I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced the feeling where you have a lot to do but no motivation to do it. It’s frustrating. It needs to be dealt with somehow though.
I deal with it in different ways (depending on my mood, how time sensitive the to-do task is, etc.), and no one way works in all situations.
Lately, when I’m feeling unmotivated about science or research, I’ve been trying something new… I go answer questions on Quora.
The past two weeks have been interesting to say the least. On Sunday 10 June came the completely unexpected announcement that University of Virginia President Sullivan resigned in a “mutual decision” with the Board of Visitors. Since then the Grounds have been in varying amounts of turmoil, particularly once details of the ousting began to emerge. Rather than try to summarize or explain the events, I’ll point you to the UVa Faculty Senate website which contains a chronological list of articles related to the events.
I am starting into my 3rd 1-year term as a Vice-President of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Council at UVa. In these roles I have been involved in communicating with the graduate student population in the Council’s efforts to advocate on behalf of graduate students and support the academic & social events organized for grad students, in addition to general work to improve the effectiveness of the Council.
My activity the past two weeks has been dominated by this ongoing turmoil. While I do not personally claim to have the information needed to make the judgment call on whether President Sullivan should remain in her job or not, I do know that the way in which the Board took action was counter to the values and expectations of the University Community. My action thus far has been in response to this.
I have spent the bulk of my time communicating with graduate students, both on an individual level and as a group. This included passing along information about rallies at the Rotunda and other ways graduate students could become involved. I was also heavily involved in the drafting and passage of a statement on behalf of Grad Council. At yesterday’s Rally for Honor I gave a statement on behalf of the Graduate Student Council. The text of the statement and some photos of me giving the statement have been posted to the Grad Council website.
While this continues to be a trying time for many in the UVa community, I am glad to have had the opportunity to be involved and work with my fellow graduate students to be sure our voices are heard.
We’ll see what happens next!
The past few months have been full of adventures of all sorts. I have traveled all over the US for both work and fun; skiing in Idaho, doing astronomy in Hawaii & Arizona, plus a trip to L.A. for a friend’s wedding. I have also been almost completely neglecting to post updates here, sorry!
One side effect of all the adventure is that I haven’t made climbing a priority. Through the middle of May I had one been out climbing once, in mid February (a month during which I should have been skiing!).
It took a trip to Los Angeles to get me back into my climbing shoes. I was headed out there for a friend’s wedding and took the opportunity to spend a few days visiting a friend (Andre) who used to be at UVa but now lives near LA. We spent the first day hiking and then met up with Eileen of rockgrrl.com and her climbing partners for a day of climbing at Malibu Creek.