Archived entries for Jacob Sam-La Rose - test

Daily Routines

A short pause from the stream of daily logs: if you’ve got a moment, head over to Daily Routines. As a blog, it’s currently on hold, but makes for good reading nonetheless. Each post details the way a different writer, artist, or other ‘interesting person’ organises their day. From the looks of all the logs that have been posted so far, the concept of a regular schedule seems contrary to the way these WHWDers go about their business…

Day 2 – Jacob (in London)

Late going to bed, late getting up again. Maybe it’s the season, or the residual effect of jetlag. Turned in at 3am, woke up at 8. The body clock’s still a little out of whack – I’m normally up somewhere between 6am and 7.30, naturally.

The first hour of the day went to reading – a sci-fi paperback to wake me up, then some Billy Collins. Sometime after 9, I dove back into the postbag (the email inbox). Dealt with a few hundred items, requiring varying levels of responses – answering speculative requests for rates for potential projects, forwarding useful information to people that might be able to use it, checking in on a few students, and so on.

I’d scheduled an editorial discussion with Jacqueline Saphra to push her collection forward today, and needed to take some time out to reread the work she’d so far sent me (close to 80 poems). Around midday, I took a short break to shift mental space (more domestics), then it was time to shut down all distractions and read. When I’m not teaching, I currently do a lot of work from home in a fairly small flat. When the missus is in, I sometimes depend on headphones to signpost “Do Not Disturb”, but this time I pulled the “sharp retreat to the bedroom with laptop in hand” manoeuvre to reread the poems and carve out an initial selection prior to a 2pm Skype-meeting to convey my thoughts on the shape of the collection and discuss next steps.

Another mental shift – I was due at Chats Palace at 5pm for an “audience consultation workshop” on a project designed to determine the best way forward for young people and poetry. Time for a quick review of the plan before making my way to Homerton.  About the same time, I realised I’d actually neglected to eat anything so far today. Grabbed a bagel at London Bridge on the way.

The participants turned out to be four representatives of Apples & Snakes’ Your Label programme, aged between 13 and 16, and the workshop was another in a string of particularly nice teaching experiences I’ve had recently – they enjoyed everything I threw at them around the craft of writing and different ways of thinking about poetry, and I fed off their energy (which isn’t quite as vampiric as it sounds…)

After a debrief, I finally arrived home. 10pm, a quick clear-down of incoming email, and as much as I want to blog a bit more, I reckon I’m calling it an early night, in order to get a good lead on tomorrow…

Getting it done…

Later start than usual for me. I was up sometime after 9am (Gasp! Shock! Horror!) Considering I didn’t turn in until around 4am, I guess I wasn’t so far off.  I have pretty terrible sleeping patterns, well documented. Don’t try this at home, kids…

I’ve been away in Chicago for a while, and although I got back last Wednesday, this morning was my first opportunity to catch up. I’ve got approx 300 actionable mail items to deal with in the next few days – mostly the less immediate stuff that I filed for later attention while travelling.

Other than email, the rest of the morning was about clearing down my task and project lists in Things and pushing dates around in iCal, interspersed with a couple of calls, including one to discuss a project I’m starting this week with the Booktrust, and a check-in with mum, who needed me to upgrade her T-Mobile account (add another task to the list).  A break for some domestics (tidying up the living room, which has been a disaster area since I arrived on Wednesday, followed by some grocery shopping) and a short reading stint (poetry – more Bruce Snider) gave me the momentum to get to grips with the website for ‘What Have We Done?’

Of course, it’s a project, not just a site, I kicked off by nudging the participants. Then standard steps for a WordPress installation – uploading software, configuring a sub-domain and a MySQL database, searching for and installing an appropriate template, tweaking the CSS and other scripts so that the template does what I need (I’ve yet to add a page to list all authors…). I also set up up a group Flickr account and a Twitter account specifically for the project. Hooked that all up in the template. Some final messaging to make sure the team knew where to sign up, and it was time to move on. Somewhere in all of that, I managed to pull myself away from the laptop long enough to make lunch for me and the missus.

After setting up the site, a little downtime – checked in on Twitter, Tumblr and half an episode of “How I Met Your Mother”. Then a frustrating call to T-Mobile (the upgrade is going to be more of a project than a task…)

A bit more downtime, then planned contingencies for an out-of-school trip for my Morpeth students. Reached out to Miriam for a bit of assistance with this year’s Poets’ Alternative Xmas Office Party – she happened to be on a bus with Malika and Karen and, as if by magic, I had a team of willing co-conspirators. A few more phone calls, a raft of emailed tech support requests from ‘What Have We Done?’ team members that needed a bit of help with registering on the site, and a final bit of blogging, and we’ve arrived at the point at which I’m writing this.

I’m excited. The first set of posts have been really good to read, and I’m curious to see how this is going to develop. What will happen as the week wears on, and the challenge of blogging each day rubs up against whatever other work needs to be done? What will happen when we post about the how and the why we do the things we’re doing, on top of simply logging what gets done? What will happen when (if?) we start responding to each other’s posts?

It’s going to be an interesting week…

Hello world!

We’re getting things done. First proper post here coming soon…



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