May reports

The workers are in early bustling around the offices and printing out their spreadsheets for the monthly progress meeting. They are perhaps more buoyant than the reports would allow, but tomorrow is casual Friday. When all the forms are collected they will gather in the board room, beneath the slightly surprised portrait of Simonides,* to recount the deeds of the month.

This is how the PBS brain works. Don’t ask why. It’s too difficult to explain in any useful way. Refer to the blog entry of 13 April for some background.

What have I done, work related, between May 1st and 31st?

Writing:
– The original plan was to have a complete draft, fit publication, of a journal article based on the K-zoo paper by the end of May. That didn’t happen, mostly because the conference version took longer to write than first expected. The publishable version was shelved till after the conference and since it is now under consideration for an edited volume, not a journal, I’m leaving major work on it until I know where it’s going to appear. I am working on some background, and a little more research, but the drafting is on hold.
– Finished a book review, on schedule, and submitted it to the editor on the 7th.
– Presented the conference paper, as planned, on the 12th.
– Wrote a more detailed outline of the thesis-to-book process. I am re-considering that entire structure but the process was important even if I abandon it later.
– Wrote 100 word abstract for a conference in 2013 and submitted it.
– Wrote another abstract for a 2013 paper and sent that today.

School:
– Got the SSHRC funding that clears most of the obstacles to the DPhil in the fall. I can’t really say this is something I ‘did’ in May, but it required some organization and requests for letters and other details for the next step in paperwork.
– Registered with the College and University Disabilities people at Oxford ahead of my arrival. It was nice to get this out of the way this early and they appear to be very on the ball people there. That’s a good sign.
– Wrote two ‘test’ papers to practice short essay writing. I still need to write the follow-up blog entries on those tests.

Reading:
– I am a slow reader and this drives me nuts. I did not reach my reading goals this month, not even close, but progress was measurable.

The Blog:
– According to my calculations I wrote 5,670 words this month. Now, that does not count the drafts of entries that did not get posted and that probably adds another 3,500. That seems like a lot of writing for something so, well, frivolous? Considering how important it is for me to produce more substantial work for publication you would think this was a poor use of my time. Well, you are wrong. My regular blog… writing* makes it easier to write other things and the time I put in here would usually get filled with far less constructive activity at the computer.

So, no monthly bonuses for the staff, but all things considered, well done. Now, back to work. And don’t forget, we all need to pitch in and help with the yard this weekend. And that’s not some obscure metaphor, the actual yard is a mess and I have no villeins this year to keep it from turning into wilderness.

* Look it up, I can’t be expected to explain everything, I’m a busy man!

** I hate that blog-based-verb that everyone uses on purely aesthetic grounds and I refuse to let it appear here.

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