Wednesday Accounts

Two mile run (weighed in at 85kg), hot breakfast, ‘Balaam’s Hopes Disappointed,’ ‘Curses Turned to Blessings’ from Legends III, drudge work on converting ASCII to Unicode Greek in my textbook, reading The Cowley Fathers, and dog-attending.

Up to Balak

For yesterday’s accountability report: Mile and a half, fruit breakfast, three sections of Legends III (‘Balaam Runs into His Own Destruction,’ ‘Balaam with Balak,’ and ‘Balaam’s Sacrifices Refused’), I read and refereed an article, read some material pertinent to my assessment of the article, and gave the dogs a two-mile-plus walk when Margaret needed some time without them. I think that’s all for Monday.

Productivity Check One

Yesterday I ran my mile-and-a-half, transcribed the ‘Balaam’s Ass’ portion of Legends III, read a bit of The Cowley Fathers, started the first chapter of the hermeneutics monograph, read through the proofs of a book with a view to blurbing it, and wrote and sent the blurb, and turned to a separate hermeneutical essay. And I took an almost-nap. I think that’s it, but I can tick the blurb off my to-do list.

Back In Summer

I last made regular use of this blog back when I was forming my habit of running — first weekly, then twice weekly, then daily — as a mode of keeping myself accountable. I kept track of time and conditions till it dawned on me that I was overinvesting in my running speed (which seemed, and still seems, to vary arbitrarily, day on day) and neglexcting my main interest in my morning run. I only do it so that I fulfil the minimal advice from physicians about keeping active, and to keep my breathing as open and deep as I can. I’m not going to run any marathons, nor any speed competitions. I will, however, not let myself just mutate into an academic potato. I’ve lost some weight, too, which brings me closer to the range my GP recommends, and it probably does good things to my blood pressure.

But once my daily run was no longer measured for speed, and once it had become so habitual that it’s almost automatic, the value of the blog as an accountability device ebbed. And in term-time, every obligation weighs extra heavily, so that having to blog in the morning became one more source of stress. Since I was doing it just for my own sake, it was easy to let go.

Since summer is here, now, and I’ve fulfilled all the urgent daily-ish obligations of the year, I have a number of things to accomplish during the summer, and the value of an accountability mechanism increases. So I’ll try to blog here about how I’m spending my time, so that the summer doesn’t just slip away without my noticing.

Here’s what I want to do:

  • Relax. Really, deeply, unwind. Breathe deeply. Clear out the stress.
  • Read, both for research and for pleasure. Just now I’m reading through Serenhedd James’s The Cowley Fathers, but I’d like to read some fiction as well, and just read for the joy of learning and following threads of problems and information
  • I’m continuing my transcription of Louis Ginzburg’s Legends of the Jews, working on Volume III right now. I’d like to finish III and hammer into IV before the summer is over. Ultimately I hope to go through each volume and make the internal sections available as shorter tracts.
  • It’s time for me to start working on my hermeneutics book, writing the words rather than just making notes and planning. I will note word count of writing when I can make myself do it.
  • I owe one article on which I have to start work right away
  • This year I’ll teach only Greek, no Hebrew, so I’ll concentrate on the revision of my Greek textbook. We’ll be able to get at least 16 chapters in, which should support students pretty well. I have already done edited the first sixteen chapters; I want to finish it off, though, so that I can offer it back to the publisher (who has inexplicably left my original edition in print) or make it available for free.
  • I do have some lingering academic/admin responsibilities: reports to file, a ms to referee, things such as that, a blurb to blurb, late essays to mark
  • I will continue keeping the grass mowed in the garden, and will attempt to eradicate some of the horrible blue weed and the stinging nettles from the flower bed areas.
  • (5/7) Just added an article to referee.
  • If I think of anything else, I’ll come back and add it here. That’s a good bit of accountability — even a little intimidating — but I’ll be more likely to get more of it done if I have to write it down.