To be honest, I was a little bit nervous about doing my monthly review. On the one hand, I really wasn’t looking forward to re-read daily-entry after daily-entry about being in lockdown, like when I was wondering how to do an Easter egg hunt in the flat. On the other hand, I felt that whatever items I had managed to tick off my list, it would always pale in comparison to what I see / read / hear that some people are achieving, not to mention those accounts of the amazing things that Isaac Newton or Shakespeare achieved during The Great Plague. Hello, imposter syndrome, my old friend.
Anyway, I made myself a cup of coffee, and grabbed some biscuits that I baked following a recipe from one of my lovely colleagues; and I sat down to “work”.
On the writing front, most of the month was taken with revising two papers: one is now with my co-authors, while the other one is singled-authored and is “resting” for a few days before I have another look at it, and submit it.
I worked on a paper related to COVID-19, with a colleague. We put it together in a very short time, which was a bit mad, and very tiring, but also very fun. We managed to submit it on time. Fingers crossed, the editors will like our approach and contribution. I also worked on a single-authored paper for a special issue that was due at the end of the month, but… I ran out of time. In between all the additional work because of COVID-19, and the demands at home, I just couldn’t get the time and clarity of mind to work on it. I did plead with the special issue editors to give me a short extension, but they refused. Ah well.
This month, I also had one paper rejected, which was disappointing. But the comments were on point, and very useful. So, I am not too bitter. And on the theme of rejection, I pitched an article for The Conversation about the news that banks are restricting mortgages, and linking to my vulnerability paper. But they didn’t pick it up, so I turned into a blog post.
On the research side, I learned that I got two small research grants. One, on the use of social media by early career researchers. The other, on the acceptance of personalised recommendations for health products. Though, all of that work is on hold because of lockdown, of course.
I have also been very busy helping a handful of small businesses rethink their strategy, to survive the COVID-19 crisis. For that end, I compiled a list of useful resources about the disease, and its impact on society, which I will be updating regularly.
On the teaching front, I am now supervising MSc dissertations, which means Skype calls and a lot of reading. Plus, I have been investigating how to run my MBA module entirely online.
At a personal level, I noticed that I was waking up later and later, as the month progressed. On the one hand, it was nice getting the extra sleep, and not using an alarm clock. But it did mean that I wasn’t getting any quiet time, or alone time, which is exasperating for an introvert, and not good at all for productivity. So, I decided to start using an alarm clock, again, in order to give myself a little bit of time to get some work done, and to enjoy a cup of coffee by myself before the rest of the household wakes up. It was a good decision.
Other #SignsOfTheTimes #NewNormal things that happened this month, include attending a memorial service via Zoom (it was very sad, but also so beautiful – it was a good way of bringing together friends and family from all over the world). This was followed, a few hours later, by singing happy birthday to a friend, via Zoom, again, with people joining in from all over the world. I had a few virtual coffees with friends and colleagues, and watched a handful of webinars. The kiddo is now having ice-hockey lessons, via zoom, in our living room / dining room / office / gym / everything-happens-here-room. And, I bought paper for the printer for the first time in decades!
So, that’s me, with all my successes and failures. What about you? How are you holding on, in lockdown?