Weeknote 1

by Sunita

I’m starting over numbering the 2020 Weeknotes. Let’s see how many I can manage; I had 21 in 2019, but I didn’t start until partway through the year.


The spring semester began yesterday. I’m teaching two undergraduate classes, both of which I’ve taught before and which I enjoy a great deal. They also require regular updating because things are constantly happening, but that also means that the students are interested. And I have enough assistants that I don’t have to do all the work myself. It feels like a light semester even though technically it’s not.

I got to throw a drinks party for a visiting professor and his family, whom we’re trying to recruit. The weather was awful but the party was fun. Fingers crossed.

I’m on one (and a half) committees this semester. The one is a college scholarship committee that is always enjoyable. There’s nothing like interviewing whip-smart high school students to make you feel as if maybe the world isn’t so bad after all. The half is the end of the Committee That Ate The Second Half of 2019 and Part of My Sabbatical. It shouldn’t be too much work, maybe a couple of meetings and a memo.

Which means I may actually have time for some writing! Which is good, since the pile of to-be-written is rivalling my pile of to-be-read.


Liverpool, all through the holiday fixtures. I’m almost starting to believe that at 16 points clear of the 2nd place team in the EPL, they can win the title for the first time in 30 years. Almost. I’m not counting ANY chickens.

I’m also watching the NFL playoffs and rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs. We went to all their games for five years in the early 2000s when we had friends on the staff. They been shut out almost as long as Liverpool has, and I’d love to see them make it.

I read a fun, unjustly obscure book when we were away for the weekend right after New Year’s. It’s called The Ascent of Rum Doodle and it’s a satire of the mountain-climbing memoir genre of the 1930s and 1940s. We found it in a store in London and I bought it because the Mt. TBR Challenge has Rum Doodle as its first level. I’d never heard of it before but as I was reading, I was reminded of passages of various serious mountaineering books I’ve read, including the excellent Into the Silence. The satirical tone gets a bit heavy-handed at times (as satires do), but the book is short and sustains itself well.

I’m way behind on my podcasts. TheHusband and I listened to the beginning of an Iain Banks novel we’ve had for ages but I’ve never read, called The Steep Approach to Garbadale. It’s a bit like The Crow Road but with a wealthy family and it’s fun so far. Banks has such a distinctive voice, it’s impossible not to feel sadness hearing his phrases, even when they’re amusing. Oh, if you don’t know, Audible has a promo going for members right now: start and finish three books between January 1 and March 17, 2020 and you get a $20 credit. Probably USA only, unfortunately, but maybe it will get me to reduce my audio TBR. And then pile up more!


I am planning to write a 2020 Productivity post, but here’s a quick rundown of what I’m doing in the new year.

I’m still using the Hobonichi Techo as my main planner, this is my fifth year and it’s the still the best system for me. What’s new: I picked up a Hobonichi Weeks planner to keep at work, so that I can take that to meetings. It’s a bit of a pain to fill in two calendars (I did it a few years ago but then stopped), but the Weeks has blank pages for notes at the end, and this lets me have a notebook and calendar at work events, and consolidating the two (and keeping my overall planner separate) is something I wanted to try. I had a dedicated notebook for meetings, but I wound up carrying too much stuff around.

I’m still knitting. The Paris Loop capelet/poncho/whatever is almost finished. I can’t decide if I like it, but I’m going to finish it and see how it looks. I’m using a discontinued yarn called Colinette Tagliatelle, which is a wool ribbon yarn that knits up at a bulky gauge. It’s either going to look very good or like I’m wearing a throw rug.


I teach tomorrow and have a meeting on Thursday, but otherwise my time is my own to schedule. I don’t know what to do with myself. Oh wait, there’s all that stuff that backed up before. And of course there is footie and football.

I leave you with a photo of the dogs from our drive back to St. Louis. They aren’t crazy about the drive but the big beds almost make up for it: