the grid

the grid

Friday, 13 January 2017

Week 2: Settling In to the New (Calendar) year

 Hello All!

This past week seemed to be highly varied - many of us were gearing up for semester (and still tending the piles of marking from the previous), some of us were already back in full swing. I've stopped sulking (well sort of) that the Christmas tree and the 'sparkle' has been removed. There's  something about the sparkles of the lead up to the holiday season that pulls me through December. So my suggestion for an addition to all of our to-do lists this week, is to bring the sparkly back! What thing can you do this week for the sheer joy of it? Something for pleasure, fun and just to bring a little spark back in?  

Goals from last week:

1 - Three conference abstracts for submission next week
2 - List of paper/conference talk figures
3 - Make one figure from list above

Dame Eleanor Hull
1. De-clutter and organize my study so it is functional and attractive for the coming semester, and so it will be easy to do a second round of decluttering before the house goes to market.
2. Review the recently accepted article, plan revisions, contact editors with self-imposed deadline.
3. Plan classes, write syllabuses.
4. Eat safely, test one new food; walking or cardio every day, stretching every day, two yoga classes, sit 3x.
5. Two social activities already on the schedule this week.

Earnest English
-Grounding: in bed on schoolnights by 11pm! Eat well. Active self-repair on stressful days: baths, music. Meditate or yoga twice this week.

-Spirited: therapy exercises, HS twice this week; figure out about classes?

-Gardening: check to make sure I have the right artichoke seeds or get them ordered

-Plan and plod: plan and announce a couple 2-hour blocks of working; get stuff done and prep; contact Colleague L and P about backup plans for snow days; get needed two needed meetings on the calendar.

-Writing Project: keep morning time for writing (not work!); finish current research reading (may take another week); 1x; send out to deadline

-Big Report: get in touch with Colleague D and make a regular time for touching base about this. Figure out where we are on this and what needs to be done next.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Finish plan for the month of January.
Walk the dog twice daily.
Write five sentences daily.
Edit one page of Prudence commentary daily.

Good Enough Woman
1. Read the thesis/dissertation twice before the viva.
2. Read three articles/chapter by external examiner that are not cited in the thesis (others are, but not these).
3. Re-read judgment articles before viva.
4. Review my notebooks before viva.
5. Try to relax during plane flight (I am a nervous flyer, and the weather in CA is a bit stormy today).
6. Finish one syllabus (or two?) while on trip.
7. Enjoy a couple of things in London!

heu mihi
1) Start running again, which may mean just twice at about 2 miles per run. (I'm still recovering from bronchitis + a touch of pneumonia. Nearly back to normal, but I don't want to push it.)
2) Rewrite ch. 1's intro and conclusion. Add in fiddly bits that are obviously missing from the notes.
3) Read the last totally new book for my upcoming grad class.
4) Finish one syllabus.
1 Submit book manuscript!
2 Finish syllabi
3 Revise book reviews and resubmit
4 Read 5x
5 Write 5x

1) Get some exercise, and sleep a sensible amount each night
2) Resist the urge to buy more 'goodies' and eat up remaining Christmas treats slowly and savouringly (is that a word?)
3) Make good use of the writing day (I'm currently thinking of working on a paper nicknamed Ferret, since that is at a point where solid writing might be useful, and perhaps on zero drafts of two grant ideas. need to pin that down!)
4) Send a few emails regarding the possible trip

Goals for this week:
I return from leave on Friday this week, so goals are pretty limited.
1. Enjoy the rest of the time with family, low expectations and take the easy option on return travel
2. Reconnect with home with some garden time, and very mild declutter/organise as we unpack.
3. Gentle re-entry for one work day - focus on Master's student, start setting boundaries around email checking and system for noting tasks for later and designate times for student appointments.


- edit down acronym paper
- tackle the marking mountain
- come up with a comprehensive to do list
- get out of the house, at least to the nearest Pokestop each day!
- make progress on knitted shawl

Goals for the coming week:
Reformat the bibliography
Put a regular block of writing time on my calendar.
Go to sleep by 11pm
Run 2x
Write 1 syllabus

So my goals will be VERY modest.
1. Finish and post syllabi for classes that start next week.
2. Clear out email that got backed up at the end of the last semester (things you can do without books)
3. Draft abstract of Way Outside Essay
Depending on what's happening, I may try to go to My Favorite Library for a day to work.

1. Submit conference abstract
2. Work on study recruitment
3. newsletter, etc.
4. spend time on relat paper
5. Do something fun every day

Friday, 6 January 2017


A new year, somehow shining and glistening with new promise at the same time as being slightly tarnished by the final months of 2016.  For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, light will gradually start to seep into our days, while those in the Southern hemisphere will find the darkness creeping in once more.

We're aiming for 15 weeks, taking us through to Easter weekend for this block. Generally check-in posts will go up on Fridays for comments and updates.

The format will be the same as ever, but a recap: we will set goals for the whole session and then for each week. It's really easy to get carried away setting goals so I encourage you all to be optimistically realistic without creating a new source of pressure to perform! Goals can be in any aspect of life although the key focus is often writing tasks that are personally (and professionally important) but that never quite tip over into important AND urgent. Each week there will be a discussion topic, generally prompted by checkins the previous week but feel free to suggest topics to throw open to the group. If anyone wishes to include images in their checkins that I can put in the recap of goals post the next week, feel free to email them to me (kjhaxton at gmail). We'll recap the session goals for updating and refining at least once during the session, as well as the weekly goals. Feel free to comment on everyone's goals as much or as little as you like.

So for this week:

1. Who are you? What's your main focus at the moment? And where are you based?

2. Goals for the session. For the last couple of sessions we've framed this as what would you like to sit down and feel satisfied about over a cup of tea (or coffee or hot chocolate) in 15 weeks time. Common themes include research, home stuff, self-care, crafts, exercise, writing, gardening and you can be as detailed or brief as is helpful to you. Many of us give specific projects nicknames that help us keep track of things. I've started using those nicknames as part of the file system on my computer so I have folders called 'House', 'Scary', 'Kermit' and all the other silly project names I use here. If you anticipate any challenges for the weeks ahead, you can note them too.

3. Goals for the coming week. What do you want to get done in the next week? I would encourage you to be quite specific in your goals. I often find that setting a goal that is the obvious next steps in a big task is more achievable than 'tackle big task'. And don't forget, a lot of this is about the satisfaction of ticking things off the to-do list. So you can be as detailed as you want to in breaking goals down.

And finally, don't worry if you miss a few checkins. Life happens.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year/Interim Space

It's New Year's Eve in the UK as I write this, and I felt an urge to come and say something here, to open up a space in case anyone else wanted to share greetings, encouragement, writing resolve...

My TLQ goals for the coming year, the next three sessions (I hope!). are to live deliberately (although without moving to the woods and taking my washing home to my Mum weekly. pleasant as both might be), think seriously about what being a Slow Professor and living a Slow Life might look for for me, and to enjoy my writing, whatever I write.

In comments to Susan's post here  KJHaxton and Dame Eleanor Hull both expressed interest in possibly hosting the next iteration of the group.  I've sent KJ an invition to be a site author but don't have DEH's blogging email (email me at mollimog at gmail dot com if still interested) - and as my second semester is slightly less busy than my first I'm also able to step in for any weeks if needed (albeit with some possible timezone issues later in the semester... maybe...).  Hopefully they'll be in touch soon with news about a new iteration, and in the meantime, do feel free to comment here if you've withdrawal symptoms...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Wrapping up, how did we do?

It's hard to believe that we've reached the end of this session, and I nearly decided to extend it a week. But we said December 10, so December 10 it is.   The last three months have had triumphs (Good Enough Woman submitting her dissertation!) and challenges (earthquakes, illness, digestive difficulties) outside the usual ones of lurching from crisis to crisis.   So this is a time to look back, and see where you are in relation to where you thought you'd be, and maybe get a little bit of steam to lead you over the holidays, whether you celebrate anything or not.   I'll list (as much as I can) your session goals (as updated mid-session, I think) and your last week's goals.  As you check in, think about what worked for you, and what didn't.   We're all endlessly optimistic, and there is something about the teaching semester that almost always gets out of control.  

Session goals 
allan wilson
1) to be fitter and stronger physically than I am now, by doing exercise consistently - I find this has enormous benefits for my mental wellbeing, and energy levels
2) to be calm, especially as Christmas draws closer. Not sure yet what my strategies will be here.
3) to resubmit two papers that I have previously completed with the help of this group - both are complete mss, but need reformatting after recent rejections
4)to work on drafts of three other papers, so each has a complete manuscript form

Contingent Cassandra
--increase exercise (walking, weight-lifting, gardening) enough to increase the amount I can do
--make/eat more homemade food
--get enough/more regular sleep (in particular, try to establish/maintain a regular bedtime/bedtime routine)
--do more long-form reading (keep up w/church Bible-reading project, + some additional professional & recreational reading)

--accomplish enough in the garden plot to meet the standard of “active gardening” and to move as much gardening paraphernalia as possible to the plot itself (make fence out of rolls of wire currently occupying part of my living space; assemble storage box ditto & fill will tools ditto)
--make progress on putting up shelves (including temporary assembly of ones that will eventually be painted/permanently installed)
--get financial paperwork in shape for mortgage applications
--gather data for a budget
--research 2nd home/investment property/storage solution

--Follow up on grant project (attend conference, prepare reports, look into addtl funding, maybe write a bit)
--Continue to think about research/writing priorities

--do what I can to keep up/reestablish contact with friends and family, without getting too tied up in whether/how people (especially those in difficult/complicated situations) respnd.
--scan at least an album’s worth of family pictures; move pictures to new, archival album (which will be a birthday/Christmas present for my brother)

write three new papers and finish the hideous revise and resubmit from the last session! The three new ones are for projects that are now slowly maturing and producing things worth writing about.
Revised: 2 papers... R=R over break maybe?

Dame Eleanor Hull
Goals, though: I want to have sent out two R&R projects and done some serious reading/note-taking to provide some theoretical underpinnings for my book-in-progress. (The state of the book is that I've basically done all the writing involving the primary text---or all I can do for now---and now I need to work on theoretical and historical background, with some literary comparisons.) I also need to do some translation-revising (we've achieved a complete rough draft, which is a big milestone). I need to keep up with teaching, which is less challenging than usual (low enrollments = smaller classes). Usually things I consider basic (exercise, food providing) aren't too tricky, but my teaching schedule and recent discovery of some food intolerances means that over the next few months, both of these need more attention than they used to. Finally, there's the house-related sorting/tossing/giving away/storing that I don't really want to do but really need to do. We will both be much happier in a newer, lower-maintenance place, and the only way out is through.

Earnest English
Gardening/herbalism: don’t forget about the garden, but do some fall planting, winter gardening or whatever/planning or herbalism learning weekly

Writing: five hours/sessions per week (reading counts!); 6x

Health: sleep!!! (in bed by 11 or earlier on worknights), supplements, good food

Mental health: journal, meditate or yoga and RELAX, listen to audio books during commute; planning instead of panic; create and communicate boundaries

Cooking: one nice meal a week (plan over weekend)

Weekly and birthday/holiday planning: Keep on top of holidays and other events with planning on weekends

Spirited!: keep checked in to his education: at least check notebook every weekend and check in with him; even better? ask daily

Work: be an intentional, slow professor who plods through work

Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Session mantra: Live purposefully and deliberately
Continue my habit of writing every day.
Finish the neverending commentary for the Prudence book.
Move more--use the brand-new variable desk, walk more, get out of the chair more.

Good Enough Woman
1. Health-Exercise more regularly. 3x a week with walking, swimming, and yoga in the mix. More veggies for the whole family.
2. Home--Get bills, and passwords, and Powerschool, etc. under control. Help kids with various things that are important to them.
3. Research--Submit conference proposal by October deadline. Submit one article. Read 1-2 articles/chapters each week (to stay fresh and ready for the viva).
4. Finish the Slow Professor, and choose various principles and practices for weekly goals (from time-to-time).
5. Family and Friends--various weekly goals as I try to be intentional about doing things for family and friends that will really help them or make them happy.

Humming 42
1 Submit book manuscript
2 Submit two late book reviews
3 Finish and submit Ungloomy article
4 Finish and submit Venus article
5 Read a novel
6 Get grading done in a timely manner
7 Set and maintain a schedule to manage household responsibilities
8 Consider possibility for writing every day

Jane B

1) survive and deliver my classes acceptably, if possible without needing sick leave from teaching
2) Have full drafts of two (closely related) papers from the project I call Problem Child. This requires actual data generation (from simulations) as well as writing
3) Be up to date with refereeing, reviewing etc. (current queue is 2 papers, one book) and minor writing (one 2000 word chapter for an encyclopedia thing, conference talk)
4) look after myself - eat reasonably, spend enough time in bed (sleep is erratic and sometimes elusive, but I can at least rest my eyes and feet for the right amount of time), exercise gently, be kind to myself
5) probably this should be my number 1 - act deliberately. Act with purpose and intent, NOT reactively, and as if I am a person who matters as much if not more than all the things around me. this is the best way I can currently codify in a few words the ideas that have percolated up from continuing to think about the 'Slow Professor' principles, and ideas we talked about in the summer like 'move like water'... I talk a lot in previous iterations about balance, but it strikes me that that metaphor is troubling as it implies an inately precarious situation, something like walking across a narrow beam, high up, whilst carrying many objects. I want a metaphor which makes me feel intrinsically grounded, gives me more feeling of control and agency than of continually just avoiding the brink of disaster, and which helps me do wood-and-forest thinking, switching smoothly between the immediate and the longer term (which reaction, fire-fighting, wobbling on a beam, really doesn't favour).

1. Explore writing rhythms till I get something I can hold
2. Write one conference paper
3. Review co-authored conference paper and knock it through to a complete article draft
3. Get ethics approval up for 2017 SOTL project
4. Find energy that doesn't rely on chocolate (so sleep, mindful eating, movement)
5. Work with co-teachers on 2017 curriculum development to the point where there's defined plans and time allocations for being ready for semester 1.  [On hold while waiting for staff to be appointed.]

KJHaxton (Katy)
Goals for the session
1. incorporate regular writing/editing sessions for several projects interspersed with writing fits (1500 words in a couple of hours).
2. Make progress with two research projects: scary and house, mainly by revising and using the research tools on cohorts.
3. Submit one paper and get another one 'nearly there'
4. Make stuff!
5. Be more present in this group - I swing by to check in and keep track but I want to find more time to comment.

1.  I have a paper to finish for a conference with pre-circulated papers.  It's due this week, and it will be done.
2.  I have a long overdue book review that needs to get done
3.  I have footnotes to check.  Once I've finished  the book review, I want to do as much of this as possible.
4.  I have a paper I wrote a year ago for a conference/essay collection, but the essay collection has not found a home, so I'd like to publish it.  It needs a bit of polishing, so if there's time, I'd like to do that. Substitute: expand talk from summer conference for journal forum.
5.  Return to reading fiction: I keep thinking this will happen, and I'm hoping that as my mind gets free of the book, I will do this.
6.  Sleep: I work best when I get about 7 hours of sleep a night.  One of my feline alarm clocks does not like this, but I'd really like to get to bed early enough so this can work
7.  Exercise: I go to an exercise class three days a week; I'd like to add walking twice a week.  That depends on the sleep.
8.  Friends and family: I need to stay connected to people, just hanging out and talking.  
9. Copyediting and proofreading book, complete index

1. Approximately 5 grant applications for project #1 (actual number will depend on my fellowship app currently under review). Most due in November.
2. Intersections paper
3. Discrepant paper
4. Stress Model paper (this may wait as it's complex)
5. Aging paper
6. CS paper
7. Stigma paper
8. 2 grant apps for project #2

Last Week's Goals
allan wilson
(from 4 weeks ago, nature intervening!)

1. Reduce second helpings at dinner which have nothing to do with the fact that I am hungry.
2. Use appropriate coping strategies, not eating. Eg, walking, or resting.
3. Have a go at finishing FS.

Contingent Cassandra
--keep moving (weights, walks, maybe back to the garden depending on weather)
--keep sleeping regularly
--plan/begin buying holiday gifts, cards (including contact long-lost friend's daughter to make sure I have a correct postal address for friend)
--do some financial stock-taking (in preparation for more work on budgets & paperwork over break) 
--make a batch of soup and/or oatmeal if time (this might have to wait until next week) 

1) Hills Paper, AGAIN!
2) Cold Paper, complete data section

Dame Eleanor Hull,
1. Self-care: sit 5x, 2 yoga classes, basic stretching 4x, weights 3x, cardio or walking 5x, keep up good work on food/tracking.
2. Teaching: TRQ grading.
3. Research: finish R&R, send e-mails.
4. House/Life: contact handyman, 2 hrs basement, 2 hrs sorting/filing/tossing paper.

Earnest English
Mental Health: Stretch, plan, make key phone calls on Wednesday
Gardening: fall clean up as promised, get garlic in the ground, put beds to sleep
Writing: work in the morning; read 
Health: sleep, rest, relax, take supplements, eat well, make sure to bring and eat lunch. 
Cooking: Thanksgiving! 
Planning: Keep checking in on my goals
Spirited!: Connect and be here now.
Work: grade 5 projects per day, preferably in the morning on days not going to work

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Finish first quarter planning.
Declutter my electronic files ½ hour x 4.
Declutter the paper piles on my desk ½ hour x 4.
Write twenty minutes x 7.
Walk 20 minutes x 5.
Stand at the desk 2 hours x 5.

Good Enough Woman
1) Be efficient with TRQ (grading) to make room for TLQ.
2) Do some viva prep (I think I'll be having a mock viva via Skype in a couple of weeks).
3) Make Christmas gift lists, do some shopping
4) Help daughter make pillows for her friends
5) Put velcro on son's roller backpack and lunchbox to keep said lunchbox from flopping off to the side of said backpack.

1 Bolstered by the group, I will call the pharmacy in the next town over to get the difficult-to-find prescription I’ve ignored for weeks
2 30 minutes recherce 6x
3 30 minutes reading 6x
4 full draft of book review

it's going to be tough.
A lot of this stuff is probably really TRQ but heck it can all go in one list.

1) referee third paper
2) spend an hour on the Annual Report for Old Admin Job (about 35 pages of bureaucratise. There are bits that can be cannabalised, but it takes energy) 
3) make a list and make sure grading is done in order of urgency
4) spend a couple of hours on Christmas stuff (wrapping parcels to mail, cards - at least overseas stuff)
5) leave work early one day to mail parcels, and go into town to replace the box of chocs I accidentally ate whilst marking/brooding this weekend and have a fancy hot chocolate at the fancy coffee place (even if I have to take grading there with me)
6) eat well, exercise, sleep a lot, put self first
7) write conference talk
8) make calls, write emails about stuff for ME.

1. Write x 2 - 25 minutes as a start.
2. Move - try a new yoga class (Thursday night or Sunday)
3. Make the Christmas presents list
4. Decide and write down where I need preparation for next year to be before going on leave. Then plan backwards and consider delegation.

KJ Haxton
1. get out for a walk every day building to 3 miles
2. mark 1st year info ret and 3rd year infographics
3. produce some problem sheets and answers for students
4. tackle literature reviews
5. type in data from house project. 
6. make christmas cards
7. work on cookery book

1. Submit revised proofs by tomorrow night.
2. Get index drafted over the weekend
3. Submit proposal for cool spring conference
4. Write response to personnel review
5. Don't get too far behind on grading.

1. Review abstract submissions for 2017 conference
2. Start revisions on rejected paper :(
3. Make outline for paper based on diss
4. Review and edit med student's paper