work zone calzone

The meme that graces this post was made by me on a recent Friday afternoon. It’s part of an erratic habit (can you have an erratic habit?) of making Adam Scott memes that intersected with ideas around academia, wellbeing, and avoiding burn-out. Long may this hobby rule.

It can be hard to feel as if you’re making progress on projects when you’re spending much of your time keeping your head above water.

That’s what much of this year has felt like, with grieving, negotiating a painfully scarred university sector, a work team that’s been diminished in staffing, and the pervading exhaustion of living in Pandemic Year 3 (Inger ‘Thesis Whisperer’ Mewburn wrote about this recently). That 2nd item, about team staffing, has changed for the much, much better since the beginning of October with two new colleagues joining us in the team and completing our numbers. You can see all our smiling faces in my tweet.

One of the key things I’ve struggled with is finding things to look forward to. This changed recently when my AASRN colleague Joon Kwok flagged that the “In Other Words” program was out and about. I browsed through it and immediately felt an enthusiasm that I haven’t known for a long time – it was fizzing. I found the events, convened by Jennifer Wong, chiming loudly with my current interests in these areas, not all directly academic-brain related either. One of the things that made me squee was seeing that Shelley Parker-Chan and Miranda Riwoe would be there in a session chaired by another AASRN colleague Mridula Chakraborty. I am currently fangirling Parker-Chan and devouring their novel She who became the sun and I’ve avidly read Riwoe’s work before. The line-up of people who would be there as speakers and facilitators drew me in and I am now booked to be in Adelaide that weekend. So, if you’re going to be there for the weekend of 5-6 Nov, I might see you there!

Another excellent reason to be thrilled about “In Other Words” is the incredibly beautiful artwork that graces the event, courtesy of Textaqueen. Here it is if you haven’t had the chance to see it yet: