What’s working for my brain (summer 2019)

What’s working for my brain (summer 2019)

Way back in April 2019 (which feels like ages ago), I wrote a post about the things that were working (and not working) for my brain. I thought I’d do an update to that post about what worked for my brain during the summer months. Summer has such a different feel to it, that it really seems like there’s an adjustment period once it’s in full swing (which is July for me). Which might be why, during August, I felt the need to adjust some things in my/our daily routine. This summer, my days were spent working on a few papers and a systematic review, course prep, 4th year tenure review prep, and building a relationship with a new collaborator. In non-tenure track related life I was working on the blog, plan(it)*, helping out someone in the personal finance realm with her online community, spending time with Mike and Ellie, and also trying to take it easy (ha!). I hadn’t really planned on the summer being filled to the brim... I just kept adding things on and here I am (I’m noticing a pattern 😒). Despite being packed, it was fun! Here’s what’s worked, along with where I’ve struggled.  

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Cleaning Up Our Daily Routine

Cleaning Up Our Daily Routine

We traveled back east in June and followed that up with a 5 day camping trip at the beginning of July. While all of those things were wonderful, they were terrible for our daily routine. We came back refreshed from camping but couldn’t get ourselves back on a schedule. Mike and I were in bed late (between 12:30 - 1:00a most nights for no reason in particular) and Ellie wasn’t sleeping well (at night or napping). During the day we all felt like zombies. To add to that, I always felt like I was rushing around but never getting much accomplished. After a particularly hectic week in early August, I thought to myself... I can’t do this anymore, something has got to shift.

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What's next for plan(it)*?!

What's next for plan(it)*?!

It’s been a week since plan(it)* and my brain is buzzing with what’s next for the retreat. First, a big THANK YOU 😍 to those who participated. I couldn’t have done without you! Thanks for taking a chance on me! On my end, I thought things went really well (minus the instance where I forgot I had my headphones plugged in and didn’t realize people were talking, oops!). The time flew by and Slack seemed to be a good way to communicate with the group. As we were meeting I was thinking about how I could make the retreat more accessible (and still provide live support), instead of having to choose 2 random days during the week for hosting. It’s so hard to find something that works for everyone’s schedules, and having 5 hours blocked off, 2 days in a row, is a huge commitment. 

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My Second Year on the Tenure Track

My Second Year on the Tenure Track

If you’re just tuning in, I’m dedicating the next few posts to my goals/progress for years 1 and 2 on the tenure track (a year 3 post will come once the summer is over). Now, on to year 2, which felt drastically better than year 1. We’d been in Portland for a full year, we were living in a more permanent space, we had solid friendships, and overall just felt a lot more settled. First, I’ll share what was going on during year 2…

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Advice to My Past Self: First Year Edition

Advice to My Past Self: First Year Edition

Last week I shared what my first year looked like. This week I’m sharing some thoughts about what helped during the first year. Kind of like advice I’d give to my past self. In no particular order, here are some of the main things I’d remind myself of on a daily basis if I had to do it all over again.

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Summer Updates!

Summer Updates!

I have been busy behind the scenes and have two big updates for you!

First… I have a mailing list! Which feels like a huge deal to me… not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it makes this space feel so much more official. You can sign up for it on the main page: www.toddleronthetenuretrack.com. As a thank you for signing up, you’ll also get a 7 step guide that I put together for planning a tantrum free (ha!) academic year.

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My First Year on the Tenure Track

My First Year on the Tenure Track

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a recap of my first and second years on the tenure track, along with some reflections about what I learned each year. Once summer is done (for me, that’s in September), I’ll share insights from my third year (still got a few more months to work on those goals!).

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Summertime and the livin's... easy?

Summertime and the livin's... easy?

Summer! That magical time of year when people who work in the field of education get to take a nice, relaxing ~3 month vacation… ha! In reality, yes, summer is a slower pace, but in my experience there is still a significant amount of work that goes on (and it’s often unpaid). I hear others talk about how wonderful summer is, because they finally get to work on all the things (usually research) that got pushed to the side during the school year. I guess I get that to some extent, but a huge part of me really balks at that mentality. If universities are paying us for 9-months of work, shouldn’t we, theoretically, be able to get everything done in those 9-months, or at least be in a position to pause for 3 months?

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My Research/Writing Pipeline

My Research/Writing Pipeline

The ability to juggle multiple projects with an infinite number of moving pieces is (I think) an essential skill for reducing the overwhelm that can come with academic life. In an ideal world, it would be lovely if this wasn’t a necessary skill for survival, but we live in the real world, with ever increasing workloads and expectations, where advanced project management skills are essential. Between research, teaching, service, and all the things that don’t fall within the bounds of these three pieces (…setting up your office?), there is always something to do. Project management should be a key component of all doctoral programs... instead of expecting everyone to learn through osmosis (which doesn’t always work out so well).  

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