorthernUni - it really does feel as if we may not be here, our whole Department may not be here, in three years or so (we'd PROBABLY get to persist in some form to teach out the students who arrive in September, but not necessarily) - but for now it's almost the long vacation, ShoutyPants the cat is settling in well, and I just had a really nice strawberry milkshake!

    I'm going to keep using the idea of grouping several smaller things under some general headings:
    1) self-care: moving intentionally, eating mindfully, listening to my body and resting as needed, being kind to myself, caring for my home environment both through regularly doing the basic chores and through making improvements/doing one off tasks. I'd like to end the summer feeling like I'm in a good rhythm in this part of life, that it has been tended intentionally every week (I have made a list of weekly tasks I'd like to get done every week - at this stage some happen most weeks, like laundry, and some very rarely happen, like hoovering). it also includes the ongoing processes of healthcare and negotiating reasonable adjustments...
    2) fun: having fun means addressing most of the seven types of rest one does whilst awake, but mostly about refilling my reserves and working out who I am as an neurodivergent late-50s person recovering from burnout, not just as an academic. I have some actual specific goals here - my list of fun things are crafting, drawing/painting, writing, playing D&D and reading, and my specific goals are:
    a) I'm working on a shawl (knitting) and a blanket (crochet) and would like to finish one and make a lot of progress on the other.
    b) writing - I've signed up to do a very low pressure local-but-online creative writing course this summer which runs from early June to the end of August. So I'd like to have attended at least 75% of the sessions and done some writing!
    c) D&D - I want to play once a week if possible (harder in the summer).
    d) read at least as many books per month as last summer!
    e) and in general have done something in at least two of the categories, at least one being social, every week (social things include D&D, the writing course, spending time with family, that sort of thing)
    3) Teaching and administration stuff - I have some different teaching assignments next year, and I want to "set myself up for success" and for managing my energy carefully next year by getting substantially ahead on teaching preparation (I haven't done enough refreshing for the last 2-3 years anyway due to, well, all the things). I'd like to do at least 3 teaching-related work blocks of time (half a day each) every work week of the summer, and I've already made a list of 30 blocks of things to do - unusually organised for me!
    4) research. This one is less organised at this point because I'm slowly feeling my way back into it. I'd like to have progressed several papers which are in different stages of unfinished, and to have outlined a grant application for a buy-out (i.e. to get writing time for me - not easy to get as a STEM person but I have an angle I can try).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      This coming week is my first fully back at work week - 4 full days, two of them to be spent on campus.
      1) self-care: tick off at least 75% of the regular chores list, additional intentional movement three days, eye specialist appointment, resting as needed (my first full 4 days week)
      2) fun: play D&D, knit some, and finish the novel I'm currently slowly reading. Book the Annual Leave days I've noted for June, July and August.
      3) teaching and administration (it's our last week of assessment/exams for the semester): complete some marking (two first year pieces, moderation of a module, check for late work). One online CPD course I need to tick off.
      4) rewrite the discussion section of Consultancy Paper, look for samples and assess where we are with Scribbly Paper (which was last touched before COVID), send a couple of emails starting to pick up with different service stuff in my field now I'm "back".

      That feels like plenty!

    3. Oh and to add to number 4 - come up with a better research goal for the session!

    4. Good luck with the first full week back! You sound very organised at the moment - 30 blocks for the summer teaching prep is impressive.

    5. These sound like really good, concrete goals. I'm impressed that you've come up with 30 blocks of teaching-related work! Think about how good it will feel to tick things off your lists....

    6. Some mostly good news too - we just got unofficial confirmation that a very large research project led by another university, in which my department is also involved - another colleague is leading one package, and I'm co-investigator on a second package within the project. It's good on paper/given the current financial status of the department, and it's another small "don't fire me I have some use" for me! The "mostly" is because I'm not very convinced about the alignment of the work I'll need to do with the research questions I actually care about, and so am feeling a little bit "sigh" about NOT doing the things that most please and inspire me, again, because I feel greatly in need of enjoyable and motivating work for next year, or for a very clear "time to leave" situation. But it IS a good thing!

    7. Then yay! and I hope that the project will somehow shift closer to being in alignment with your interests, or involve working with people who are inspiring rather than draining.

  2. So since I said last week my character would be a wanderer, getting by on their wits plus a few skills, including music, I think the closest from the lists above is Ranger, and from a poverty background. I think the background is maybe between 5 and 6: family of small peasants, lost tenancy after everyone except me died of plague or starvation after harvest failure (can't remember which I said, but they often went in tandem in the past). But I'll say 5 for simplicity. I've decided that, since this is fantasy, I can be female (there were some female vagrants/wanderers, historically, but it was much more difficult for them). I'm still a musician (I'm going with lute player) but I also have some basic healing spells, involving herbs and potions, passed down through the family. These may, or may not, get me into trouble for suspected witchcraft; I'll leave that to the game to decide.

    IRL, I'm Julie, a mid-career historian at a university in the north of the UK. As JaneB mentioned, the HE sector in the UK is a mess and we are constantly told the Arts and Humanities are most vulnerable because not economically valuable. My own institution and department are hopefully OK for now, but we're not getting to replace colleagues who leave or retire at anything like the necessary pace to keep up with workloads, and morale is consequently low. I'm also a widow and therefore solo parent to two teens, one of whom is currently going through big exams (GCSEs).

    Session goals
    I'm going to use JaneB's practice of headings.
    1. Teaching/admin - for this session, that consists mostly of marking, plus PhD students. I am thinking of leaving teaching prep for the next session, aside from sending reading lists to the library, which has to be done by July.
    2. Research
    i) Finally submit the grant application!
    ii) Present at a workshop in France in June
    iii) Submit an abstract to a call for papers for a special issue of a journal. This is something I actually feel excited about, so am adding it even though it might be a distraction.
    3 Kids
    i) Steer daughter through GCSEs without either of us losing our minds and have fun with her afterwards.
    ii) Try not to neglect son in the process! Plan things to do with him in August while daughter is away.
    4. House/life admin
    i) Start one big house project (new bathroom(s)). On the list of projects for a while, but forced upon me now by leaking shower.
    ii) Garden work - plant pots, get shed built, new patio furniture.
    iii) Some small to medium jobs e.g. decluttering, frame photos
    i) Keep reading pace up - I've read a lot more this year already
    ii) Exercise regularly
    iii) Work on healthy eating and sleep.
    iv) Keep up with journaling.
    v) Fun activities - see friends, do creative stuff.

    The one goal for Summer Me is probably the grant application, which is about 80% there, mostly costings and fiddly bits. It would be a huge load off my shoulders.

    This week:
    1. Mark two lots of exam scripts (about 80 in total, due Thursday)
    2. Agree dissertation marks with co-markers.
    3. Help with GCSE revision as needed.
    4. Exercise
    5. Eat healthily

    1. 80% there? You will *definitely* finish it. You can start looking forward to the overwhelming feeling of relief...!

    2. ugh on the marking! I'm done now except for the stragglers which is a great feeling...

      Your character sounds like they may be a bard with a vagabond background? Wandering minstrels are definitely included in the bard class (and there's an option in the game to be a hybrid of two or more classes as you progress - so instead of becoming better at barding, your bard might add some rogue skills or fighter skills or ranger skills...).

  3. It looks like our group may be well-equipped with Rangers, as it seems like that's the best category for my Scout, who just sort of developed as a voice when I wanted to allegorize my tasks in Spring 2019. I never thought of her as a magic-user, but I expect her abilities with animals fall into that category. (She doesn't read their minds or converse with them, unless they are magical talking animals anyone can hear, but she is very good at reading the body language of various species.) The mapping abilities also seem to belong to the "deep knowledge of the environment" that JaneB mentioned. Charisma is low! Not a people-pleaser. She doesn't want to talk about her background. I get the impression that she grew up among farmers, and though she spent "too much" time in the stables or wandering the hills for an ordinary woman, she would have stayed in her home village as a sort of eccentric aunt type, except that something bad happened. She was recruited into a military organization first as an animal handler, and then in basic training they discovered her mapping/exploration skills. She's also a good sniper and likes blowing things up, but she's lousy at hand-to-hand combat as well as at taking orders, so she's generally on some sort of loose assignment that only requires that she report in once in awhile to turn over maps and, if there's an active war on, learn where mines might need to be set and on what schedule.

    Session goals:
    - finish the Alms chapter that is still hanging around and send it to a friend for comments;
    - plan all my classes for next year;
    - do what I hope is a limited-scope manuscript-related project;
    - start work on another book chapter;
    - work regularly in my garden, taming various portions of it;
    - regular exercise, yoga, and other self-care;
    - at least two trips to see friends.

    Alms really is almost done, I think, so I'm imagining devoting roughly a month to each of my other work projects, with gardening being an on-going effort. What do I most want to do this summer? Swim a lot. I think it would be very satisfying to get next year's classes all planned out, so that all I have to do is show up, teach, and grade, without having to plan while teaching. I always say I will do this, and never have really done it, so let's see if I can manage it this time around!

    Goals for the coming week:
    - keep "office hours"
    - finish Alms and send it
    - 2 units Greek review
    - 3 x 2 hours in the garden

    1. I like your session goals. Intrigued by Alms chapter as almsgiving is one of my big research themes. Your character also has much more of a back story and personality than mine!

    2. Agreeing with Julie--I enjoyed reading about your character! I like the one-month-per-project idea.

    3. I have good news that I can't wait to share! I have finally been invited to contribute to a conference-proceedings volume that is invitation-only and which I've been stubbornly pursuing for at least 20 years! This may mess up my summer schedule but WOOOOOT! Champagne (virtual, only intoxicating if you want it to be, etc) all around, midweek and midday, my friends!

    4. YAY!!!! Virtual Champagne lifted to you! Congratulations!

    5. Whoo! Congratulations! Raising my champagne (IRL herbal tea) to you!

    6. Congratulations on the volume! So exciting!

  4. Okay, I'll take the plunge. Alice is definitely from a martial caste, a rogue, and she's there because she's a black sheep. She had a perfectly good job as a servant, but got pregnant before marriage, and since then has just had to do what she has to do to survive. I look forward to finding out more about her life.

    Session Goals:
    I start a 1 year sabbatical on July 1; in less than 2 weeks I fly to London for 10 weeks which will include a mixture of work and vacation. There are a number of small trips planned, but when they will be is still not clear for many reasons. My sister, who lives in Paris, is fleeing Paris for London during the Olympics, so I'll have some time with her. When I come home, I'm here for 2 weeks before heading to My Favorite Library for a 1 year fellowship. So lots of anxiety about getting ready and getting my house ready for tenants in September. Which seems to be manifesting in not doing the things I need to do. (Last week was hard here, and yesterday was the anniversary of my mother's death, so I'm hoping I pick up on this now.)
    1. Figure out how I will revise Famous Author to meet editor's suggestions. (They want a longer ms, so I have to figure out where and how to do that.) Do it.
    2. Finish last little bits (for now) of Big Collaboration (Maybe will be done today, but I'd like to say it's done for now!)
    3. Start work on "Rest of My Life" project, which will really get going when I get to My Favorite Library but I'd like to start now

    My Admin job lasts until July 1, and it's not clear who will take over then. So just keep up with it and share information as I get it.

    --house organizing
    --read for fun
    --plan trips for the summer
    --exercise/ sleep / eat well

    Goals for this week:
    It's quiet here now, as the semester is over, and we survived a high profile meeting on campus without police action. I'm trying to do as much as possible this week because I'm theoretically on jury duty next week. (You call the night before, so you really don't know until the last minute.)
    - Finish Big Collaboration work
    - Return to Famous Author and figure out what I need to do.

    - Organize committee meeting to plan fall
    - Meet with Deans on issues
    - Keep up with whatever happens next

    - Get books to campus and to the library
    - Start packing both for summer and fall
    - Do any last minute shopping
    - Do something fun

    I'm almost certainly forgetting something, but . . .

    1. Oh, and I forgot to introduce myself. (This gives you a sense of me being VERY frazzled.) I'm Susan, a late career professor of history at a still newish university which (like so many places) does almost everything on a wing and prayer, and mostly the sweat of faculty. I'm one of the people who does things, and actually does them. I'm at the VERY tail end of two projects, BIG Collaboration (volume with 30 contributors, I'm co-editor, almost all in right now) and Famous Author (was going to be a SHORT book, manuscript drafted, but editors seem to want something longer). I am a widow and (as of a year ago) an orphan, and live with an elderly cat who has medical issues in a small city on the west coast of the US.

    2. Sorry about the anniversary. That feels like it came round quick, though I imagine for you it may feel soon in some ways and a very long time in others. I think the 'firsts' are always tough.

      And yay for sabbatical and favourite library next year! I can appreciate the stress of getting ready, but it will be worth it.

    3. Oh, and what happened to Alice's baby?

    4. Julie, as always, we don't know. (Jodi Mikalachki has a nice essay on Alice, and I do too "Elizabeth I and Alice Balstone". But a few years later she speaks in thieves cant, and is hiding stolen goods...

    5. Well, we had police action! Hence the kerfufflage. Sigh and sigh again.

      I'm sorry about the anniversary. And I love the "rest of my life" project idea--did I say that last time, or just think it?

    6. How can it be a year already? It seems like just a few months. But I hope that getting through that anniversary helps in some ways, and that you do manage to finish or delegate all the things that have to happen before you leave for London.

    7. Oh my, that sounds like a lot - an anniversary like that (which seems to have come around quickly to me too) plus all the upheaval of preparing for a longer period of travel and a change of pace and focus for the year ahead. I hope it all goes smoothly and that the whole jury duty process is easily completed

  5. So I've been imagining myself as some sort of gnome. But I rolled a 5, so I'm a Caster, and have decided to go with Druid, as that seems reasonably adaptable. My second die-roll gave me a noble background. Maybe a noble gnomish background? Low-key noble, I would say, like From A "Good Family" but in a really small, parochial sort of place. I left town to complete my druidical training (whatever that would involve) and have been living in an isolated cottage for *maybe* a little too long, so I've decided to embark on A Period of Wandering because a change of scenery might just be good for me.

    I don't even know if gnomes are allowed, but perhaps there's an adjacent creature category. I'm feeling earthy and practical this session (at least in my imagination).

    In real life: Professor of medieval literature at a Northeastern US public university that is one of many undergoing serious kerfufflage. I'm a Program Director (low-middle management) and in the fall I will become Associate Chair of my 70+-faculty-member department, so I need to brace myself a bit. I have an almost-12-year-old (Bonaventure) and am married to The Minister, who is a minister. We have two one-year-old cats, one of which is currently engrossed in chasing a moth.

    My plans for the session have changed, in quite a wonderful way! I discovered that the chapter of my book that I hadn't started, and didn't want to start, but finally settled down to start--doesn't actually need to be written! It's not really a part of this (or probably any) book! So now I'm recalibrating my whole timeline. I also had a terrific meeting with my top-choice publisher at a recent conference, and they're interested in the project. Yay!

    Goals, therefore:
    1. Write an introduction for this book
    2. *Really* finish the draft of chapter 6 (now chapter 5), revise chapters 3 and 4, start working on tightening up the whole very long manuscript
    3. Read and review book by August 1, I think it was
    4. Edited collection: Prepare and submit a proposal
    5. Job-related: create info page for international students; line up workshop guests for TA practicum; prep new book(s) for fall course; fall syllabus; ORDER BOOKS for fall course
    6. Grad students: I have one who is supposed to be finishing his dissertation, like, now. This student will take a lot of work. I must prepare for this.
    7. Submit conference abstract IF I decide that I want to.
    8. FUN: Make at least 3 books; finish knitting a cardigan; read a lot of novels; take forest days; finish France photo albums

    There are other things that I'll have to do, but they don't all need to be here.

    Goals for this week (or the Wednesday-Sunday portion, since it's Tuesday night):
    1. Two hours on my book x 4
    2. Proofs of two journal articles
    3. Yearbook letter (don't ask)
    4. Assign TAships
    5. Start making one book (for a fundraiser)

    Looking forward to this session! Thanks, JaneB--I always wanted to play D&D, but I never got the chance. This will be fun!

    1. Almost 12! That's even more shocking than it being a year since Susan's mother died. Wow. Anyway, congratulations on being able to lose the chapter you weren't excited about! (I'm amazed, because my chapters keep subdividing like amoebas.) Also on having an interested publisher! Well done!

    2. I'm sorry for the kerfluffage. We spent all last week worrying there would be police action, but in a rare bout of sanity, our admin resisted enforcing the rules they had just written. But yay on the publisher's interest, and yay for being able to drop the un-written chapter! And good luck on becoming vice-chair.

    3. Oh, and with Dame Eleanor on *almost 12???* how did that happen?

    4. Congratulations on top-choice publisher being interested! And on breakthrough realisation about the chapter.

    5. Gnomes are totally allowed! I love the idea of a gnome druid. One of the things D&D druids do in their training is spend time getting to know the ways of particular animals and parts of the natural environment especially well, because their powers over time develop from that knowledge and include things like gaining the ability to change shape into animals they've studied, to focus the light of the moon into a weapon, or causing vines to suddenly grow up and entangle the feet of an enemy. So your gnome had all sorts of good reasons to hang out in an isolated cottage learning those things.

      And how wonderful to be able to tick off a dreaded chapter as "done" because it isn't needed! I hope that opens up lots of energy and space for a fun research summer!

  6. Hello everyone!
    Way late to the party, but putting this in the right place so easy to find goals later… (Was away at fun conference, talked so much for 5 days straight I totally lost my voice…)
    I could not think of a character to commit to, so I went for the dice. In my first set of rolls I got a martial class monk with a military background… So I’m going to go with that, adding that my particular monk was a pretty bad shooter and didn’t like the regimented military life and absconded from the regiment with a bag of gold and is now wandering the world searching for a good spot to set up a cheese and mead-making business.
    Session goals:
    Two big accepted papers and one smaller paper revised and finalized
    One new paper submitted
    One abandoned paper revived and submitted
    One grant application submitted
    One student thesis finalized and defended
    All the field work
    Revise two lectures for next year every week
    Go kayaking and camping
    Have small local adventures with kid when field work and teenager camp schedule allows

    1. And for the love of all things... exercise!!!! That has to be a big goal or I will not be able to handle August field work and field teaching...
      Also, gardening...

    2. I love the sound of your monk! Sometimes the dice have the best ideas...