Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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The day ahead: June 7, 2021

I’m off this week and won’t be responsive. (How to contact me)

I’m taking a week of vacation. I may spend a lot of it just doing maintenance: updating contacts, lists, websites, and procedures that have fallen way behind, during this year of 65-hour weeks brought on by the border situation and Colombia’s protests. While I may be at my desk a lot, “vacation” means I’m taking the prerogative of shutting down communications, barely updating my news database, and writing no border or Colombia updates this week. By design, I will be nearly impossible to contact. See you next week.

The day ahead: June 4, 2021

I’m doing a lot of writing, but mostly around today. I’m out all of next week. (How to contact me)

I rolled out of bed this morning and got to work on our weekly border update, forgetting to do this “day ahead” post. I’m done with that, it’ll be posted soon, and am otherwise mostly around.

This is my last day on the job until June 14: I’m taking next week off to rest up after 5 nonstop months, and to get organized for the next several months.

The day ahead: June 3, 2021

I’m mostly around, except for meetings mid-day and late afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m finishing up a very overdue weekly Colombia update, which fell victim to there simply not being enough hours in the day during an insanely busy time. I also plan to write most of a weekly border update today. This should be easier as my schedule is opening up a bit: only two meetings on the calendar today, one about communications strategy and one to talk about Colombia with legislative staff.

I am taking next week off, so will be spending today and tomorrow tying down loose ends.

The day ahead: June 2, 2021

I’m hard to contact today. (How to contact me)

I’m writing like crazy this morning through mid-day. Then we’re recording a podcast about Peru, and then I’ve got a Colombia coalition meeting. Then I’m going to keep writing.

The day ahead: June 1, 2021

I’m around for much of the afternoon. (How to contact me)

Wow, last week was one of the busiest weeks in my career. This week is less intense, but there’s a lot to catch up on that I couldn’t get to—from many emails to a still-unfinished weekly Colombia update to a podcast to prepare for tomorrow. Today I’ve got an internal meeting for much of the morning, a meeting to talk about Brazil at 2, and I’m on a Friedrich Ebert Foundation panel about Colombia at 5pm Eastern. Otherwise I should be reachable as I write the update and try to reduce my e-mail inbox’s inexorable rate of growth.

The day ahead: May 31, 2021

I’m off today. (How to contact me)

Today is a holiday in the United States (Memorial Day), and since I had to work Saturday—speaking on two panels at the Latin American Studies Association congress—I’m taking off as much of this Monday as I can. In the afternoon I hope to catch up on news, and in the evening write up a weekly Colombia update. But I’ll have my communications apps off.

The day ahead: May 26, 2021

I’m on a deadline and difficult to reach today. (How to contact me)

I’m way behind on a couple of presentations that I have to give later this week, in part because there have been many, many calls and interviews about the situation in Colombia. Unfortunately today I need to put things in “do not disturb” mode for several hours, when not in already-scheduled meetings (internal meetings, interviews, a sit-down with visiting Colombians). I will be hard to reach.

The day ahead: May 25, 2021

I’m around much of the day, but writing on deadlines so not feeling chatty. (How to contact me)

I have a mid-day call with some European NGOs and a late afternoon meeting at the Colombian embassy. Otherwise I’m at home preparing for some of five panel talks or lectures I’m giving on Friday and Saturday. Doing that will require me to have e-mail and other communications turned off for large segments of the day.

The day ahead: May 24, 2021

This is a rough week, but I’m sort of reachable this afternoon. (How to contact me)

I produced a lot of “content” in the past few days and will post it, or links to it, here later today. This morning I’ve got a coalition meeting on civil-military relations and an internal staff meeting. In the afternoon I’ll be assembling one of a few talks I’m giving later in the week about civil-military relations in Latin America. I’ll be intermittently reachable, though will spend some time with e-mail and whatsapp turned off.

The day ahead: May 21, 2021

I’m pretty slammed today. (How to contact me)

I’m in the midst of writing two internal memos (one done, one to go), a weekly border update (drafted), a written interview with a Colombian paper (drafted), and an article for another Colombian publication (semi-drafted). And I’m recording a podcast about Brazil in the early afternoon. I won’t be able to come up for air much today, and will be hard to contact.

The day ahead: May 20, 2021

I’m most reachable at the beginning of the morning and mid-day. (How to contact me)

I’ve got an internal meeting in the morning, and in the afternoon a brief border coalition meeting and a meeting with some international organization representatives to talk about Colombia. When not doing that I’ll be doing some research, writing an article about Colombia, writing much of our weekly border update, and hopefully keeping up with e-mail and whatsapps.

It’s also a pleasant spring day—one of the last we’re going to have here in Washington before it gets really hot—so I may have to break and go for a long walk while the sun is up.

The day ahead: May 19, 2021

I’ll be sort of reachable in the morning and mid-day. All meetings after that. (How to contact me)

Getting a bit of a late start today after catching up on sleep. I’ll be doing some writing and answering messages until early afternoon, when I’m meeting with an academic colleague, Senate committee staff, and a coalition of groups working on Colombia. Those commitments will make me impossible to contact all afternoon.

The day ahead: May 18, 2021

I’ll be intermittently available and unavailable all day. (How to contact me)

I’ve tried to keep this day clear on my calendar to write a 4,000-word article on civil-military relations in Latin America, and I’ve been mostly successful in keeping it clear. I do, however, have about 500 e-mails to process that I couldn’t get to last week, when I was writing that New York Times piece, producing that podcast, and writing the weekly border and Colombia updates.

I want to spend the morning and early afternoon updating news and email (I got too busy to post news links here over the past several days), while watching the event about Colombia that WOLA is co-hosting. (I have no specific duties for that, but want to watch and recommend it.) I have a 2PM meeting with legislative staff, and starting after that I’m going to turn off devices and communications apps so that I can have several solid hours of writing time.

In addition to an article on the state of civil-military relations, I’m also giving two talks about the subject next week at the Latin American Studies Association congress. As I put those together, I’ve been playing around with a screencasting app on my Mac, and pretty pleased with the results. So as I practice, I look forward to having a screencast to share here.

The day ahead: May 17, 2021

I should be reachable in the afternoon. (How to contact me)

My schedule is largely clear, other than a long internal meeting in the morning and a mid-afternoon check-in with some groups working on the border. I have an article to finish writing and a backlog of unanswered e-mail to wind down, as it’s been very busy lately.

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