day one

This is officially a new era. Libraries are closing. Universities are not safe either. And we are all glued on our screens reading up the latest travel ban. What a time to be alive.

As we—old souls who spend a lot of our time in libraries reading books—start spending more time at home, a few things would need to be tweaked. So here is what I am going to do:

  • Not panic.
  • Actually have some sort of a schedule. Or try one.
  • Have a reading list + reading schedule
On not panicking

This isn’t an easy one. I was just about to board a plane to India and now I have to plan my next month in Berlin because I will have to be quarantined once I reach Delhi and then I will have 9 days left for my vacation. Not happening, in short.

So I cancelled it. Well, technically I would like to postpone it but we have to wait out and see what the airline I was supposed to fly lets me do at this point. And yes, it is tedious but it is literally nothing compared to the people who have to deal with this virus in hospitals (shout-out to my brother who is a doctor in Delhi!) and the people who are vulnerable to it. So many people have perished to it already that the dystopian visions of 2020 seem about right. A postdoctoral fellow in the university where I work told me sometime in the beginning of January that this year would be momentous and, well, here we are.

Speaking of panic, this is an important thing to remember: wherever you are, international student who is facing issues in the US/UK because the people at helm of affairs do not understand that you cannot just leave and come back from some countries, or university worker who is on a contract and does not know what to do; stay strong. I sincerely hope that the universities have the foresight to have compensate people who are not vulnerable in the most visible of ways.

Have a schedule

Today was the first day of me being at home. I decided to have a more practical way of dealing with things. Understand what time of day works for you in terms of work. I am an afternoon-night worker (this is being written at 3:23 am) and find it extremely calming to work at night. Have a schedule, dear academic. Have a rough one, if any.

Mine looks something like this. Yes, it is a little crazy but it works for me.

12:00Emails to write/reply to + plan tasks
13:00Coffee + brunch
14:00Run errands
15:30Work
18:00Break + Plan dinner
19:00Dinner
20:00Emails to write/reply to
22:00Work
03:00Review + reflect
Reading List

And, of course, if nothing works, find time to read. What am I reading right now? I am in the middle of writing my expanded proposal for the March 31 deadline but here is what I hope to read for the month ahead:

Image result for derrida archive fever
  • The Plague, Albert Camus
Image result for the plague camus
Seems to be the right kind of thing to re-read right now.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
Image result for one hundred years of solitude everyman's library

Bonus Point:

Have a soundtrack

No, really. It helps. I have been binging on Bon Iver’s i,i forever now and still find it the right soundtrack no matter what I am reading/writing. The Radiohead Public Library option also helps. But the one I am also loving at this moment is the last Slowdive record. I am, as my best friend tells me, the original hipster and am running a shoegaze revival club in my head even before it starts.

What I am up to in 2019

This site started out as a weird experiment of a late night gone strange early February. Turns out not a lot has changed over the last year at all. There are, for instance, just as many books I want to read as I did last year. There are also as many people I have met, become friends with and lost in 2019. This year, I am telling myself, will be different.

I am still on the Open Source craze, though. Recent changes?

  • I switched from EndNote to Zotero. There are quite a few things one encounters when a thesis is written. There is the usual “what do I write it on” question; I did a cop-out on this one because I have Word from the university. The reference manager is another such issue. I have access to EndNote from the university but I have moved to Zotero since then. In order to make a mind-map for the thesis I used WiseMapping.
  • I gave up Evernote and then from Laverna, I went straight to Standard Notes. I have honestly not looked back after Standard Notes because it is probably the best thing I have ever used for notes. Since I have become a nutcase for privacy settings, Standard Notes has become an indispensable tool for my online life. I am not an “Extended” Member but I am not very far from becoming one.

In other news, there is some research topics that I have recently gone into; Latour, for instance. Hence, this page will probably be used in the near future for three things

  1. Podcast diary/recommendations: Being a rich consumer of podcasts of every sort (I subscribe to 80 right now), I guess this one is not such a surprise.
  2. Research diary: I find it useful to write things out for my own sake. So, since I am reading some things, it makes sense to make a record of it … a field notes diary, as it were.
  3. Bookshelf: I have always wanted to a bookshelf section here. So starting this month, I hope to start.

Other things I would recommend:

Libby: Your library probably has a Libby service. Use it.