After a week of catching up with work and another week of intensive examiners’ meetings following our holiday, today I have been taking stock of what I still need to get done this month. And it’s A LOT. Rather more than I’d been bargaining with.
Much of it’s bitty and routine, but the biggest thing on my mind is the seven new book chapters I need to submit by October 1st, and the thirteen I need to revise. By now I know roughly the range of how long it takes me to draft a chapter – anything from about two-thirds of a working day to three working days, depending on the whereabouts / frame of mind of my muse and how familiar with / keen on the content I am. The revisions are more of an unknown quantity as they range from simple rephrasing to moving and / or replacing whole chunks, with the attendant issues of layout to bear in mind. And there’s one chapter that’ll have to go back to the drawing board as I’m too unhappy with it.
Plus I’m going away for a week next Saturday, but hey, that’s what laptops are for, isn’t it? A change is as good as a rest, etc. etc.
I shall endeavour to provide a few updates as (if?) I make progress…
This weekend has consisted largely of catching up with shopping, household chores (yesterday) and time-consuming work projects I didn’t have the space for during the week (I sometimes feel I never get around to significant work during the week 😦 ). The coming week will consist of regular work / teaching commitments, PLUS exams, PLUS a deadline on Friday for my writing project. Today I forced myself to go out for half an hour – it was a glorious day, weatherwise – and really felt the benefit, brief though it was. I’ve decided that I need to prepare a few such chinks of light to get me through the week ahead: nothing time-consuming, nothing requiring me to go out of the way, but things that will remind me that I’m worth investing time and energy in, too. I’m not going to schedule them specifically, but I want to have done something off this list every day by the time next weekend comes around. I’m quite aware that a lot of these are pretty humdrum things that other people manage to fit in as a matter of course, but maybe that increases their significance…
- going to bed early with a crossword
- making a fresh fruit, ginger and soya milk smoothie (I might even manage this more than once – I can’t use a whole carton of soya milk at once…)
- dyeing my hair
- relaxing with a magazine while a facepack does its thing
- making a pot of proper tea before a writing session, rather than a mug of something unexciting
- eating lunch ONE day in a place that is not at my desk
- …and making the effort to go and get a salad rather than the quickest sandwich
- …and maybe even catching a few rays of sun on the way – it all helps to keep the mood buoyant!
Well, I’ve run out of ideas now, which probably only proves that I don’t think about such things often enough. If you know any quick pick-me-ups for the body, soul or general sense of well-being, do please leave a comment and I’ll gladly add them to the list for future reference.
This is probably the most boring blog entry I will ever write. Or at least I hope it is.
The university’s content management / e-learning / blended learning platform is clunky at best, and although I wouldn’t deny that it offers some useful functionality, it is positively user-hostile when it comes to pretty simple tasks such as uploading files. Here is the procedure, which I have moaned about on numerous occasions, most recently today….
- Log in to the e-learning platform
- Click on “Content management”
- Click on “Course management”
- Click on “Course manager”
- Enter search term in the box, or look under “My content”
- Select course (checkbox)
- Click on “Edit”
- Click on “Contents”
- Select the folder you want to upload your file to (checkbox)
- Click on “Create”
- Prompt: Please choose element type
- Select “Content”
- Click “OK”
- Prompt: Where do you want to paste the components?
- Select before, after or in the hierarchy below the selected element
- Click “OK”
- Prompt: Please choose a category
- Select from animation, audio, CBT or twelve other categories
- Click “OK”
- Prompt: Please choose a language
- Select from English (US), English (GB), German etc. (note: only German offers full functionality so it’s not worth choosing anything else!)
- Click “OK”
- New popup window: Type in title of file and name of creator (these are mandatory, other fields may also be filled in)
- Click on “Upload” and select the file you want by the usual route – clickety-click-click
- Click “OK”
- Another new popup window appears with the prompt: File successfully uploaded
- Click “OK” – second popup window closes
- Click on “Save” – first popup window closes
- Prompt: Your changes have been saved successfully. Would you like to go to the Release Manager now?
- Click “No” (note: I’m not even sure what the Release Manager is, only that I’ve never experienced the need to go there)
- Hey presto, your file now appears in the place you wanted to insert it
- AND NOW……. repeat stages 9-31 to upload another file to the same folder, or – deep joy – go a few steps further back still if you want to add a file to a different course
- BUT DO NOT FORGET TO CLICK ON “SAVE” BEFORE EXITING ANY GIVEN COURSE, OR ALL THIS WILL HAVE BEEN IN VAIN!
Today I uploaded 22 audio files to one folder for one course. It took me over half an hour.