Thursday, June 30, 2005

Day 9: The Hangover

After every binge comes the regrets... and in this case, I regret neither food nor drink. I'm regretting how many days were spent traveling. Well, not really regretting in that I wish I hadn't gone or that I wouldn't do it over again... but rather that I regret the passage of days during which no dissertation work was done. Horrors, tomorrow is July! I think one of the hardest things about dissertating is that you're never truly "on break" from your dissertation, even if you're taking a break. Sometimes I think the only truly acceptable moment when one can take a break is the few hours after you turn in a chapter, but after that it should be back to work! This is not to say, of course, that I don't fill my life with numerous forms of "breaks," just that they're partially guilt-inducing while I'm taking them. And while I certainly recognize the need (mentally and emotionally) to take a break, I'm simultaneously wrestling with the idea that momentum is key to forward motion, and that momentum is gained only by actually working. Therein lies the rub.

So now I'm hungover from my days of traveling. I've got that discombobulated-arrived-at-1:00-a.m.-feeling. (see earlier post regarding frugal vs. cheap...) And the usual post-traveling tasks like junk mail sorting, kitty petting, grocery shopping, clothes unpacking, etc. And my summer course (over today!) now means that I've got tons of grading in the next few days.

So tonight I'm catching up on e-mail, blogging, and watching The Day After (1983) on TV Nation. I'm taping it so I can show selections to my students, most of whom have no idea what it's like to fear a nuclear war. And they also believe we have Reagan to thank because he "ended the cold war." Don't get me started.

So tomorrow is another day. I hesitate to promise dissertation work in the midst of laundry, a visit to the doctor, lunch with a friend, a much needed run, and grading. But I will aspire to Do Something, since momentum is key. And then we're cooking dinner with a friend -- we're making the beef kebabs from Thursday's NYT Dining Section. Reviews will be forthcoming. Oh, and mojitos.

Perhaps I also measure the passage of time in my "normal" life with food and drink, too...

4 Comments:

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Patty said...

I think a must read for any grad student (as if there's time for more reading!) is Mark Pattison's Memoir of an Oxford Don. It's a classic account of the demands of pursuing a life of the mind.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger KJ said...

re: momentum...

my mantra from my undergrad days was that finishing was 25% effort, 75% keeping your ass in the chair. Do you need my seatbelt...or did I already send it to you? What about the lightning bolt hat?

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One good thing about having a lot of grading to do... almost anything looks more fun than that! So write!

 
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