- Author: Wendy Powers
Somehow, despite no commute time, I have fallen far behind in my plan for reviewing merit and promotion packages. Additional meetings are on the calendar and other topics are prime time and the priority. I've adjusted my expectations and my plans to meet deadlines. If I start work an hour earlier each day, I should be able to read one package. In addition, I will add an hour at the end of the day to read a second package. If I do this on weekdays, only, I should complete my first read in 5 weeks, just in time to go back and read supervisor, external evaluator and PRC comments. While it is a bit inconvenient to put in a new plan, it is not impossible to achieve and it leaves weekends free (until I get behind again). I realized last Thursday that the extension for academic reviews for supervisors was self-serving. While I had met with the academics for which I serve as first level reviewer, I hadn't written anything up. Now I am caught up with that, having adjusted weekend time to do so. The increased ‘at home' time has come in handy!
I have a virtual conference this week. While the networking part is lost, I suspect we may be more efficient in getting business done. Unfortunately, the networking is what leads to novel ideas and new partnerships. We'll see how it goes. I can't help but wonder if the upcoming eXtension webinar discusses how working in a virtual environment can achieve what I typically think of as the benefits of in-person meetings. If anyone gets a chance to tune in, please let me know if this topic is addressed. I may miss the webinar due to other scheduled meetings. The webinar is from 3 to 4 pm on March 24th; Virtual Culture: The way we work doesn't work anymore, how to embrace the virtual culture in your team.
My new (temporary!) work space looks across the street to our neighboring dairy farm. As I've watched the comings and goings from the farm over the last week, it has struck me how little I expect has changed for the day-to-day on a dairy, despite the news reports and empty highways. The work of the dairy farmer, like our work, remains of great importance. Feed trucks, employees, and supplies still pull in every day and there is at least one heifer or one cow out roaming around where she wasn't intended to be. In some small way it is comforting to know that fixing the gate, the fence, or whatever happens to be the preferred escape path, still hasn't risen as a priority on the farm maintenance list.
I hope everything you have had to shuffle in order to accommodate this extraordinary time feels now to be little more than an adjustment of plans. I suspect some sense of a new, but temporary, normal is near.