A List of Lists

There’s a new meme in town.  I believe Profgrrrrl started it, Sisyphus took up the challenge, JaneB carried it on then laid down the gauntlet to all would-be procrastinators.  And that’s definitely been me over the last few days that its taken me to write this post.

1. books I want to read this summer: During semester time I read a lot of books on the Kindle and save the complicated difficult books for the summer so I plan to tackle the small stack of difficult books this summer.  These will probably include the Millennium Trilogy (The girl who…), The Satanic Verses, and this summers crop of favourite author new books including Quintin Jardine, Patrick Robinson and Jeffrey Archer.  I’ve also got a small pile of popsci books to finish off including Deborah Blum’s ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ and Sam Kean’s ‘The Disappearing Spoon’.

2. manuscripts I want to submit this summer /conference presentations: Hmmm, one manuscript due very soon (single figure days), possible conference presentation type thing in August but I need to think more about it, and perhaps a review article.  I’m contemplating the review article mainly because there is an area I need to learn more about but perhaps that’s approaching things from the wrong direction.

3. other writing tasks I must complete this summer: Yes, quite a big one – I have a 8-10,000 word dissertation due on my ‘Teaching and Learning with Technology’ project due early July.  As I’m overseas for most of June and don’t want to cart 80 student questionnaires and a pile of journal articles, I’d like to finish it in May.  That may be challenging with marking and other stuff!

4. review tasks I must complete this summer: None that I am aware of because I think this means manuscript reviews.  There are several teaching review tasks that need to be completed – the usual module evaluation forms, and I want to tweak one lab experiment for my second year spectroscopy methods and build (=force students into) greater engagement with journal articles into the write up.  I have a major teaching project with a colleague to get off the ground this summer – replacing a number of traditional one-way transmission mode lectures with screencasts and more interactive teaching sessions.  It will be fun but challenging I think.  Most teaching prep has to be done in August/September because once the clock strikes ‘semester’, I have no time.

5. all research in progress: Yes, I suppose I could make a list of this and work out what’s going on but I’m probably not going to. Currently the research in progress is not sufficiently complicated for me to lose track entirely. I could do to plan my final year project offerings (6 of them!) to get maximum benefit (=potential publishable results) from such a large number of students but I need to wait and see which students they are first.  I prefer to tailor the project to the ability and interest of the student because we generally get better results.

6. summer fitness goals: Yes, I suppose I could set some but really just being outside more and stuck in the office less would  suit me.  I think R was talking about some ridiculous goal to walk 1000 miles in a year but after I pointed out that he’d have to walk about 20 miles a week, he may have revised his goal.

7. household projects to tackle this summer: Too numerous to count but it would be nice to finish painting the house, get the wallpaper up in the rooms where the walls aren’t good enough just to paint, and finish the new beds in the garden.  Things like redoing the kitchen and bathroom are on hold due to number 10 on this list.  Perhaps new carpets would be nice because I’m not sure I can live with the living room carpet for much longer.  I’ve just painted some tester pots over parts of the living room wall to decide which shade of white we’d like!

8. annoying tasks I need to take care of: it’s not annoying in an intolerable way but I still have to teach in July which removes the feeling of summer being a long, uninterupted non-teaching period!  I also have to sort out all of those materials in the next few weeks because of number 10 on the list.  I am sure there are other things that will crop up – the annual but not hugely annoying yet somehow time consuming updating of various websites.  I like updating websites but dislike it when the process involves writing the changes down in word and emailing them off to be made.

9. people I am somehow coordinating this summer: interesting way of phrasing, this.  I’m waiting to hear whether our Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship application has successful, for another project we’re on the Nuffield Undergrad research bursary waiting list (sigh…) so potentially a couple of summer undergrad students to coordinate.  It will be business as usual for the other research students.

10. travel plans: Lots of travel plans – most of June to be spent in Canada (research/work trip of sorts), and a week in August in California (conference then short holiday).

Comments please!