It was an uneventful week, with very little out-and-about-ness. I minimized movement to give my knee time to recover (tendons and inflammation cannot be exercised/powered through) and it’s the dog days work-wise, so I read and did house stuff, mostly.
My coauthor and I wrapped up the first draft of our conference paper, so yay for us. It’s a very good paper, at least I think it is, and I can say this because I feel as if my coauthor did most of the work. He’s presenting it as a poster at the conference and I don’t have much left to do.
This week I get to nudge my committees and colleagues to the next stage of our tasks. So email! As I write these weekly notes, I realize how much time I spent either writing email, responding to email, or thinking about which emails I have to deal with and in what capacity. I guess it’s just the 21stC equivalent of memos, but somehow it seems more endless.
I should probably start thinking about what I want to change up in my classes this semester. I’m doing an overload this fall (don’t ask) and for scheduling and other reasons I have three, which I’ve only done one other time. It’s doable as long as I’m very organized (hahahaha) but it’s tiring. One of them is on immigration, which went really well last year but with everything going on I probably need to think about how I’m going to approach it.
I finished up Lost Children Archive, my fourth Booker longlist read, and I need to write the review. The first half was a slog and I can’t say I really enjoyed it, although it was interesting and I think I could see what the author was trying to do. The second half was much better and very powerful. The book as a whole made me think a lot about where my limits are to reading autofiction: what kind, what works and what doesn’t, etc. I’m now reading the next two more or less together: Ducks, Newburyport and An Orchestra of Minorities. The latter is from the library and I need to get it read before I have to return it. It’s quite compelling and I’m finding it hard to put down even though the style is more ornate than I usually go for. Ducks is hypnotic, at least I’ve fallen into the rhythm quite easily. I don’t know how it will feel for 1000 pages, but so far I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s really accomplished.
We watched the next Maigret and Foyle’s War episodes, both of which were about attitudes toward immigrants. They hit a bit close to home and I wouldn’t say they were entirely enjoyable, although they were excellently done. I’m just so worn out and my ability to cope with endless, avoidable tragedy is at a low. The Jackson Brodie installment we watched, which was merely about routine corruption and murder, seemed almost mundane in comparison, and how sad is that?
Since I wasn’t exercising I didn’t make much headway on Can You Forgive Her? and my podcasts are on summer hiatus. But I did get to listen to the broadcast of the Community Shield match, in which Liverpool lost to Manchester City in a penalty shootout. Neither team seemed fully season-ready, which is not surprising given that football is now a year-round sport, practically, so everyone is still getting back into match fitness. The Premier League kicks off this coming week. Baseball is kind of fun, too: both the Giants and A’s are in the wild-card hunt (the A’s more than the Giants), which means they didn’t sell off their marketable players before the July 31 deadline, and the next two months will be fun.
I avoided my planners, which tells you how my productivity went. I did delete my remaining Twitter account and my Goodreads account and revisited my Mastodon account. It’s lovely to see the Romancelandia people over there; we talk about books and non-political stuff (although it’s fine to talk politics and current events as long as you use the Content Warning option). I’m thinking of writing up a “how to use Mastodon” post; there are plenty out there but in case anyone here wants to try it out, it’s not hard once you have a sense of the basics. I know most people have more social media than they want/need, but this one feels is a nice non-stressful one for the most part.
My enforced inaction has been successful and I was able to walk a couple of miles using a knee brace. So I’ll keep doing that. And TheH repaired our WaterRower so I can get back on that and find out how out of shape my upper body is. 😉
I have a paper to get off my desk before I go back (I think I can finally face it now). And I have to pack up my study; a friend is coming out to help with some house stuff which means it turns back into a spare room. And we’re leaving in less than two weeks anyway, so it never hurts to start getting ready. Sigh.
Yes – please write the Mastadon post. I check-in and look around, but feel a bit lost. And yes, – endless avoidable tragedy – is exhausting and sometimes overwhelming.
I will make it so. 🙂 The hardest thing is figuring out where to set up your account, so I can offer some ideas for that and also how to navigate the site.
I read Lanny (and pretty much agree with your take), I have just started Lost Children Archive, and Orchestra of Minorities should be getting to me in a few weeks. Then I will have run through all of the Booker longlist that’s available at my library. I requested some they have on order, but we’ll see if I get to them once the semester starts. Ducks, Newburyport I’m going to buy, because there’s no way I’ll make it through in the 3-week library lend period.
I signed up for a Chronicle “5-weeks to the semester” newsletter of planning and teaching tips, and it is making me feel reasonably enthusiastic about the semester start. It’s given me a few good ideas but also reminded me that I already do a lot of these good things.
I have also carted all my books upstairs in the slow ongoing swap of my office with my daughter’s room, and just need to get them back on the (also carted) shelves. Then I need a desk and a reading chair, and I will finally have a nice office space again. (It’s been a junk dumping ground for years, long story). I am hoping that spending less of my work time at the kitchen table will be good for my productivity.
I spent a good chunk of the winter with a strained Achilles’ tendon and it was so frustrating, as I do a lot of my life on foot and like it that way. I hope your healing continues apace.
@Liz: I’m glad I’m not alone on Lanny, but I have a feeling it will make the shortlist. The book has garnered so much praise and Porter seems well known and liked from his days as an editor at Granta. I was surprised but pleased that Curiosities was not only available but I was able to renew it. It is slower reading for me but I’m finding it very worthwhile so far. I’ve seen mixed reviews at GR but the print and online press reviews have been very favorable.
Moving offices is awful but the results are so worth it!