I am feeling a bit frustrated this week. The start of the new term has been busy— way busier than I thought it was going to be. Consequently I’ve not had any time to work on Chapter 1. I need to get back to Chapter 1, but the other things that are taking up my time – article revisions, prospectus revisions, fellowship applications – are important, too.
I’ve written before about the lack of balance in my life, but those posts were about the lack of balance between work-life and life-life. This lament is all about work-life and the delicate balance of projects within the work domain. I really don’t know what to do some days for all of the things are necessary. I need to publish articles to get a job, to get tenure. I apply for fellowships so that I have more time to write articles and the dissertation, so that I don’t have to teach and grade and work at the writing center. Furthermore, winning fellowships means that my CV looks even more awesome to prospective employers. Still I can’t even think about a job unless the dissertation is progressing. If there is no dissertation there is no job. This is an icky bind.
Tacking my monster do to list kept my busy from before 8am until I decided I needed to get a breath of fresh air around 3:30. The sad part is that all of that work was not on Chapter 1 of the dissertation.
The book project with which I’ve been involved is wrapping up in the next two or three weeks. My part was suppose to be done at the end of last week – at the end of break – pieces for me to edit keep rolling in and various revisions to my own piece for the book have been taking up more time than they should. Between the book project and fellowship deadlines approaching, I fear how long I will be neglecting my darling chapter.
Oh break! You were far too short! I miss you already!
My life began anew this morning as my schedule for this term is radically different from last term. I am always thrown by just how much of an adjustment I must make with the start of each new quarter. I think that this quarter’s schedule will ultimately work out nicely and be conducive to all of the writing that must happen, but we will see.
This morning was a bit odd, for it was the first time I really did not find myself all that nervous about the start of a new quarter, the start of a new class. I don’t know if it is just that teaching is becoming far more comfortable for me, if I trust more in my ability not to screw up the first day of class, or if I am just not over break yet, but my lack of angst was itself disquieting.
Before I taught this morning I ventured to my one-half of a windowless room to work for a bit. It was nice to feel so productive so early, but it was a bit jarring to have to drop it all to go off and teach. I hope that I have energy after tutoring this afternoon to venture back to my small room and work for a few more hours before I head home tonight. I am attempting to instill good, productive work-patterns early on this term and carry them out for the next 10 weeks.
Half the audience is asleep. Half of them are snoring. Our poet – still reading. Go Scott Woods!
I am now in hour two of Scott Woods’ 24-hour poetry reading. If you are looking for something to do between now and 8pm Sunday night, come check out the reading:
2250 N High St
Columbus, OH 43201
Today I regained my tiny, basement work-room on campus. Last year during winter quarter I discovered these spaces, and last year during spring quarter, when I was taking my exams, I gained a key to one of these shared hole-in-the-wall spaces. (Yes, I am being deliberately vague, for I refuse to give away or spoil this hidden campus treasure).
No, the room isn’t much and it certainly doesn’t compare to my room in the library of my M.A. institution, but it is a tiny working space away from home and it is mine! Last year the space really helped me get through my exams, and I am hopeful that this space will help me get through this chapter quickly – and the ones that will follow.
Yesterday I managed to edit all of the pieces that had been sent to me for the manuscript. While I took it easy yesterday and lazily worked my way through them, it feels good to have them done. I suspect, however, that there will be more headed my way in the next few days.
Last night I also received final, final proofs of my next article. And, after a bit of reading through them and making final tweaks this morning, things are looking good there.
Today it is a toss up between writing another five pages – which I really should do – and writing the dissertation abstract – which I really must do. Yes, I have been bitching about this task for seemingly months on end now, but turning a 30 page prospectus into a 5 page proposal was hell enough. So I can’t even begin to imagine getting this down to 350 words. Still, I have to do it. I guess I will attempt to tackle that project first and see where it gets me (hopefully somewhere other than frustrated).
Oh goodness! The week seems to be moving along quickly, which means that the new term draws nearer. Today is going to have to be about various other non-dissertation tasks that must be completed by Monday.
It will be good to take a small break from the dissertation edit the heck out of various pieces for the book project I am working on with one of my undergrad professors, double and triple check my syllabus for the spring, write that abstract of the dissertation, and attend to whatever else is on my list that is somewhere on my desk — seemingly buried by a few books and a million articles for the dissertation.
Today there was good and timely progress. I finished all five pages (I wrote all the way down to the last line on page 46) early in the afternoon. Then it was off to help a friend with car troubles. I even managed to sneak in some editing work for another side project over lunch.
Let us hope that tomorrow is just as awesome and productive!
Yesterday worked out pretty well. My re-dedication to kicking this dissertation’s ass meant that I achieved yesterday’s writing goals and left room for myself to continue on with a section today. Today, however, I would like to finish up the writing a bit earlier in the day. As I had an appointment yesterday morning that sucked about two hours out of my writing time, I think it will be possible to finish by late afternoon or early evening. A friend needs some help and I want to make time to spend some time with her this evening.
So today I once again hauled myself out of bed very early, found myself surprised by how cold it happened to be, had the type of legs workout that is going to make me cry later on, and am now getting down to writing. Today I am beginning on page 41 and hope to reach page 46. I think I need to go back and read through what I’ve written of this present section – and maybe the previous one too – to make sure that everything is coming together nicely.
I’ve made it mid-way through page 41. I think I can now call it quits for the day. Thank goodness, as I don’t even know if my brain is processing what I am typing here or if words are just somehow appearing in what is a hopefully sensical manner.
(Yes, I know, sensical is not really a word. Nonsensical is, so I think sensical should be.)