The Now: May 31, 2023
Nothing like the kiddo having a probable case of conjunctivitis 24-hours before you leave for a work conference turned long-needed parents-only beach weekend to really scramble your schedule.
We lucked out and were able to nab an early morning pediatrician appointment tomorrow. Even if she's home, we should be able to leave when planned. In some ways, the timing on this is fine. The grandparents are coming to town to help so we at least have childcare. (And it's not like they would complain about extra time with their grandchild.) This has just made it a logistical dash to see what needs to be rearranged (plus what, now, needs to be laundered) before we head out of town.
Here's what I'm working on:
The Weekly Wrap: May 28, 2023
It's a holiday weekend and the links below are many. Let's keep things short and sweet.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with all the summery things and people that make you happy. We'll be getting outside (weather permitting), getting together with friends, and cooking up some brats.
Just Good Things: May 26, 2023
My colleagues and I had a meeting about our research project today. Two of us realized that we go up for tenure soon and would need letters of recommendation. Our third colleague , who is now at another institution, immediately offered to write one for each of us. I love the people I work with.
Here's what else was good this week:
Pinpoint: How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds
I decided to pick this up again for a chapter. It's going to take me forever to read this book because I read non-fiction more slowly. This one is even slower going because there are a lot of acronyms and technical terms. I was not at all surprised to learn that GPS was finally taken up by the military because it improved their firepower advantage.
I finished Majesty: American Royals II by Katharine McGee. It ended pretty much as I expected it to. I would not be surprised if this series ended up as a movie series.
For work, I'm reading A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump by Lonnie G. Bunch III. The subtitle says it all. As a fellow information professional, it's fascinating to learn how Dr. Bunch got a museum (without a building!) off the ground.
Before you go... I decided to share a new version of this post next week. Kid Reads will highlight the books my kiddo and I are reading together. It will post bi-weekly.
*Books shared here are affiliate links for Bookshop.org
The Now: May 24, 2023
Our kiddo decided to wear her Wonder Woman outfit - complete with headband - to school today. I envy those days. I wish I could wear a cape to the office. Since I can't wear a cape, I will live vicariously through the photos daycare sends. Those updates are providing a little whimsy to my day.
Here's what has my attention:
The Weekly Wrap: May 21, 2023
I had to spend some time mapping out my calendar for the next month and I realized that I was giving five conference presentations/webinars in the the next three weeks. I present a lot, but this is heavy load even for me. No wonder my to do list comprises of nothing but outlining and slide design.
Speaking of slide design, I realized something as I was working on my second (third? - it's hard to remember) deck this week. I can throw together the design and written content of a deck in about an hour. (SlidesGo makes that part of my life so much easier.) When it comes to inserting relevant images... that is where my time disappears. A task I think will take 30 minutes ends up taking hours.
For example, I'm giving a presentation to our local consortium about outreach. The slides themselves took me 45 minutes to make. It took my FIVE hours to decide on which pictures to use and I'm still not done. I have to stage and take two pictures when I'm back in the office tomorrow.
The reason this is such a time suck is mostly the content I'm discussing. This presentation (and many of my presentations) are about outreach. Visuals matter in outreach. People will remember the pictures long after they've forgotten the written content. Plus, visuals convey unspoken messages. When I created a video on integrating sources, I made everything cooking themed to show that we all mix ingredients together differently. People can take the same resources but adapt them for different kinds of projects.
I also try my best to be representative - particularly when I am using stock images. It's so easy to pick people who look like yourself in photos. I try my darnedest to be comprehensive so everyone sees themselves at least once.
Finally, I am picky when it comes to slide balance. I want the images to visually balance the text. I also don't like it when text or design elements obscure items in the photos. This means I am constantly trying new pictures, cropping images, and tweaking things until they look just right. This presentation on taking better pictures took me over TEN hours to put together. Not only was I trying to find the right images, for most of the slides, I was limiting myself to only pictures I had taken myself. I didn't want to be critiquing the work of others in a public forum.
How do you design presentations?
Just Good Things: May 19, 2023
Kiddo got to wear pajamas to school today. She was so excited she basically skipped breakfast and climbed into her stroller to wait until it was time to leave. She always seems the happiest on these days and her smiles are infectious.
Here's what else made me smile this week:
The Now: May 17, 2023
A small to-do list item that I tackled today was to update the white board in my office. Each semester, I write out my top three priorities, a few extra projects, and a list of major events like conferences and vacations. Basically, from now until June 9, I'm only working on conference related stuff. So many presentations! After June 9, I can tackle all the other things on my list.
Here's what I'm working on:
Now on My TBR: May 15, 2023
Quite the mix of titles added to my TBR list recently.
You can see my complete TBR list on Pinterest.
*Items featured here are Bookshop.org affiliate links.
The Weekly Wrap: May 14, 2023
While working from home this week, I remembered that we had a lot of random leftovers in the fridge. Usually, we are pretty good about eating leftovers. After each meal, we pack things up and then eat them from oldest to newest for lunch through the week.
This time, our leftovers were individual components rather than all-in-one meals. That made things a bit harder to use. On Friday, I had the brilliant idea of making a salad with the ingredients.
I put everything in a bowl and tossed it with some Caesar dressing chilling in our fridge. Not your traditional Caesar salad but still very tasty.
We try to avoid food waste and I'm proud of how I thought to use up these items.
How do you reduce your food waste?