The Week In Review: November 16-22, 2015

Heads up that this is the second of those two, intensely-long and wildly busy end-of-term weeks I warned you about in the last post….. after this, things settle down. A little.


Thomas Ohlgren and Lister Matheson, Early Rymes of Robyn Hood (ACMRS 2013)

Thomas Ohlgren and Stephen Knight, Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales (TEAMS 2000)

Rosemary Horrox and W. Mark Ormrod, A Social History of England, 1200-1500 (Cambridge 2006)

Timothy Jones, Outlawry in Medieval Literature (Palgrave, 2010)

Scanned and organized into Evernote PDFs of chapters I’ve used in my dissertation

For a second project:

Alfred K. Siewers, Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009)

Gillian Rudd, Ecocritical Readings of Late Medieval English Literature (Manchester UP, 2007)


Total time spent in research this week: 14 hours



Continued working on dissertation, chapter 4 (6,053 words)

Began revisions to chapter one

Total Writing Time This Week: 6 hours


College Writing I: This week we held individual student conferences, where we went over the process they are taking to complete their portfolios and any lingering questions or concerns they have over the portfolio requirements, and talked about what they see as their growth as writers and what I have observed in their writing over the term. It’s very rewarding, and I genuinely enjoy it, but it’s also extremely time-consuming and exhausting on my end, since I meet with each student for between 15-20 minutes (and sometimes longer, when they’re having unusual concerns or anxieties). I find that there is literally no free time during the workday when I’m holding individual student conferences… even when I schedule breaks between students, inevitably someone goes over time and I’m still feeling rushed and overhelmed. You get used to it, but that doesn’t make it less taxing. I sleep a lot the weekend after conferences.

Literature and the Arts: Continued grading their critical examinations, held our last lecture and discussion session, and four of the six working groups gave  their group projects, which were excellent. This class has far surpassed my expectations and I will definitely be using this syllabus again in the future!

Total time spent on teaching this week (including grading 11 critical examinations, teaching, office hours, prepping discussion, and individual student conferences): 30 hours


This week’s service consisted of responding to email and the GSA executive board meeting and General Assembly

Total time spent on service this week: 4 hours

Other Scholarly Activity

Hortulus editing: started reading through submitted book reviews for the current issue.

Job search: Identified 3 positions I am eligible to apply for; implicit rejection from 2 institutions to which I have applied; request for further materials from 1 institution to which I have applied; updated my committee on my job market and dissertation progress.

Scholarship: Signed and sent in the formal contract for our edited collection on Melusine.

Total time spent on Other Scholarly Activity this week: 6 hours

Nurturing My Self

I took a nap on Tuesday and Thursday (my non-campus days) in between research and writing bouts, to try to recoup some of the energy drained by conferencing with students. I also managed to squeeze in two short runs (3-4 miles each) and a 30-minute workout this week. On Friday night I went to an all-female cast performance of Titus Andronicus with our premodern grad student cohort and recent graduates of our program, which was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with everyone.


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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