January 2021 Round-up

New month, new year… and new lockdown. It looks like it will be a long one, given the terrible numbers of infections and deaths.

Image source

So, it’s back to home schooling and online teaching. In a nutshell, a lot of screen time for all of us! This month, we tried something new: online cooking lessons. We had Vietnamese street food and Katsu curry, with Jamie Oliver Cookery School; and Pasteis de Nata with Pastelaria Batalha. We are loving these classes – we learn new skills, and get to enjoy lovely food at the end (it’s also a way of supporting retailers that are facing trading restrictions)! I warmly recommend this type of activity – particularly while in lockdown.

Sleep hasn’t been great. But we had a lovely snow day (remember when we used to stress out because snow days might mean school closures, and the need to reschedule work so we could stay home with the kids?)

Oh, and I was pampered by the lovely Emily who sent me a gorgeous coffee dripper; and by the lovely Dewi, who sent me yummy, home-made cakes.

So, that’s the “background”. Now, the “main act”. 

First off, writing. I worked on – and submitted – the two major revisions received last month. Usually, we get 3+ months to work on revisions. But, as both of these papers are related to the Covid-19 crisis, I suppose that time is of the essence and both editors gave us only cc. 6 weeks to respond to the comments. I also worked on another paper (this one about Artificial Intelligence), which is due in mid-February. Moreover, I did some work on a paper about digitalisation of SMEs, which the writing team was hoping to submit by the end of January – however, we got a bit stuck on the argument, and will need to revisit the data. Other than that, I also did some work on a book chapter about sentiment analysis. So, as far as writing is concerned, there was progress on various fronts, but no new submissions.

Second, research. I did bits and pieces across all stages of the research life cycle: submitted a proposal for funding; kick started a new project; finished data collection on another one, but did not yet start the analysis; and wrapped-up and presented the results of another project. Though, still no news on two other funding proposals. I have also been working on the data strategy for the research centre that I am affiliated with (focused on Artificial Intelligence). The podcast project is a little bit stalled.

Next, teaching. I marked coursework from the module that I taught last semester (Services Marketing); and I started teaching my module for this semester: Customer Relationship Management. Various MSc and PhD supervision meetings. And attended a training session on “building community online, and the role of compassion in online teaching”.

Finally, admin. I shortlisted applications for the lecturer position. And organised support for online teaching and marking for two colleagues. 

And I leave you with these two photos that I captured during one of my jogs. I noticed that many people still have their lights up, even though Christmas is long gone. I wanted to capture this. So, I stopped running, and took these photos, quickly. The first photo (on the left) was an accident – but I actually like it better than the “proper” one (on the right). A whimsical reminder that “accidents” and things that were not “in the plan” can end up being good… or even better than the initial plan.

How was your January?

4 thoughts on “January 2021 Round-up

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