What do you do when you get to work? I always spend a while before my brain is kicked into gear, getting settled, and I think everybody does. Not being a coffee drinker, I don't join in the morning coffee ritual in the staff room. Instead I settle down here, and start checking mail. Then I cycle through my different email boxes - yes, I have several. Over years of online presence in many different communities I have emails that distinguish the private, the personal and the professional, as well as some of the emails I use for explorations into areas where being identified could be harmful both for the job I try to do, and for me.
After I cycle through the emails I check some choice blogs, and follow an interesting link or two. The news I got on the radio during breakfast often lingers, so I may want to follow up on one of those cases. And then I am normally set and ready to get different work done, after an hour or so spent updating and positioning myself within the net of contacts and events in which I live.
Over the last year I have however seen this routine change. It's been gradual, and I didn't really think of it until today, when I found myself really annoyed. Something in my routine was lacking.
It's Wednesday morning. The European WoW servers are down for the weekly maintainance until 11.00. That's more than two hours away. I have done all of the above, and was now set for checking my auctions, looking at last night's honour kills, seeing if there's something nice in the mailbox (which there often is, the guilds I am in are packed with generous people who love to share) and saying hello to some of my friends, academic and not so academic.
I haven't really thought about how much of a regular part of my life this has become. But of course, I have spent weeks - if not months - logged on to that game, creating connections, finding resources, collecting data, but also sharing, contributing and having fun. And so, when Wednesday arrives, it is always a surprise and always a breach of a comfortable routine.
Guess the best way to deal is by making Wednesdays special. Perhaps I should start drinking coffee.