This is the first in what I hope is a regular Sunday series. I got the idea from Baldur Bjarnason, who got the idea from Amy Hupe and other people. A Weeknote is pretty much what it sounds like: a weekly report that is similar to journaling but more public. I don’t journal, and while I’m good at making to-do lists I’m very bad at doing the week-in-review or week-to-come lists which are also cornerstones of many productivity systems. I’ll use my weeknotes to talk about work, reading, and miscellaneous stuff.
I have been working on revisions to a paper that needs to be sent out sooner rather than later. It’s our third round because every time you submit to a journal you need to tweak it for that particular audience. It’s been rejected twice, which is not unusual in my discipline, especially when the paper appeals across several audiences but isn’t necessarily core to any of them. This is the biggest tweak we’ve done since our initial post-conference-presentation revisions, and my part has taken me a while. But I was finally able to get myself into the headspace I needed (changing disciplinary audiences is harder than moving to a different audience within the same discipline), and I’m almost done. Which is good because I’m thoroughly sick of this paper and need it to go away.
I also had some teaching and tutorial work to do this week despite not being in residence. Recommendation letter, grad students, and recruitment do not go away just because I want to.
I finished a couple of books this week, both library reads that were about to expire. Both were excellent. I read Claudia Rankine’s The White Card, which is the script of a play she wrote that was produced last year in Boston. I have a review of it scheduled for tomorrow. I also finished Juan Gabrial Vasquez’s The Shape of the Ruins, which I read as part of the Man Booker International longlist. I’ve only read two plus parts of three others, but it is going to be hard to beat. Review to come.
This probably deserves its own post, but I’m still making changes to my tech tools. I’m working in Linux as much as I can, which I find soothing compared to the noise that MacOS and Windows10 computers come with. I splurged and bought a like-new refurbished Google Pixelbook (it was massively on sale at Best Buy), and it’s a pleasure to type on. I told myself I could return it if I didn’t like it, but I don’t see it going back to the store. 🙂
The bigger shift was that I have returned to the Mostly Dumphone life. I had been eyeing the Nokia 3310 since it came out and TheHusband and I decided to take the plunge this week. It is basically a dumbphone because the data parts are so slow and crippled. And back to T9 predictive text for messages! I can get work emails on it (which right now doesn’t matter but will matter for traveling when I’m back to teaching and on committees). And I can listen to music and podcasts and it has bluetooth so I can use wireless earbuds. But basically it’s just a phone. I’ll write more about this after I’ve been at it for a while.
First up is finishing the paper and working on a different project I’ve been wanting to get to. I also have one admin task left, not a bad one but one that takes mental effort and meetings with people. They really never go away!
Hopefully the weather will warm up and I can spend more time outside (we were in the 60s and 70s last week and then a storm crashed through and dropped us down to freezing again, blergh). When I’m on campus I’m going to retreat to my library cubbyhole so no one can find me.
Wishing you a great week, Sunita! For my part, I have eleven meetings, eight classes, one webinar. Also looking forward to warmer weather. We tend to the typical March into April temps, below freezing overnight and warming up during the day. Tomorrow is the first day for the street cleaners to take over from snow and ice clearing crews. I’m looking forward to seeing the sidewalks swept of salt and gravel!
Thanks, Kay! And OMG what a week you have. Those meetings are killers, aren’t they?
The salt is the worst. I’m so glad we haven’t had too much of that, but then we don’t generally get as much snow. But I’ll be so glad to see the back of this winter, even though I’ve avoided chunks of it. The daffodils are finally blooming, at least 3 weeks late.
Thank you, it’s been possibly the worst winter I’ve ever seen. On a happier note, BBC’s The Essay is doing a series on spring flowers. They’re about 15 minute “essay-podcasts” and I just listened to the daffodils one. You’d enjoy it.
That sounds wonderful. I’ve been listening to podcasts more these days and looking for book related ones, but flowers are something I hadn’t thought of but know will make me happy. Thank goodness for the BBC.
I love the BBC! I listen to so many. What are your faves … ’cause a podcast feed of like 90 obviously isn’t enough for me. 😉
The previous “The Essay” ones were on women’s utopian fiction. At 15 minutes and such a variety of topics, it’s one of my faves.
CBC and NPR also feature heavily in my feed.
LOL. I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I’ve been adding some. World Book Club on the World Service has a great backlist (it’s once a month), and I listen to broadcasts of The Proms in the summer. They have podcasts available too. And Desert Island Discs is another one I browse to find people I’d like to hear.
And thanks for The Essay tip! I downloaded all the flower ones.
Oh, I love Desert Island Discs. Only recently started listening, but I loved the shepherd dude one. Enjoy!!!! The daffodils was my fave so far.
Can you please say more about this: “Man Booker International longlist.” I’m curious.
And I’m so grateful that you wrote this post! I like hearing from you and what’s interesting to you; I look forward to chatting more on these things.
For me, I’m playing with a Franklin Planner again. I’d gone planner free last year, and while it was interesting and useful (I’ve used a Franklin Planner since 1995), I found that I was less productive than I want to be. While the planner itself isn’t what makes me productive, I wanted more of a focused tool that will help me wrangle the squirrels. The biggest epiphany I’ve had with it, lately, is that I have 3 buckets plus squirrels: Writing, Authoring, Working, and Squirrels (which is Art and Wellness). That’s really been helping me unlock my direction. I’ve taken up pin loom weaving recently and just ordered a Wonderwag bookmark loom, and can’t wait to play with it. This month, I’m also doing the A to Z blog challenge, in an effort to get back to blogging regularly.
I hope you have a terrific week!
The MBI is the Booker’s spring award and honors the best translated book published in the UK, so it’s on a UK timetable like the main Booker award is. It was formed from a different translation award and has been through a couple of iterations, but now it’s basically a copy of the Booker (best book in a year) but for English translations. I’ve never read the entire longlist or shortlist, but I’ve been reading a lot more translated fiction over the last couple of years so I’m following it more systematically. The shortlist is announced next week and then the winner in late May. There’s also an American translated book prize, the BTBA, which announced a very long (~25 books) longlist next week and then a shortlist 3-4 weeks after that, which I’m also keeping an eye on.
I have never used a Franklin Planner but I’ve used paper planners on and off since the 1990s as well. I came back to paper a decade or so ago and have stuck with them. They work better for me too. I need to think in terms of buckets, that’s a great idea. When I look back across my productivity posts I get disheartened that I’ve tried so many times but am still not great at it, but I have to remember it’s a process not an outcome.
Oooh, a loom. That’s wonderful!
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Hmm. WP doesn’t appear to allow in-line comments; this is in response to our planner discussion. ~g~
Yes. I feel you on the productivity thing. For me, it’s two separate and distinct issues: one, is purely organizational – how to wrangle the squirrels. The second is purely psychological and personal wellness – how to feed and care for the squirrels. After the election, the latter is the one I’ve had the most serious problems with. I don’t know if I told you, but last year I moved our family from Chicago to Bellevue, WA, in prep for building our forever home. It’s been quite a journey; the job for which I moved turned out to not be what I’d hoped. Thankfully I have a new job which I like, and for which I’m much better suited; now I’m learning how to stay in the “rest and digest” brain, which coincidentally where Story lives, as opposed to the “fight or flight” brain, which is where I’ve been living for the last 18 months.
I made three buckets plus the squirrels; that allows me to have my magic number (3 seems to be the fewest of any series I can get down to when planning) and also allow space for “Ooh, shiny!” It’s working for me so far. 🙂
Am I reading your post correctly, that you’re on sabbatical? How did your paper submission go? (I should probably say, Paper, yes? It sounded more like a peer-reviewed something than a one-off essay.)
Wow, that’s a big move! I’m glad it’s working out well. I shudder to think of moving (not that we’re planning to, just the thought of it).
Yes, I’m on sabbatical for the spring. The paper is almost back to my coauthor, who will do the last bits much faster than I’ve been working and get it to the next journal. It’s been going to fairly high-impact peer-reviewed journals, so the chances of rejection are always greater, and this one hits a few nerves. We’re trying to tone down that part and the next submission should avoid most of that given the type of journal it is. One of my friends, who is a very eminent political scientist, reminds me that he had a paper with an equally eminent scholar that took seven tries to hit. We’re only at three! I have another paper and a book chapter and a manuscript that need attention, so this really needs to get off my desk.
I turned off threading as part of the blog housekeeping. That way people can respond to more than one comment. It is working OK so far, there aren’t so many of us that it is instantly confusing. 😉