Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday, November 8th

Hello all!

Just a bit of crowing. Diana and I are at Honnold Library this morning, determined to work for a good 60-90 minutes. We're both looking at piles of student papers, reading, class planning, and all sorts of other commitments, but we promised each other we'd be here, and here we are.

This is really tough. The resistence, as Diana calls it, is very strong, and the other commitments seem so much more immediately pressing. But we know how this works. I'm challenging all of us to commit to another 90 minutes next week. Let's see if we can manage it.

Also, I would like to suggest that we take that 90 minutes to produce something that we can share about our own plans for the next couple of months. How much can we reasonably expect to accomplish? What would adequate progress, good progress or even really good progress look like?


Monday, October 28, 2013

Dear Diana, Lee and Friederike:

This is hopefully going to be the first of regular Monday morning blog posts. I'm glad we have this coming Friday morning set for another writing session at Honnold Library. Here are my goals for this week:
1) To reread by book project's introduction outline and the first draft based on that outline
2) To review the book prospectus
3) To start writing and/or rewriting portions of Chapter One

When we meet on Friday, I'd like to give you a copy of the prospectus and then start to work. Rather than working with the introduction, I'm going to begin with the first chapter on costumbrismo, pulling together the published article with the various presentations I've given over the last couple of years. That is less a writing exercise than an organizational one, but I think it is a necessary first step.

My goals for this week (beyond the plans for Friday) include:

1) Working for 60 minutes on Wednesday morning on the book (from 8-9am)
2) Working for 30 minutes on Thursday morning on the book (from 8:30-9am)

My goals are focused on devoting specific amounts of time to the project rather than completing a specific portion, since I am at a stage in which I really have to refamiliarize myself with what has been done to this point. I consider the next two months to be preparatory work for when I will have much more time.

By mid December I want to be able to post a semester plan, a goal that is included in the "Weekly Challenge." We'll see whether I'm able to realize that goal, but right now it seems quite do-able (the plan at least!).

Looking forward to seeing you on Friday!


Friday, October 25, 2013

I'm ready to get started!

Dear Diana, Friederike and Lee:

Whew. Conference is over. Fall break flew by (I had to go to Ohio for a family funeral). There is still tons of grading to do and papers to sort. But its time to get to work.

Friederike - thanks for writing and suggesting that we get together for a writing session today. I'll be there, even if I have to leave a little early for an 11am class. I just want you to know that I'm serious about making this group work and getting work done.

Fridays and Mondays are going to be my best days for posting. Later today, after our writing session  and my class, I'm going to work on my weekly challenge and then post the goals for the coming week.

See you all soon!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Monday Motivator

Here's the "Monday Motivator" that Friederike sent from the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity. 

The Weekly Challenge

This week, I challenge each of you to:
  • Create a list of your writing goals (and the tasks necessary to complete them) for the Spring semester.
  • If you are resistant to this task, gently ask yourself "why?"
  • Map the writing projects you need to accomplish onto each week of the semester.
  • Go through your calendar and block out 30-60 minutes at the beginning of each week day for "writing time."
  • If you don’t have a calendar, stop reading this and go get one.
  • Write every day this week for 30-60 minutes (just try it!)
  • If you're not clear how to create your semester plan, join us this Tuesday for a live Every Semester Needs A Plan tele-workshop where I'll walk you through each step.
  • If you want to see examples, templates, and other people's plans, login to the discussion forum and go the Post Your Semester Plan thread.
  • Or better yet, POST YOUR SEMESTER PLAN in the forum. Trust me on this one, I'm going to be showing you a sweet strategy that will enable you to align your time each week with your priorities during February's training workshop, but it will only work if you have a semester plan that you can quickly and easily access each week.
I hope this week brings each of you the clarity to define your writing goals, the persistence to write every day, and the joy that is found in true community!
Peace & Productivity,
Kerry Ann

Kerry Ann Rockquemore, PhD
President and CEO
National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Notes from first meeting

Here are Lee's notes from our first meeting on September 26:

Great meeting today!  I thought I'd write up a few notes of our discussion and plan for further action to help us keep going.
Today we discussed some of our specific challenges in producing the next book/project that will get us promoted and our motivations for wanting to move forward and found that we have a lot in common.  We've each made some decisions, both personally and professionally, that have distracted us from research/writing.  We own those decisions, whatever they may be, and recognize that ultimately each of us is responsible for producing (or not producing) scholarship. 
We also discussed some specific strategies. Two things we are going to do in the near future to help with motivation and accountability:
1) set up a blog where we can post our goals and progress weekly.  We can even post what we've actually written.  We can also post tips, strategies and advice that we have or that we've found elsewhere.  If someone doesn't reach her writing goal, she will say that and write about what happened that kept her from reaching her goal.  The point is not to inflict guilt or to feel bad for not having reached the goal; comments by others will be focused on helping the person reach her goal the following week.
2) find a time when we can get together and write for a couple of hours.  Right now we're looking at some time on Fridays, beginning Oct. 25.  We'll also try to find a Monday before Oct. 25 when we can do this.  We'll also identify a neutral, distraction-free space where we can do our writing together.
Somewhat longer-term:
3) Diana suggested that we could each have a session or two with a writing coach.  We will look for possible writing coaches with experience with academics. 
4) As proposed in the original grant, we'll bring a speaker to Claremont who will address the question of associate professors, mentoring, promotion, etc. This event will be open to associate professors across the colleges.  The hope is that this will help our institutions conceive of the move from associate to full in a more productive way and that we will have some concrete suggestions about ways in which our institutions can mentor and help us as we work to be promoted to full professors.