[Don’t say I didn’t warn you: this will be a rather disjointed post because my synapses are not connecting. I’m not sure they ever were, really, but today they are all over the place. It’s like there’s a fantastically uncoordinated game of Pong going on inside my head.]
After reading this post by Sisyphus over at Academic Cog, I realized that I have been wasting a lot of time in the last two weeks (surprise! surprise!). I don’t really have that much to do either. I work 15 hours a week at a completely non-academic related job, but I only have 2 seminar papers and 1 grad application to complete. Compared to the last time I was applying to graduate schools, this is a piece of cake! For some perspective: the last time I applied I was taking three grad seminars in history, serving as a teaching assistant for an intro to American history course with a total of 160 students (and only little ol’ me to do all of that grading), working on the editorial board of the department’s journal, and applying to 15 schools (which I later dropped down to 9 because I–and my wallet–just couldn’t take it anymore). Hmmm, I’ve apparently lost my mojo since then.
Anyhoo, Sisyphus gives some good advice about approaching the monumental task of writing a dissertation: start small. Sub-section the bajeezus out of whatever it is you are writing and work on one section at a time. I mean, when working on a jigsaw puzzle you don’t pick up every piece at once and smash them all into a perfectly ordered final product–you place one tiny piece at a time. So I will try to embrace that as a strategy. I will sit my arse down in front of the computer and write (and write something other than blog posts). I need to get draft of my statement of purpose done today, and this weekend I need to make some headway on at least one of my seminar papers. Oh, and I need to make apple cider cupcakes because, well, they look delicious and baking helps me relax.
On another note entirely, I have decided that I will most likely drop out of most of my reading challenges (with the exception of the Russian Reading Challenge for 2008). Yesterday I found myself wanting to read some Cynthia Ozick and I hesitated because it wouldn’t count for any challenge. WTF? At this crucial moment in the semester reading really needs to be fun and not an obligation, as I have plenty of those to avoid already.
And a final note: I highly recommend this post on the ever-irritating statement of purpose over at Notes of a Neophyte. Hi-larious. And so true. And it’s sad, you know, when a spoof is so much better than the piece of crap I have right now. Sigh.