A Snow Day Mid-Semester

The weatherman is calling for many inches of snow tomorrow. One of the institutions I teach at has already notified that we will be closed tomorrow. 

In the middle of a busy teaching semester, a snow day is a beautiful day of pause. One can catch up on things and get ever so slightly ahead of the game in an otherwise busy routine that a semester brings with it. 

Because I wasn't expecting to have this extra time, I am not as prepared for it as I would like. How can I maximize this sacred gift of time? 


Balancing scheduled writing sessions with unexpected time is actually quite difficult for me as I seem to have the need to build up my mental capacity in advance of writing and to be able to work through different problems in my head first. The way that I categorize my different obligations in life at the moment includes transitioning from one type of task to another within a certain block of scheduled time. This is well thought out and calculated to ensure the best use of the various pockets in my week. 

I recently finished two projects, one chapter for an edited volume and a paper I presented at a workshop, so I actually don't have any active projects that I am deeply engaged in preparing. My options for how to spend the snow day are therefore many!

This afternoon, I have been brainstorming different ways in which I might be able to productively wait out the storm tomorrow. Any new major project that I begin tomorrow will be interrupted by the regularly scheduled activities of the semester and may not be as profitable as I would like. After some deliberation with myself, weighing the benefits of what each task will mean in my immediate future (because this is just the way I like to work), I have decided that revising an article recently bounced back to me by a journal may be just the thing I can tackle and concur in my newly gained 10 (or so) workable hours. I really wasn't expecting to get to this task until the end of the semester and had scheduled to work on it in that in-between time before summer research gets into full swing immediately after classes have finished. But re-working my text to include very helpful reviewers comments will not only feel nice, I may even have gained enough time to be able to resubmit it during the semester which would make me very happy.




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