Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

My Photo
Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pilgrim's (Nearly Entire Lack of) Progress

Uh, yeah. I keep thinking that I'm going to follow up on your comments or update my blogroll or produce something worthwhile for y'all to read, but it ain't happening. Much as I'm not producing anything worthwhile for my adviser to read.

This term has been a bit of a wash. I was, actually, doing okay for a while there at the beginning. I was really only piddling around with the dissertation, but it was productive piddling that seemed to be getting me somewhere, albeit slowly, since I have very nearly no idea what I'm doing. And then I got caught up in some unfinished, infuriatingly complicated administrative business from last year involving a cavalcade of clueless people which is still unfinished, but on pause. And then something truly awful started happening to someone I love. And then it was suddenly very near the end of the term, and I had bupkis. So I freaked out and descended into the Slough of Despond, with occasional visits to the balmy Isle of Denial.

I'm heading for Old Home Sod at the end of this week and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there. But I am not looking forward to hauling around the metric ton of work I'm going to have to take with me in order to make up for some lost time, particularly since I also will have to lug around instructional videos and equipment in order to study up for my next belt test at the dojang, where I've also fallen massively behind.

I am frustrated with myself for letting stuff get in between me and my dissertation and pissed off by my general inability to focus on what needs my attention when it needs my attention. I think grad school has caused me to develop adult-onset ADD: it's become nearly impossible for me to deal with one task at a time.

I have managed to get a couple of papers accepted at conferences this term, which is something, because they'll be very useful for filling in certain gaps on my c.v. and forcing me to make some headway in important areas. I also have done a bit of research. I have had important conversations and survived some wacky shit and eaten some fried chicken. But I have neither produced very much in the way of New nor cleared up very much in the way of Old, and that's not okay.

The key now, I think, will be to avoid loathing myself so much that I decide to take up permanent residence in either Despond or Denial, rather than plodding on down the path to the Land of Beulah--or at least the Land of Minimally Gainful Employment at a Large Bookstore Chain.