Thursday, July 28, 2011

And there went my brain again

Ok, my brain officially melted, so I am taking a moment or two to socialize on the internets instead. I did pretty well working today --- almost three hours this morning and a couple hours this afternoon --- so I am ok with acknowledging that my brain is now currently speaking the equivalent of Smurf, where where "smurf" and "smurfy" get replaced by "things" and "interesting." It's kinda pointless to write a paragraph when the only analysis you can squeeze out of your brainmelt is that the passage is "interesting," no?

I'm not sure whether being depressed about my article was about my article or me getting fed up with staying at my parents' any longer, but I actually felt better when I wrote about it longhand. I also switched to writing longhand when I went back to peek fearfully at the article, so I think there is something important here about me needing to not be on the computer all the time, especially when doing a lot of activities that can be procrastinated on the internet. Teaching online was ok for getting me back to visit, but otherwise it's really not a good fit for me.

I realized that what I like about teaching is having a rigid schedule (yes, really!) that makes me dress up and get out of the house and then lets me interact with students in a classroom setting. Although I find classrooms and the whole speaking to students thing anxiety producing as well. But online teaching divorces you from any of that aspect and just has you evaluating their prose, which really holds no interest for me. So I would think long and hard before taking on a job like this again. Speaking of which, I get their next essays tomorrow and should really grade this past set of essays before then. Hmm, avoiding grading also helped my mood a lot.

Going back to my article, however, was also a big horrible shock. I read it all in one sitting from the beginning and realized that lots of it was crap. Ok, I knew that lots of it was still bolded or had four paragraphs from four different critical articles dumped into one spot still to deal with; that's fine. What I was shocked and horrified to discover was how crappy some of the "better" parts were. Like, why is this paragraph there? As in, in the article at all? My article is about how the aesthetics of nose-picking were influenced by legal treatises, let's say. Does this paragraph mention nose-picking? No. Legal treatises? Aesthetics? Anything related to my topic? WTF was I thinking??? Dammit!

Also, while I was throwing in tons of quotes in the close reading section, I was so totally in love with how great this text was that I had to quote eeeeverything even though no critical articles quote it so extensively. And rereading it after a break from it made it painfully clear how much this was overkill. ("And now I want to point out example number 212 of nose-picking in this text. Look at the delicacy and humor of this 212th example...") Ugh.

So I was disheartened and depressed and feeling like I was totally unable to produce any new or interesting work anymore and they were all right when I didn't get any job offers because clearly I can't hack it any where above a McDonalds' position. And I still think that about the article; my way of dealing with all these problems I found was to repress and ignore them. I still have plenty of places with bolded sections and "incorporate these two critics here after you find them" quotes, so I filled a few patches yesterday and I filled another couple patches today and I feel like I have made slight progress although really I have so many more of those pages left to do. Tunnel vision: a necessary academic survival skill! Although I don't know how I will feel when it is finally time to fix all the problems that my tunnel vision has introduced. Eh; deal with it later.

I had been depressed that I have a longing to go back to Postdoc City even though there is absolutely shit to do there and all my friends and family are out here, but managed to turn that around by reminding myself of what I really miss about CA. So I am sitting out in my backyard, writing and typing, after having spent the morning writing at a nice coffee place. I had been working indoors by the tv, but hey, I can do that back in Postdoc City! What I realize I really miss from here is working someplace, like my backyard, where it is so easy to move outside and inside. I can go inside for the bathroom, another book, snack, or just to stretch my legs and don't have to worry about packing up and watching over my laptop and everything I own. Ahhhhhhh!

I didn't even really have this at GradSchoolLand, since I won't leave my laptop and stuff unattended at a Peets or whatnot. It makes staying in the work zone a bit easier if you don't have to look at every bathroom break or move from the shade to the sun to back as a major trip that requires all your stuff. And I have no worries of mosquitoes! There are bees dancing all over the grass. They don't interfere with me, though.

I am a little bummed still that I hardly went anywhere or saw anyone this trip, but I don't have the money to rent a car and go visit GradSchoolLand and Friends, and all of my friends here near my folks are working full time, as is everyone in my family. Even my little nieces and nephews have jobs or summerschool. Which lets you know how "little" they are, eh? It makes me both want to and not want to move back here. Though I would love to have access to this backyard! But then I'd have too much access to my parents. Maybe I could build a shed back here and live in it. That way I could have both a beautiful yard and some privacy.

No comments: