Weeknote 19

by Sunita

I meant to write a post at the beginning of the week. Hah. It’s already Friday and I’m not sure where the days went.


It’s he start of school, which means finishing up the syllabi (always at the last minute for me, always), remembering to hit the “publish” button in Canvas if you want the students to have access, and negotiating a waitlist that is almost as long as the size of the seminar. I drove a few students away with the class requirements, but not enough. I’m almost there, though. The annual meetings always disrupt this process because we teach a class or two and then go away for the rest of the week and then come back and have Labor Day off. I wish we started on the Tuesday after, the way sensible east coast universities do. But the midwest schools have a long semester calendar. Thanks, annoying accreditation association.

I don’t always go to the meetings because they’re disruptive, but this year I had to go and I wound up having a good time. Did the work I needed to do and got to spend time with old friends.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my committee’s work, at least for this iteration. We’re not done by any means but we’re winding down for a while. But there are still visits to confirm and plan (so many emails) and memos to write. But I’m not behind. It’s a miracle.

My grad classes are starting out well and the students look interesting and engaged. One of them is half lecture, half seminar, and the other is all seminar. Come to think of it, I’m mostly teaching in seminar format this semester. That’s unusual for me.


Reading, what is that? I did not come anywhere near finishing my 20 Books of Summer challenge, although I enjoyed what I did read and I started a bunch of the books on the list. Barb was so right when she said it was a challenging list. I’m not sure why I read less this summer than last year. Part of it was that our holiday didn’t have much reading time, and I think the other part is that I was working more this summer than I was last year, so there was more academic reading in my schedule. And the Booker reading swallowed a big chunk of time. Still, I enjoyed the challenge and I’ll definitely keep on with the list. I’ll write up a separate post soon.

I skimmed through Rob Walker’s most recent nonfiction book, on being more attentive when you’re out and about. I like Walker’s work and always read his column when he wrote for the New York Times, and I followed him on Twitter when I was there. But this book wasn’t all that satisfying. It’s a problem I often encounter with popular nonfiction: there’s a longread article’s worth of material stretched into a book. Oh well.

We haven’t had much watching time lately. We each watched a bit separately when I was in DC, but not much. And on weeknights we’re either out or too exhausted to watch anything even halfway demanding, so we just put baseball on or something similar.

I am only a little behind on my footie podcast and Brexitcast is back with a vengeance. I’ve been glued to the Guardian‘s live blog of the Boris disaster and Parliament’s attempt to take back their power. Maybe the worst outcome can indeed be averted and a slightly less bad outcome will take its place? We get the BBC World News right before the PBS Newshour in the evening, so that helps make sense of the more confusing events (what exactly will the Kinnock amendment to the Benn bill do, again? I almost understand it now). As a political scientist, it’s interesting trying to place all the parties and voters in the political space. I haven’t seen these kinds of intra-party divisions in a strong-party Parliamentary system in … well, I can’t remember the last time.

The A’s and Liverpool continue to win. The Giants do not.


My lists are so long. I don’t need to do time accounting yet because I’m basically working every second I’m in the office. I spent about an hour updating my calendar and I’m barely into October. We ordered our Hobonichi stuff and it should arrive in a couple of weeks. No new covers, for the first time, but I’m looking forward to trying out the Weeks. I have to wait until January, though.

I am walking a lot every day but not exercising in any other way. Harumph. It really does help to jog or do something else that gets my heart rate up. We ordered a water rower, which should arrive next week, and I’m looking forward to that. The weather is sort of cooperating but it’s going to be 90s and humid next week.


Our weekly seminars have started up and we also have other outside visitors. All the department talks take place at noon and the slots are basically full for the next three weeks. I think I have three noon hours that aren’t.

I told TheH we need to take one day off on the weekend and go do something in nature or our heads will explode. I’ll report back on how we did.