Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What I've done

Other than posting on the blog, because clearly that hasn't been on the Giant List o' Things To Do Yesterday (or, Preferably, Last Week).  During this past semester, I have:

- Prepped a completely new class, entirely out of my area of expertise (it's a class about public education, and I am, as noted previously, a linguist), as a hybrid course (meaning I can't BS my way through class when I haven't prepped ahead of time half of it is taught online)
- Written two letters of support for faculty sabbaticals
- Reviewed one tenure file and written a letter in support of that
- Written one letter nominating a faculty member for an award
  (it's worth mentioning that doing those letters takes WAY more time than you might think)
- Written student letters of recommendation
- Written (and I SO wish I were kidding about this) 2500+ email messages
- Finished the endless rounds of editing on a peer-reviewed article
- Prepared a conference presentation (I kind of overworked that one, and wrote 15 single-spaced pages for a 15-minute presentation - oops)
- Edited a conference presentation into something that could be done in 15 minutes
- Prepared comments as a discussant on a conference panel
- Written my last (!!) program chair report for my annual conference
ETA:  And I forgot the 10-year plan for my department, and the five-page single-spaced hiring memo I had to write.  Man, I have written more memos this semester than you can shake a stick at!

And none of that includes the usual round of grading, meeting with students, going to meetings (endless, endless meetings), running meetings (which I don't get to knit during - bitter, bitter, bitter).  Etc.  Etc.

Et - frickin' - cetera. *

Note that on that list one does not see, oh, you know: knitting or spinning or weaving.  I have, to my great pleasure, mostly managed to keep up my workouts, which now include regular yoga and meditation.  And I've shaved a minute off my best mile time, so that's also good.

But honestly.

I have managed to squeeze some knitting in - my conference in Chicago, long and exhausting (and cold!!) as it was, did give me some solid knitting time for once.  So while I don't have a lot to show, I do have a couple of FOs to present.  First, Song of the Sea (the long version):
This is a lovely cowl, which I knitted out of SeaSilk (which I adore).  I think that, in wearing, the pattern might show more clearly in something that slouches less, but I do love the weight of it around my neck.
The colors here aren't showing too well, so I'll try to get some pictures of this being used around my neck, in better light.  It's a beautiful sea-grey, which we all know is one of my favorite all-time colors.

The other thing I finished (largely because of the aforementioned conference knitting time) is Viajante, which I started way back in May.  It's (as a local knitting friend commented) a lot of stockinette.  But in laceweight, that makes it excellent travel knitting, and now that it's done, I think I"ll wear this a LOT.  It's knitted out of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace Multi, in a colorway that I like to think of as "Kestrel" - some of you may remember my ongoing fascination with those lovely little birds of prey - and stretched out to block, it really kind of does look like a bird's wing:
You can see the colors much more accurately here:
This is a fun little pattern (for those of you who haven't jumped on board with it yet) that can be worn both as a shawl:
And as a poncho.
They are equally delightful and cozy - hence the predicted wearability of this one.

And that's about it.  My Green Wood sweater languishes in the basket next to the couch, because I haven't had the brain space for colorwork.  The TARDIS mitts, ditto.  I have cast on for a pair of socks for Rick; I have some small hope of finishing those before Christmas, we'll see.  As usual, I do not have major holiday-knitting ambitions: the socks for Rick, the TARDIS mitts for Older Daughter (I think if I can get the stitch count right, they'll go quickly), and socks for Younger Daughter.  That's it.

But classes are over.  I have three more piles of grading to get through in the next week and a half.  I am NOT prepping a brand-new class for spring.  So, while I'm afraid to say this out loud: maybe, just maybe, I'll get a break during this holiday break.

Meanwhile, by way of a peace offering, this is a virtual ensemble, created by 31 musicians around the world, playing separately, and then having their music aggregated into one lovely piece.  Older Daughter is one of those musicians (as is her fiddle teacher Diane) - you can see her early on in the video, under her real name, Tess.  I think she's pretty neat.

* This is an example of the only infix in English.  We have plenty of suffixes and prefixes, no circumfixes (affixes with two pieces which go on either side of the root), but just the one infix (an affix which goes into the middle of the root), and that's the f-word (although in British English, "bloody" and its euphemisms can also be used in this way).  In other languages with infixes, they are just normal parts of the grammar, not naughty words.  But we're special.  So now you know that you're doing cool morphological stuff when you stick the f-word into the middle of another word.  You're welcome.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

I too love Sea Silk -it's absolutely wonderful to wear.
That shawl is a lot of stockknit - but so pretty!

EGunn said...

I'm so glad that you've had time for a few stitches lately, and that the semester is ended! Sounds like it's been a rough one. I'll be prepping (another) two of those first time/out-of-area classes next fall, and it's going to be busy. I thoroughly approve of stockinette and simple knitting at times like this; there's no brainspace for anything else! Glad to see you back, and I hope your next semester is way easier, to make up for all the craziness!

twinsetellen said...

LOVE the cowl, especially in sea grey. And love that you are done with classes and have time to breathe. And thinking that I really should finish Rimfrost and get on to Green Wood as well.

Willow said...

Well, I do understand the infix explanation. In Indonesian, a certain (long dead) Indo president, told a certain western country to - and I quote - "mem-per-go-to-hell-kan, the first two and the last syllables being prefixes and suffix. So technically the three middle words were really the 'root words'. Anyway. It has always amused me as a mixture of two languages.

Life has had a way of edging out my brain space for anything but simple knitting this fall. Here's hoping that Christmas break will provide both of us with respite.

Allison said...

I saw the pictures of your Viajante on Rav. There was much oooooo-ing...

Good luck on your holiday knitting aspirations! I send you TARDISy vibes to help get Tess' mitts done.

shelly hancock said...

love this particular linguistics lesson. I'd never considered infixes.

Anonymous said...

I loved listening to the world-wide Ashokan's Farwell. How cool was that for Tess to play along with!! What a super experience to take part in.

Ugh, your work load has been grueling. Wishing you lots of down time to enjoy family and relaxing pursuits during the holiday break.

Mary Lou said...

All I can say is - Oy! What work load. I always enjoy a bit of linguistics learning in the block as well. Now I know when I talk dirty it has a scientific name! I love how some languages turn such words into all forms. When I lived in Canada there were some really creative blends of French, English and expletives. Hope you get to rest and relax soon. Good knitting weather here - minus 2 this morning. Also LOVEd the music. What a fun idea.

Lynne said...

What a lovely piece of knitting with an unusual construction (by the looks of things). I wish you ample time to slow down and to knit to your heart's desire this Christmas and beyond.

Lynne said...

Me again. A virtual ensemble -- what a clever idea! And Tess looks a lot like her mum!

AlisonH said...

A kestral colorway! Perfect. I remember your description of one thinking he was All That at a bemused mourning dove. And I love the song of the sea pattern.