Tuesday, 22 February 2011

What professors do: Day Two

Continued from yesterday.

Day Two: Tuesday

Up at 8. At computer 8:30. Private email and FB. New instalment of Philip's blog. A prominent child lit person in Sweden has passed away.
9 Work email. Not much yet, but some need substantial responses.
9:25 Prepare a 10-min presentation from a 30-min paper. This is for the symposium Narration as Transmedial Phenomenon” in Sweden in March. Since it has been at least a week I last worked on it, I takes half an hour to get back into mood. This is the curse of our profession: we get distracted from our research by day-to-day work, and it takes hours to get back. Killing darlings left and right.
10 Watch news in television: earthquake in New Zealand.
10:05 Resume work. Prepare slide show for the presentation.
10:40 Mid-morning coffee. I am not sure whether it counts as work. Staffan and I always discuss what we have done in the morning, what we have read in newspapers and on FB, so in a way it is work.
11 Check and reply to email. Resume work. Time presentation. Cut five more minutes. Save on university server.
11:45 Read draft chapters for the edited volume. State for the umpteenth time that people do not read guidelines: font, spelling, line spacing, right-hand justification, indents, single or double quotes, punctuation, not to mention reference format which you have emphasised in bold. Not one of the four chapters has followed the instructions, to a various degree of deviation - yes, folks, I know you are reading this! My options as an editor: a) send the drafts back to contributors and ask them to revise. This will inevitably delay submission to publisher by several weeks b) make all corrections myself, which will take days of my precious time c) submit as they are and take the risk of reviewers getting furious (which I would be as a reviewer). By the fourth paper, I am completely frustrated. I also know that the authors will be devastated if I point this out for them as they are hundred percent sure that have done everything correct (been there myself). Email my co-editor for advice. Swear once again that I will never edit another volume.
1 Lunch under which I try to complain to Staffan about my contributors, and he reminds me that I have sworn never to edit another volume.
1:25 Back to work. Check email. Nothing urgent, can be saved for later.
1:30 Switch language (mentally and on keyboard). Read through my PhD defence in Sweden in two weeks Since I last worked with it, the book has been printed, and I have to transfer my highlights and Post-its from page proofs to book. Make final amendments. Copy to memory stick and upload on server.Throw away the page proofs.
2:45 Must take a break. Walk in the park. I don't run, hate running, but I walk quickly which is almost as good. You may argue that walking is not work-related, but it is. I have been asked to endorse a children's filmclub campaign with a quote about a film that has changed my life. It has been hovering over me for a while, but during this walk I have it ready. So -
3:30 back to work, switch language, type the quote, send off. Don't know when it will be up, so visit often.
3:45 Is it worth trying to do more work today? I have only worked seven hours minus coffee and lunch. OK, another effort. What's next on my list of urgent things to do? Let's read a paper for review. Quite a radical change of hats from editing a volume, with reviewers in mind. When I review a paper (just as when I comment on student work) I make a separate file and type in comments using Track Changes tool. I highlight bits and colour code them according to a principle I cannot explain. Not all of my comments will go into my final report. I must admit that I always start as being hostile toward the paper I am going to read, and it works well, but this is another story (or another blog post).
4:30 Take a break and check mail. Filmclub is happy with my quote, but would like to have one more. So I'll have to go for another walk.
4:35 Resume work
5:30 Realise that I've been working for almost an hour. Have finished reading and taking notes, have started writing my report... Maybe it's time to stop?

Summary: nine hours with breaks for coffee, lunch and walk. I am not sure what I will do tonight, but it won't be work-related.

1 comment:

Clémentine B said...

I swear I've done it right!!

er... apparently not ... sorry...