Monday, June 11, 2007

Attack of the ILLs

(why are the students in this picture so calm? Seriously, haven't they watched The Birds?)

Gaaarrrgh! Everything is coming due at once! This interferes with my plans to sleep exceedingly long hours and contemplate the universe (or my bloglines).

I have papers. I graded papers! I still have more papers. Thus goes my mind in a much faster, although less devastating, personal version of bipolar disorder. I'm down, I'm up, I'm down! And soon I shall get finals as well ---- why did I not plow through these papers over the weekend? Why did I not finish cutting down and prettifying my potential article to send out over the weekend? Now I have three major tasks staring at me even before I open up my email account this morning.

To give some context, a while back I discovered a neat way of being productive even at 10 pm after one's brain has melted into zombie food. I need to get material from the library, and that process is made infinitesimally less frustrating when one has a good bibliography in hand, organized by call numbers and with all the ones already checked out removed from the list. This can be done while watching tv, actually. So can requesting the zillions of books our library, being small and ugly, does not have. Ergo, a month or two back I watched old episodes of The Simpsons while cutting and pasting and hitting the Interlibrary Loan button. It felt great, it felt brilliant! --- and every couple days I would pick up some more books on my way in to write at the library. I felt as if I had outsmarted the limits of my own productivity. However.

Yes, however. Now it is later and I have read very few of these ILLs. And what do I see when I open up my email today? Many many "courtesy reminders" that these damn ILLs are now due to be returned this week. Curses! Hoist by my own petard! And I don't even know what the hell a "petard" is!

So now I can either 1) grade massive amounts of research papers, 2) fix all the bolded passages in my article that currently read [PUT A TRANSITION HERE, STUPID] or 3) read and take notes on a cubic crapload of ILLs that I now have to haul back to the library (my back will be shot this week, that's for sure). And tomorrow I can add 4) grade massive amounts of finals in very bad handwriting. All of which are due immediately. Ah, for a time machine!


Earnest English said...

Love your notes to yourself in your writing. They look like mine.

I hate ILL. I mean I like the concept, but I hate having to give a book back in anything less than three months. I mean, once I have it -- how am I going to get myself to read it? It's much easier if I don't have it to think I must read it immediately. I'm ornery that way.

Interested to see how you manage that time machine business. Good luck! I wish you a bout of mania to deal with it all. (Well, good productive mania, not the kind with psychotic features. We already have those: they're called grad school.)

squadratomagico said...

I sympathize about the ILL conundrum. My particular ILL annoyances are: (a) getting a 600-page book in German, printed in that strange gothic font that older German books used to use, and having two weeks to digest it; (b) getting an avalanche of books all at once, and thinking about several of them: Why did I order this again? What was I supposed to look for?

medieval woman said...

Oh, Sq - I do that too! I order and then forget which pages/parts I'd ordered it for!

Hee, hee - Sis, you be funny, woman. That's actually a really nice display of the books flying around...

Sisyphus said...

Yay for commenters! I love ILL _best_ when the book arrives the day you turn your seminar paper in ... thanks a lot, I could have used that ... but I don't want it now...

medieval woman, I was looking for pics of fierce fanged books flying after terrified youngsters, but, surprisingly, there are few pictures like this on the web. Does no one else think like me? Oh well.

squadratomagico, I will find you some German Gothic text for your blogging pleasure, then you won't need any ILLs, heh.

EE, if I find a time machine (and I'm not saying I did), what would you pay for shares of it?