Last week/weekend's conference (ScienceOnline13) was great. I learned that I can draw clear and useful sketches for my students, a skill my kindergarten teacher apparently thought I had in me, but that remained unrealized all these years. Two pieces of advice that were helpful: slow down, and you don't have to capture every detail in this one frame, less is more. It's advice I could use in many realms.
I got back on Sunday (at 1:45 in the morning) and plunged into what turned out to be a week even more wild than the conference.
I ended up staying up most of Tuesday night writing the article, revised it between the next morning departmental meeting and my noon class and sent it off to the editor after office hours and before my evening physical therapy appointment. It was back in my inbox the next morning with a few queries and revisions, which I responded to, then returned my revised piece to the editor on my way to quantum mechanics class. Then not quite 48 hours after I'd opened the first email — it was up at Slate: Curing chemophobia: Don't take medical advice from the NY Times magazine.
And then came the comments. The article has more comments on it at the moment (over a thousand) than both my blogs put together get in a year. In two years. And then there are the tweets and the emails. Not all of them are complimentary (though interestingly, the tweets and emails are running more supportive than the comments on the article itself). I needed a generous portion of contemplative grace to delve into the comments at all. In a week where I have been praying with the Examen in a particularly focused way (for The Ignatian Adventure retreat that kicks off tomorrow at DotMagis), this sort of listening to, sorting through, reflecting on and responding to feedback has been interesting.
I'm still hoping for a week with a more contemplative pace.
Illustration is mine from the class. XKCD has nothing to worry about. (But my students do report that my drawings are better.)