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Recovering from September 1

In a recent musing, I wrote about the wide variety of things that I had to write before September 1. I’ve now made it past that date. Let’s see where I got on all of the tasks.

A tenure/promotion review for a colleague at another institution. Amazingly, I finished a strong draft early so that I would have some time away from it before submitting a final version. As I noted, tenure/promotion reviews are one of the largely uncompensated pieces of service we all do. But it’s interesting to see what other faculty are doing and it’s always interesting to read their papers. And that’s all I’m saying. (I guess that I can say that it was about 1,600 words.) Done!

Readings for week 2 of CSC 151. Um, well, let’s see. I finished the reading and lab on lists (3,000 words and 1,300 words, respectively). We held that lab on September 1. I finished the reading and lab on procedures (1,500 words each). We’ll do that lab on Monday [1]. I also wrote a bunch of supporting code and documentation (not counted). We needed to rearrange the schedule anyway, so Wednesday will be a reading on pair programming from the literature. But I should get cracking on Friday’s reading on Documentation. Failed!

A paper submission for SIGCSE [1] with my students on the Data Science for Social Good code camp. My students worked hard on this paper and even had a schedule in which a draft would be ready on Tuesday night. But they had trouble writing. I also had trouble finding time to write my part of the paper [2]. And so when I sat down to finish it on the evening of September 1, there was a lot of work left to do. Plus, I had to get it to format with the new ACM LaTeX style [3]. I wrote a lot. Even though it was later than I would have liked, we got something done that reasonably represents our work. The final paper has about 4,500 words. The vomit draft [5] that they wrote had 3,000. But I edited a lot of the words. Counting those words is hard. Let’s pretend that I wrote 3,000. Done!

An application for an Obermann Fellowship. I’m not sure what the odds are that I can get an Obermann Fellowship, but it’s worth a try to have a semester to work on a new, digital-humanities focused, CSC 151. The four or so pages took a few hours. Rewriting after valuable feedback took a few more. And cutting the CV down from seventeen pages to five was an interesting exercise. I submitted this at about 5:30 p.m. on the due date. I got an immediate email reply: I am out of the office until Tuesday. Why was this due on Friday, anyway? This was 2,500 words. I realized a day later that I had a typo or two. Oh well. Done!

My musing on one year of daily musings. I felt a bit bad working on this rather than on my students’ paper. But I knew I would feel equally bad if I didn’t get it posted. And, hey, I always do my SIGCSE papers at the last second. This musing was 1,400 words. An accompanying musing on thirteen months of daily musings [6] was another 1,100 words. Done!

A paper submission for SIGCSE with my colleagues on our new functional data-science-oriented introduction to computer science, which I have decided to refer to as DataCSCi. I don’t envy my colleagues. I didn’t warn them I was going to put them on the paper, or even that I was going to write the paper. But they are co-authors because we had worked on the design of the course together. They learned that when I submitted the abstract a week ago. They offered to help. I turned it down. And, as hard as I tried, I did not finish by September 1. But they were busy this week and so was I. I thought that was it. And then I got a note from the conference organizers that they were extending the deadline by a day. So I finished the paper. Another 5,000 words written. And I’ve not only had the opportunity to think more carefully about the course, I’ve also come up with much of the text for a reading for the course on data science. If this paper gets accepted [7], we will work together on getting something that better represents our collective viewpoint. Done!

A paper submission for SIGCSE with my students on their Craft of Code camp. While the students worked hard on this camp, none of us had time to work hard on this paper. I don’t think anything got drafted. So, by the time I finished dealing with the data science for social good camp, I decided to withdraw this one. Withdrawn!

Bidding on papers for SIGCSE. I’m not sure that I’m up to bidding. I realize that if I don’t bid, I’ll probably get the dregs. But someone has to get the dregs. And I find that I learn something even when I meta-review weak papers. Skipped!

How much did I write over the past week, including the two end of time period musings, but not including the others? Let’s see … 1,600 + 3,000 + 1,300 + 1,500 + 1,500 + 3,000 + 2,500 + 1,400 + 1,100 + 5,000. That’s 21,900 words, or about the length of a short novella. Not too shabby. And that doesn’t count most of the musings, including the 1,100 or so words in this musing.

Even though I wrote a lot last week, I am not done with writing.
What comes next?

Another week of readings for CSC 151. Let’s see … the week of September 11 includes work on testing, debugging, and tables and compound data [8]. I try to work a week ahead, so that needs to get done soon. It also includes the delayed work on documentation from above For the reading on documentation, I can probably borrow from a past reading. The testing reading will probably need to be new or at least the lab will; there was a lab that worked great in concept and horribly in practice. I had revised it to one that worked reasonably well in practice, but that one depends on various color procedures that we are not teaching this semester. The debugging reading is brand new. I also have to learn how to debug in DrRacket [9]. And the tables and compound data reading is completely new. Oh, I should probably write something about data science, too [10].

Delayed proposals to send students to Tapia. We’ve bought the tickets under the assumption that I’ll find funding. I should apply for that funding asap. I have two forms to go to the Dean’s office and one to go to the Wilson program.

Regular musings. The two SIGCSE papers ate my time Friday night and Saturday night. But I’m back to musing and I’ll need to keep it up.

Hmmm … it feels like I’m missing something. Oh well, I’ll figure it out later. Maybe some day I’ll have a real to-do list system.

I mustn’t forget that there is a host of non-writing tasks, such as grading and normal class prep. But at least there aren’t deadlines for large tasks, other than self-imposed deadlines [11].

[1] What, you think Monday is Labor Day in the US? It is. But we still teach. I don’t really mind. I have so many privileges; it’s okay not to have this one.

[2] Other writing and sleep ended up taking priority, as did class preparation.

[3] I considered using the new ACM Microsoft Word Style, but that was just terrifying. Why are there different versions for Windows Word, Mac Word 2011, and Mac Word 2016 [4]?

[4] I hear that Mac Word 2011 is going away, or at least updates are going way. I suppose I’ll have to switch to 2016. I hope it’s improved since it first came out.

[5] Their name, not mine.

[6] Don’t ask.

[7] SIGCSE has an acceptance rate of about 30%.

[8] tables and compound data is a single reading.

[9] I’m not really a debugger person. I like to look at my code and think through what the issues might be. But I think students benefit from good debuggers.

[10] Fortunately, much of the data science reading is contained somewhere in the SIGCSE paper.

[11] I have natural deadlines for many small tasks. Class prep needs to get done before class. Assignments have to be written before they are distributed.

Version 1.0 of 2017-09-03.