Thursday, December 04, 2008

Day 4...or are you bored yet?

I spent nine hours working today and didn't get home until 8 pm, so I'm giving myself a break tonight.* Hiding under a woolen blanket with a big cup of coffee and realising that this week has been the first in more than a month where I had any significant downtime at home. I had to reschedule my plans for today and take care of an urgent budget issue, but I did get another few of the admin/teaching tasks out of the way. As the semester and the fiscal year is coming to an end there are all sorts of paperwork things that must be attended to now within the next few weeks. I keep a list of correspondence/paperwork/follow-up things I absolutely must do and it's good to see the strike-throughs on the list add up. Today I finished the exam sheet for my undergrad class, did all remaining travel accounting for this year and had a meeting with a colleague to go over the details in the budget for a project I'm leading a module of. Yesterday I was discussing the outline for a master's project with a potential new student, sent off some follow-up emails to people I met at meetings lately regarding collaboration and gave a talk at the university. Earlier this week I got through my email after weeks of neglect, submitted a final course description for my graduate course, found someone who agreed to be external examiner for the undergrad course and had a phone meeting with a new collaborator regarding joint field work next summer. It's good to see that things are happening. It's also good to see that things are coming together and reaching a natural break, where it is acceptable to leave it for a while over the holidays and pick it up again later.

The new research program is coming together. I have two new projects in the start up phase. Am getting people together and building a network of activities. I have a new master's student who will start working on some of this and maybe another one on a different side project. I have a new collaboration with someone I will go in the field with this summer and between us we have a bit of funding and possibilities for some more. After the break I need to deal with logistics for the field season and some serious preparation for a proposal with one project group, but right now things are more or less on track.

The teaching related administration is almost done. I need to spend some time tomorrow going over the budgets and maybe order some maps and field equipment as long as I can still squeeze them into this years budget. The course plans are submitted and will either be approved or not. It's out of my hands now. If I get the go-ahead for planned courses I need to start developing plans in more detail, organising logistics for field excursions and inviting guest lecturers, but all this awaits decisions from the higher-ups.

I'm not burdened with a lot of general administration. I'm on one committee thus far and I have a small task to complete in that capacity. Most of this involves a colleague who will be away for the next month or so, so it seems this must be postponed. I should probably begin to look into my part before the break, though.

I may be whining and complaining, but things are really going rather well. If only I could find enough time in the day to get the revisions I'm working on now turned around, before they kick me out of the volume for being too slow, I think I could be happy.

*It goes without saying that I didn't reach my goal today either. I did two hours of writing this morning and then the rest of the day was swallowed by meetings and all the accounting business. I haven't given up on the goals, but wanted to talk about something else today.

2 Comments:

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Amelie said...

sounds like you got some things done. Yay for you!

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger saxifraga said...

Thanks ;-) Yes, things are happening. even if it feels like the speed they are happening at is too slow.

 

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