I was told early on, and certainly discovered it before I was told, that writing a dissertation requires a certain amount of schizophrenia – the constant movement between the global and the local, the chapter or section you are working on and the whole of the project. This final year (or what I hope will be the final year – I don’t want to jinx it) of my Ph.D. is taking schizophrenia to a whole new level as the addition of the job search makes me feel like I am leading four different lives at once – job seeker, dissertation writer, instructor, and tutor. (Note things like ‘person,’ ‘friend,’ or ‘lover’ are markedly absent from that list.)
Fortunately the job search, or at least the mechanics of it, draw upon my strengths – organization, neuroses, list, charts, calendar scheduling, etc. Still, it is time consuming. This week I will send out materials for two or three positions (one is due next Monday but I hope to get it out with this batch), which will take my total of positions applied to to four. That is to say that I am still pretty new at this process and hopefully by application #20 or so I will have this down to a science. The timing of everything is hard, or really, waiting on other people is hard as we bounce drafts back and forth and as I argue with certain journals about sending me not just the electronic version of my article but the footnotes as well. More about journal crap later.
Yesterday I seriously worked from 7:30am until 10pm. Save for an hour in there for lunch and an hour and a half at the gym it was all work at a pretty frenetic pace. Today I am trying to baby myself a bit more, or rather, I am trying to make sure that I do things besides job, teaching, and dissertation work, like, oh, get my bike fixed — the irreparable flat was a surprise this morning. Still the schizophrenic life grates on me sometimes, but at least I always have something to do when I am bored with one type of work or task. There is a silver lining to all things…. or so I am told.