The purpose of the group is to provide support for people associated with the university world (academics of all shades, grad students, etc.) who find it difficult to prioritise things which are Important but not Urgent (in the Top Left Quadrant of a grid of same). Anyone can come play, just play nicely! We strive to "structure our days/in elegant ways" to make room for what really matters...
"Move like water" has been a popular motto or mantra for the last few iterations of the group, with a few incidences of "float like mist", and last week several people began to talk about being the rock in the water, the stone that says "no" and makes the stream leap and sparkle (thanks DEH for the image and the poem!). Nature imagery can be very grounding, especially as we focus on what is important rather than what is loud and urgent in our lives. One of the snippets of poetry which got into my memory and which rises up naturally sometimes when I need words to focus on is:
Lord, heal me now with a vision of green things growing ----
with the many shades of trees in a woodland way,
with delicate boughs that wave like waters flowing,
with the springing grass and the mounting corn and the may.
A woodland way (with may to right at front)
V.H.Friedlaender, from A Prayer In May
So for this week's topic, anyone else like to share the words and/or imagery that you find useful in constructing your academic identity and in thinking about your TLQ life - about the important things, in other words?
Last week's goals Contingent Cassandra
1. Garden 1x, swim 1x (tomorrow, when I don't have
conferences); lift weights 2x
2. Continue contemplating how best to wring some
rejuvenation out of the 17 days I have between commitments in August. Should I
travel? Just stay home? There are arguments for both.
Self: organize second trip. Stretch every day. Swim 3-4
times. Do some shopping.
Teaching: Grade, be enthusiastic on field trip, organize the
Research: Review 1000 lines of translation; write topic
sentences for new/revised paragraphs in MMP-3.
House: type the packing list.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Walk forty-five minutes a day.
Keep track of hydration.
One hour five days a week on the Prudence book.
1) Have parents over for pizza night.
2) Walk 4x, swim 1x, yoga 1x.
3) Write 5x.
4) Clean out 4 boxes/drawers.
5) Take kids on outings: a trip to the movies, at least one
beach trip, and take daughter to Ren Faire. Plan a waterpark trip.
6) Start planning for August vacation.
7) Choose important moments to be the rock so that I
can do the other TLQ things.
1) Decide what to do about ch. 2.
Others involve getting my life back to normal, post-trip:
2) Fix little fiddly bits in chapter 5
3) Back to exercise routine, more or less
4) Send book proposal to another publisher (I have interest
from one, but am covering my bases)
5) Take care of little domestic things: a few errands,
granola, laundry, etc.
humming42 (carried over)
1 write 5x
2 set writing and research
3 set up project notekeeping
4 follow up with co-author
5 determine status of
6 think about grant
JaneB (carried over)
1) restructure ProbChildp1p1
2) clear desk at office at
3) be nice to the cold and
get enough sleep
4) write up notes from grant
meeting and circulate to team
5) set resit work (this will
be TRQ the week after next, so would like to get it done this week in a
controlled manner) and do timetabling paperwork (due next week, same).
Karen (carried over)
1. Yoga - 3 home practices
(even if little) and 1 class
2. Garden - plan 2017/8 vegetable
3. Office - 2 x 25 minutes of
clearing the encroaching chaos of floor clutter
4. Read - one article
5. Write - 1 hour on messy
first draft of grass text
1. Keep on knitting (I'd abbreviate that but I don't think I
want to Kok)
2. 15 hours of 'work' in keeping with 2 days/week
3. work on ethics application
4. make progress on printing project
1) Write chapter 2: continue reading the most fundamental
sources, and accumulate 1000 words per day by write / revise.
2) 5-minute-exercises several times a say.
3) Find ‘my own 15 minutes’ as many as possible.
4) Think positively, plan concretely, work practically.
Notorious, PhD (carried over)
• Writing: 1000 words on
Sometimes an Adequate Notion chapter [start point: 700]
• 2 days yoga; 3 meditation
• finish reading 1 major
• Toss or file the stuff from
my home desk and bookshelf
I can't believe it, but we are mid-way through our session. This freaks me out more than a little bit, but it's good for me to recognize this reality so that I can be intentional about the remaining weeks. I'm sorry I was a bit MIA in the comments this past week (getting new carpet took over my life), but I am appreciative of JaneB's attentiveness despite her busy week and development of a cold.
I did, however, read the posts, and I want to give a few "shout outs":
DEH, It's great that you prioritized research last week!
KJHaxton, I hope radiotherapy is going as smoothly as possible.
humming42, congrats on the research proposal!
Matilda, nice job taking control of your own work space even if it isn't everyone else's favorite arrangement (your action on this point inspirational for me).
JaneB, congrats on the great reception of your research, and I hope your cold is waning rather than waxing.
Notorious, I hope you had a great week of aunting.
Now, on to this week's business. Since we are at the mid-point, it seems worthwhile to follow our usual custom of revisiting session goals to see if we need to reconsider, revise, or reframe them. To that end, I've listed the session goals below, followed by the most recent weekly goals. I hope I didn't omit anyone! When you check in, you can address session goals first, and then you can evaluate your progress from last week and set goals for the next week. I look forward to reading your posts/comments!
Contingent Cassandra --Make consistent progress toward making at least one kind of movement (walking, swimming, weight-lifting, gardening) part of most days.
Dame Eleanor Hull *First six weeks: primary goal is packing up my house and doing necessary maintenance to sell it. I'm trying to put in 1-2 hours a day on research and teaching tasks. *Five weeks in UK: in addition to teaching responsibilities, which involve field trips as well as classroom work and grading, visit two places of personal significance, and ramp up the research considerably, since I will be living a few minutes' walk from a major research library that calms and inspires me. *Final three weeks: take a week off from all work, then prep for the fall semester, mop up whatever tasks need mopping. With any luck, unpack in new place. *Product goals: sell house, move; review all sections of translation that I have yet to review; get two R&Rs out the door (probably a good UK task); read, take notes, and move my book project forward; finalize syllabus for UK teaching; plan for fall classes.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell Session mantra: Move, contemplate, create Plan and draft sabbatical request. Walk at least half an hour every day.
GoodEnoughWoman (GEW) 1) Do all things necessary to get kids set up in their own rooms (rooms that will be good sanctuaries for them for the rest of their time at home). This will involve MUCH moving and purging (and building of a backyard "office/library/studio/witch hut"). 2) Eat the rainbow and help my family do the same. 3) Move more and build family practices for kids to do the same. 4) Read daily (and somewhat widely) within sci-fi and also academia (esp. c18 Brit lit and any scholars with good writing styles). Finish reading Dune. 5) Write at least five days per week, whether free-writing, formal academic writing, notes about texts I plan to teach, poetry, fiction, or journaling--all with the goal of exploring my interests/subjects areas while also improving my writing style (which was criticized [rather mildly, but still] by one my article reviewers). I think parentheses were probably part of my problem. 6) Since we aren't traveling as much, take advantage of local attractions and activities. 7) Spend more time on family to improve relationships, future memories, and bonds. (The relationships are good, but they definitely played second-fiddle to the PhD for the past year.)
heu mihi The first three are non-negotiable: 1) Revise Norway talk (by 6/18) 2) Draft tenure statement (by 6/1); revise it (by 7/1) 3) Write ACLA paper (by 6/18)
The other big goal is...finish Book 2! I don't need to have this done by the end of the summer, strictly speaking, but for various reasons I want to. This involves the following sub-goals: 4) Revise chapter 3 5) Revise chapter 5 6) Revise chapter 2 7) Full read-through and revision 8) Write a conclusion
humming42 1 As ever, write 5x/week 2 And also, read 5x/week 3 End of month Pop revision 4 Revise and resubmit book review 5 Meet deadlines for Talk project 6 Draft outline for workshop 7 Outline and lit review for Snow project 8 Pick and complete a project to submit for conference
JaneB For the first six weeks, my goals are something like 1) domestic chaos reduction and self-care (semester recovery) 2) conquering all assessment paperwork efficiently and putting modules "to bed" as tidily as possible (i.e. with changes for next year either made or clearly identified, etc.) 3) having a good set of lists of preparation for late September, and having the main logistics for the early October fieldtrip in place 4) complete analysis for ProblemChild project, and have drafted our parts of the first two papers (for a meeting on 29th June when we hopefully get all the authors together and submit the darn things) 5) make good progress on PickyPaper 6) finish and submit that GrantINeverShouldHaveStarted! 7) go through and act on all the notes from the conference and workshop I just attended, the two I went to in March, and the things I've left aside in my email since January (or at least add them to a single list).
Karen 1. Put in promotion application 2. Have a documented map of full new degree structure informed by one feedback cycle 3. Make progress on KL project (application); Grass (conference paper, data gathering); and Farm (creative work) 4. Create more functional spaces at home with a focus on lounge room, bedroom, and built structures in the garden. 5. Nurture self with improved sleep, regular exercise.
KJHaxton 1. Recover from surgery (it was last week) and finish up the current rounds of treatment. Negotiate return to work. 2. Submit an abstract for, create a poster for (assuming abstract accepted) and attend conference at end of summer 3. Finish some knitting projects 4. Start and finish a printing project
Matilda 1) Finish the revision of the first drafts of Chapter 2~5. 2) Make a concrete plan of the structure of the book. 3) Establish good eating and exercising habits.
Notorious, PhD • draft two book chapters (crappy draft okay) • Revise co-authored article MS (this one's a maybe; chapters are the priority) • Go through all papers/files in home & office & e-mail inbox and throw away or properly file everything. • Reboot my physical fitness
Susan 1. Desk clearing/deck clearing: I ran away for a bit over a week in the UK right after the end of our term (a talk and a paper), came back and almost immediately had to drive my mother 250 miles for an event at my niece/nephew's school. (Why this is a late check in). My desk/study is a TOTAL disaster. I need to clear off the stuff from this past year's teaching to make space for next year, and to be able to work. 2. Course preparation: I'm teaching a new graduate seminar, and an altered version of a course I've taught before. I want to get ahead on them so it's not all last minute.
3. Finish Old Conference paper and submit it for publication. (the proceedings were supposed to become a volume, but didn't, and I've been encouraged to submit this to a journal.) Probably needs a week or so of work, but nothing too extreme.
4. Make revisions to "Way Outside", a paper that took over the last session, when I get comments from the editors. (This paper is in another discipline (English) and another century (20th) from that I usually work in, which is why it has it's name.) My hunch is that it's close to done, but like Old Conference, it needs a week or so to polish it, deal with formatting questions, etc.
5. New Project 1: I have a plan for a short book that is largely synthetic. I want to start writing/outlining
6. New Project 2: I am thinking through my next BIG project (I'm assuming 8-10 years), and I'd like to spend some time reading/thinking about how I might approach a big broad subject.
7. Read. I have been trying to get back into reading novels/books.
8. Walk regularly. When I'm not teaching, I need to pay real attention to keep myself moving.
9. Relax. I just published a book, and I am trying not to make myself crazy with deadlines.
Waffles 1. Submit trans paper 2. Resubmit aging paper 3. Resubmit relat paper 4. Submit gender paper 5. Submit discrepancy paper 6. Submit PTSD paper 7. Submit scoping review 8. Get a handle on longitudinal paper 9. Figure out story for IPV paper 10. Figure out story for suicide paper 11. Move?
LAST WEEK'S GOALS
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell Walk forty minutes a day. Keep track of hydration. Finish sabbatical application. Follow the new schedule for the book which began July 1. Plan for end-of-the week trip to the big city for several doctor’s appointments.
Contingent Cassandra 1. Take a full day off July 4 2. Garden 2x; swim or lift weights 2x 3. Move toward earlier sleep/wake times 4. Begin making plans for vacation weeks
DEH Self: organize a couple of short sight-seeing trips. Stretch every day. Teaching: Organize a couple of tours for students. Research: Review 1000 lines of translation. Make progress on MMP-3 revisions. House: type packing list and e-mail it to husband.
GEW 1) Write 15 minutes, 2x. 2) Read a few chapters of a book on writing. 3) Walk dog 3x. Yoga or Swim 1x. 4) Move like water, float like mist during the house challenges and chaos. 5) Re-read Solitude conference paper to consider whether or not I'd want to re-visit it for an article.
humming42 1 write 5x 2 set writing and research schedule 3 set up project notekeeping 4 follow up with co-author 5 determine status of Abandoned Project 6 think about grant application
JaneB 1) restructure ProbChildp1p1 following meeting 2) clear desk at office at least 3) be nice to the cold and get enough sleep 4) write up notes from grant meeting and circulate to team 5) set resit work (this will be TRQ the week after next, so would like to get it done this week in a controlled manner) and do timetabling paperwork (due next week, same).
Karen 1. Yoga - 3 home practices (even if little) and 1 class 2. Garden - plan 2017/8 vegetable crops 3. Office - 2 x 25 minutes of clearing the encroaching chaos of floor clutter 4. Read - one article 5. Write - 1 hour on messy first draft of grass text
KJHaxton 1. Keep on knitting - 12 mm needles and multi-strands is so satisfying. 2. Submit conference abstract, small grant application, reply to important emails 3. work on the first tasks in the writing plan 4. draft ethics application and submit for signatures
Matilda 1) Write chapter 2: reading the most fundamental sources first. 2) 5-minute-exercises several times a say. 3) Find ‘my own 15 minutes’ as many as possible. 4) Think positively, work practically.
Notorious, PhD • Writing: 1000 words on Sometimes an Adequate Notion chapter [start point: 700] • 2 days yoga; 3 meditation • finish reading 1 major source collection • Toss or file the stuff from my home desk and bookshelf (in addition to being a great auntie!)
Waffles 1. Get R&R close to done 2. Reduce scoping review (make a good pass at it) 3. Tables for SU paper 4. Put together lit for expectancies paper
Hello everyone, I hope you've had productive and enjoyable weeks, especially if what was being produced was rest and relaxation! I wasn't around much last week because it was a busy week at work (the highlight was School Board which, in our smaller units, was a discussion forum, but now we're one big unit seems to mean "listen to a lot of largely irrelevant talks with no coffee" which feels remarkably pointless), and I spent the last two days in CrowdedCapital for research related meetings (nice to talk research, but the 5am start to get the train on Thursday was not at all nice, and I do much dislike CrowdedCapital- it has wonderful things, places and people, but getting around between them is purgatorial or even hellish (if hell were to be like being in a stopped tube train during a summer rush hour, I would not be surprised - a melange of traditional burning pits of fire and "hell is other people"!). On the plus side, I unexpectedly had a seat in first class on the way back (one of the illogicalities of the rail ticket purchase system in the UK is that sometimes it's cheaper to buy a first class seat than a standard one - the same class of seat comes at many different price points, like airlines, but with even less logic - and apparently the research project which bought the tickets didn't have the same blanket ban on first class even if its cheaper that NorthernUni tends to practice) - the healing powers of a quiet train seat location, with air conditioning, and several cups of peppermint tea and ginger cookies (served free in first class, in a nice pottery mug not paper cups) cannot be overstated.
So this week, as I try and recapture a little bit of the slower pace of summer despite the list of work that came back from CrowdedCapital with me, let's talk about the little things that make a difference in achieving our TLQ goals, and that signal "summer work pace" to you - that deeper, steadier, richer mental life we all hope to find in these change of pace months. I think it's ESPECIALLY helpful for those of us who don't have the classic complete change in duties in the summer, whether that's due to endless paperwork, summer classes, geographic differences or just not having that kind of job - we still need to find opportunities to stretch and relax, even if we have to carve them out ourselves. So far we've mostly discussed mental ways of doing that, and as we approach the half-way point of this TLQ iteration, let's think about the physical cues and conditions that help us find the right mental state.
Last week's goals:
Contingent Cassandra (carried over)
--work in some kind of activity --
garden, swim, weights, walk -- on at least 4 days.
--look at upcoming 2 weeks or so for
opportunities for full break days (July 4 weekend should yield some, but can I
find another 1 or 2? I really need them).
Dame Eleanor Hull
Self: organize a couple of
short sight-seeing trips.
Teaching: Organize a couple
of tours for students.
Research: Review 1000 lines
of translation. Make progress on MMP-3 revisions.
House: type packing list and
e-mail it to husband.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell (carried over)
Walk forty minutes a day.
Hydrate and keep track of it.
Finish annual review (quickly becoming TRQ).
Pack and plan for conference (also quickly becoming TRQ).
Touch sabbatical outline and application every day.
Follow book plan for the week.
Good Enough Woman
1) Finish moving son into his
2) Clear and paint daughter's
room (with daughter's help).
3) Swim 1x. Yoga 1x. Walk dog
4) Write 2x for 15.
Brainstorm short story ideas (I have decided another summer goal is writing a
short story, but I haven't written one in a long time.)
5) Take donation items to
6) Clear out most of stuff
stacked in hallway. (Even though I have no idea where I'll put it.)
heu mihi (for post 7/10)
1. Read through chapter 5; revise as needed
2. Read through chapter 2 and sketch out revision plan/ideas
3. Make progress on the Mess At The Heart of Chapter 2 (MATHOC2)
1 write 5x
2 decide what projects to
work on this summer
3 set writing and research
4 follow up with co-author
5 determine status of
6 read a chapter of Natalie
1) clear desk at office at
2) eat well and get enough
4) set resit work (this will
be TRQ sometime soon, but no deadline has actually been set, so if I get it
done NOW it won't be a nasty last minute surprise).
Karen (carried over)
Finish the marking! (not strictly TLQ but will make me feel soo much
Hold 30 mins on Friday for planning, 30 min for reading, 30 min for
Make a visible change in house or garden (weather dependant) over the
1. create writing plan and
teaching prep plan, do first tasks
2. cake...make the cake
3. knitting - blanket on hold
until new wool arrives, start something with purple handspun wool thinking a
scarf but perhaps with angled ends
4. finish small tasks for
professional commitments that aren't work
1) Finish revision of Chapter
1, at least so-called 2nd draft.
2) Finish constructing the
outline of Chapter 2.
3) Meeting with my mentor.
4) 5- minute-exercises
several times a day.
5) Find ‘my own 15 minutes’.
• Write 2500 words on Hot
Mess Chapter [start point: 12666]
• 3 days yoga; 3 meditation
• finish reading 1 major
• Toss or file 30 things
1. Get rough drafts of
2. Find out how to set up my
personal website, start designing it