Sunday, December 2, 2007

What do you MEAN it's not November anymore?

Someone told me that Inaweirdmo is over ... whaaa? Uhn? But I'm not done! Whaddaya mean pencils down? I haven't finished my chapter! Can't you stop the time there? Can I have an extension, a do-over, extra credit?

Well you all can think you're done with this challenge but I am different and I am on Cog Time. (You can see how well it has worked for the speedy finishing of the dissertation and other scholarly projects.) Deadlines and teaching mean nothing on Cog Time; only pushing the rock (I know I've seen this part of the mountain before). Therefore I hereby declare that it is still November ---- This is November: The Rerun, and I am still doing my inaweirdmo challenge with the same project and my current word count. Those of you who are behind on your Christmas shopping should be pleased; those of you who are sick of the semester may find it hard to take a mulligan and have to repeat it all (though I'm sure many of your students could benefit from redoing the last month's work). New Year's Eve will be broken up into four days for the celebration of Christmas and Express Chanukah and the following year will begin as normally scheduled. Naturally it will be difficult waiting for another month to hear about job interviews but on the other hand it means I got all my applications out way early.

So, to update: I'm still going to be plugging away at the chapter, and I hope to have met my goal by December November 30. I think I actually have about 2000 words now but since there are some quotes dumped and questions to myself interleaved in there I want to write for at least another day before I update the word count. (I had done a big dump of quotes a while back as a step towards boiling them down into a summary --- I think I had 5000 words but most of them were these quotes which I won't be keeping anyway --- so my writing methods make it very hard to keep track of how many words or pages I "have.")

And in related news I think I need less balance in my life. I'm spending too much time relaxing and napping and cooking weird food from scratch and going out and about with friends and generally taking care of myself ---- I need to just take a shitty month or three weeks or so to hole up and really power my way through all this crap I need to do. Perhaps I also need to consume much larger amounts of caffeine and wreck my health as well. But all this "balance" and "well-roundedness" shit's gotta stop.

For example: I did absolutely no work over the weekend. On Friday I went out drinking til late with Cool Scientist Friend and The Political Animal, which was fun except for the annoying matchmaking going on (let me know if you want to hear me kvetch about people who have an unstoppable urge to set you up with all sorts of strange and random people), then Saturday I sat around and did nothing for a very long time, maybe throwing some laundry in and getting some Christmas and blogger-present shopping done, and then Dissertation Buddy invited me over for a fantabulous multi-course dinner, which involved crepes. With goat cheese. Mmmm. And today I did nothing much besides more family present shopping and cooking immense quantities of food despite already having immense quantities in the fridge (I swear, I should never shop when I'm hungry, but also never shop when I have an ingredient list, cause I must have gotten enough fresh veggies to feed me for a couple weeks _plus_ all the materials for a big pot of soup. So soon I'm going to be throwing out leftovers left and right, and wasting food always makes me feel bad.) Not only did I not do diss work, I didn't do all my house work and crap that needs to be fixed. Meh. The one thing that has slid is my exercise --- I need to find something other than swimming since I can't bring myself to go when it's cold, and I think I'll just deal with the diss and freaking out more generally and leave the exercise until the new year, when I will turn over a whole forest of new leaves.

That's what I've been up to. And this makes me think about some comments profs and fellow grads say about "students these days": the ones who are doing a job (or two) and piles of stuff on top of their overloaded course schedule, and then look surprised when you tell them they need to make more time for the course if they want to pass it. "But I _really_ need the money from my job!" say students who own cell phones and new clothing. "How strange, the students these days," say the teachers. "Back in my day everyone understood that undergrad was a short time of temporary poverty; we knew to focus exclusively on our classes and 'the college experience' and not overload our schedules with too much, because we thought of our classes as our jobs."

Now I admit I have heard this and said this and even told it to some of my students (in the hopefully more positive framework of: you have three options and time to do two of them well --- classes, work, clubs/social. Be careful how you balance them from quarter to quarter and remember that if "classes" isn't on that list for an entire quarter you won't be here to worry about balance). But really it hadn't struck me how much I resemble the students or gen y/millenials or whatever it is. People who study today's current undergrad generation have noted that they don't see college as a "separate" time or transitional period of their lives at all, and the notion of giving up everything to narrow down to an intensely focused short period of time is foreign to them. Now that can be bad if they spend as if they were in their 40s and in an established job (which some of mine do), but it also marks a very specific relationship to time as well. The more leisurely pace, the trend toward coming and going from college and interspersing it with tries at various businesses or traveling the world or taking vacations, or alternately grabbing a bottom-rung job and working your way up through the company and the college together, running all the aspects of time and life together with no hard boundaries or transitions. It's interesting. And shockingly similar to my style, I'm noticing. I wonder why that is --- what larger forces are producing this trend?

4 comments:

Belle said...

Well, the very idea of revisioning November creeps me out. So Cog Time will just have to live in your dimension, not mine.

Good luck with that...

Maude Lebowski said...

no, no, no! i like the re-run idea, especially since, uh, i did not write word one, so i totally need a second chance. although, i like to think of the rerun idea with like an "alternate ending" attached so the outcome will be different. like a "choose your own adventure" rerun so i'm not making the same mistakes in december (strike that) november that i did last time.

i'll have to reset my watch to cogTime. i like it.

kermitthefrog said...

I'm on CogTime for the next two weeks, after which I will mysteriously jump to mid-December. Kind of like the Gregorian calendar reform, except just for me.

Sisyphus said...

Join me! Come to the dark side --- the Cog Time side! Mwhahahahahaha!