Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blogging, Unproductive Thursday Edition

Today I have not gotten much done. Perhaps posting an un-list here on the blog will light the fires to get me moving and not waste the rest of the day. Part of the problem was that I did not need to go to campus yesterday or today. It seems that two days at home with no schedule can put me over the edge into mental vacation territory. It doesn’t help that my cat, who was originally named Loquito* at the shelter and which explains a lot about him, so it works as a blog name, has mislearned my training. I feed my cats by the clock, morning and evening. Evidently Loquito has decided that if he meows, bites, pokes his head in my face, and generally annoys me enough, I will feed him early, even though that is not true ---- it simply eventually becomes 7 pm. Timido is, appropriately to his name, hiding and napping under the bed right now. You can see him hiding behind the books at right, before he started chewing on them from behind and I had to push them all to the back of the shelves. Timido never gives me any trouble. In fact, I hate to admit it, but a while back I accidentally shut him in the bathroom for an hour and didn’t know it because he meowed so quietly from in there. (Hey, I thought he was under the bed, being quiet!) My friends disbelieve in the existence of Timido, as he runs for it under the bed or the couch whenever someone knocks on the door. Once I tried to bring him out to see them, and I had huge trenches gouged in my arms as a result, so they’ll have to take his existence on faith. Anyways, in sum, working at home is often less than productive.

Being at home for more than one day also gets me a leetle bit stir-crazy and I start seeking out human companionship in strange ways, usually obsessively checking my email, reading blogs, the news online, etc. Yesterday I worked my way through a book for the new chapter and compiled a big fat bibliography from online. (Oh yeah, I should post about my strange procrastination methods. In short, I’m avoiding the article right now by starting chapter 4. As soon as ch. 4 gets tough I’m sure that article revision will start looking good. I get a lot of diss. work done when I get midterms and papers, as well.) Today, I got started late, re-read about half a book (assigned for a class long ago; now I am studying how she structured one chapter as my advisor wants me to try something different for the argument of this next chapter), and got my haircut. Since the haircut I have done nothing even vaguely productive, though I did ponder the value of book reviews, as everyone in the blogoverse is currently writing one, preparing to write one, or just finished with one. I would need to research and think a lot more before posting about this topic, so I am not allowing myself to do it until I get some actual work done.

And what do I have on my plate left to do? (Apart from write a dissertation and revise that article? Oh, not much. --- Gee, thanks luv.) I need to:

  • gather my student evals and prepare a (yet another) summer teaching request packet
  • research tickets/hotels/etc. for upcoming conference
  • email two profs to pick their brains (now, this won’t hurt a bit, I promise)
  • call dissertation partner
  • finish studying that book’s structure (I may become brain dead soon and not be able to do this one)

Now, tomorrow I will go on campus. Might as well make a list for that too:

  • doctor’s appointment
  • turn in teaching request packet
  • pick up chapter (did I mention that I had a fabulous meeting with my advisor about my finished chapter? It was great, except she forgot to bring it to school with her. As soon as I get it, I will make all her style/proofing changes and hustle it off to the rest of the committee. Yippee!)
  • get books from the library
  • return borrowed CD and DVD to friend
  • meet w. dissertation partner and write?
  • grease the wheels of collegiality?

That last one is about those “unwritten” obligations we all have to attend department or research area talks, special visits, reading groups, etc. I already blew off one earlier this week, even though I was on campus, because I was tired and wanted a nap and the whole talk and question thing was scheduled for three hours. I have been bad and unsocial a lot lately, although I was the eager-beaver always attending dept. brown bags and presentations and coordinating things in the first few years I was a grad here, so I don’t feel completely guilty. And a lot of these events are genuinely wonderful and fun ---- and some have even snagged me useful collaborative partners in other grads or professors or helped me with background or thinking on my own work. This one is not really what I do … but it is what my advisor does … and she is the one running it. However, it’s a long film screening and then a long discussion, of readings which I have not picked up yet, and I feel that even halfassed picking at my dissertation during that time would be more productive. Not sure yet what I’ll do. What do you suggest?

* My Spanish is incompetent, but a quick check of BabelFish and online Spanish dictionaries tells me that this is not even a real word. Typical of the love of faux-Spanish d├ęcor and simultaneous obliviousness to actual Chicana/o people and their culture in this town. Still, a name is a name is a name. Which is to say, it’s not that much. Y los gatos son muy lindo!

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