I Hereby Dub Reading Week Adventuring Week

Best to-do list ever!

And just like that, half of the winter semester is over.

That’s right folks, it is officially reading week. Although if you were to judge by the size of my 2nd year class, you would have thought that reading week started yesterday. I digress.

Honestly, I can’t believe 6 weeks have already come and gone.

I’d like to say that the rest of the semester will be easy, but I know that isn’t likely to be the case. My list when the semester resumes includes:

  • completing edits on 2 papers,
  • completing at least 4 more draft papers for submission,
  • preparing 2 presentations (1 for a conference, the other an invited talk),
  • helping prepare 3 conference posters,
  • finishing 2 more grant applications,
  • prepping course notes, as well as marking assignments, quizzes, and exams,
  • acting as examiner for a Ph.D. qualifying exam and an M.Sc. defence,
  • evaluating scholarship applications for the province,
  • and writing a major report.

Whew. I’m tired already. Ha! Not really. As much effort as these things demand, I’m excited to work on them.

Thankfully I’m not facing all of this on my own. That dear friends, is why I have minions – er, students.


To accomplish this list I really must rely on the hard work of several students. For example, one of the draft papers will require the assistance of one of my Masters students. Another draft will require the assistance of my undergraduate research assistant (URA) Justin who just so happens to make his own beer.

There’s also a chance that a fifth paper might be added to the list – but this assumes that another URA who is being supervised by one of my colleagues manages to finish a huge list of things before the semester ends. I’m not betting on that, but stranger things have happened. It’s not that the URA can’t do it, it’s just that getting all the work completed by the end of the semester might be a long shot.

Additionally the three conference posters are going to be put together by my students, so my role there will be simplified to advisor. Of course, I’m excited about all three projects so I’ll likely be more involved than just saying “sure, looks good.”

My URA and this dish - both Awesome Pie

Since my current URA is a giant slice of 100% Grade A Awesome pie, I might get him to help me out with the major report as well. But that will depend on how involved our current study gets. He’s been working like a mad man on it, and I’m stoked with our preliminary results. I’ll have to assess the benefits of stealing his time from the current study to help me out with another one.

Anyway, for now I’m going to put all thoughts of this list aside. You see, while I have 3 days of presentations lined up next week, I am officially on vacation as of today. Yes, I’m technically going to be working Monday through Wednesday, but it’s going to be more fun than work – especially since Rick has helped me out by preparing some of the material that I’m going to be presenting. And as I mentioned yesterday, I’m heading to Calgary on Thursday to continue my adventuring.

So with that I proclaim here and now, for all the blog-o-sphere to read, that even though my list be long, it shall remain as such for the duration of reading week because I have far more important non-academic pursuits and adventuring to do; such as climbing walls of shear ice, and throwing my body down an ice track to the mercy of gravity.

Next week is going to be AWESOME.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Climbing walls of shear ice, and throwing my body down an ice track to the mercy of gravity- awesome!

    1. dangillis says:

      Why did I know that you’d like that?

  2. Ma-gnome says:

    Lunch with me for three days makes it awesome 🙂 HAHA!

    1. dangillis says:

      It’ll be even more awesome when you buy 🙂

      1. Ma-gnome says:


  3. The beauty of delegation! It gives you leverage! The list can be long but with your team on it with you, it’s obviously fun! And it seems they all love it too. What could be better? Smiles! Lovely post!

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks. And yes – the team is awesome, so while it will be a lot of work, it’s also going to be a lot of fun.

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