Friday, July 23, 2010

Article Progress!!! Huzzah!!!!

Today I made very important -- really breakthrough -- progress on my article due. . .way too soon to be mentioned. At the start of today, only a third to a half of my note mess was cut up, labeled, and then put in like piles. But today I determined that I was going to set aside three hours to transform the mess of notes into something else. Now, it's a paper-clipped and ordered collection of cut-up notes awaiting transcription and working over into my outline. So far, I have two single-spaced pages of my outline. This is excellent progress. Not just for this one day, when this project sprang to life from being stalled, but also because the next set of tasks are completely known quantities and so will be easier for me to do as well as dip in and out of. It's true that, as ever, I'm having trouble with organization because everything really does lead into everything else in a sort of web, yet I'm writing a linear article. So the next work is not completely mindless or anything -- I certainly do need to pay attention and make decisions -- but it's not daunting or not as daunting as all the work seemed when I woke up this morning.

Here are some notes about my process for this article that I think are weird and so worth noting:
  1. This is how I used to write my papers in college and Grad School Part 1. Even in high school. Ultimately, I would end up writing a very complete outline (in complete sentences and with plenty of support often just breaking out of the outline into transition sentences between paragraphs even) and then revise the work while I was typing it into a file (or a word processor, in high school). I would get to the outline by putting together a lot of notes or, for grad school, a list of page numbers and post-its. (I learned the benefit of writing one's notes in a single file from my comprehensive exams and dissertation.) It used to be I just couldn't really write on the computer -- or on the index cards foisted on me in high school. Now I seem to be going back to that, using writing on my yellow tablet to make hard decisions, and still using a mix of more tactile creative strategies with the revision into a very complete outline.
  2. Much stranger than the pattern by which I seem to work (now that I think about it, I did a lot of cut and pasting, moving things around, and then revising them as I moved slowly through what was there, adding and reworking things in the dissertation as well) is this silly fact: I typed all those quotes into my notes, right? So those quotes are in a file already. But even of the work I've already begun typing and revising in my outline, I notice that I'm just typing the passage again. It actually helps me to be really grounded in the point, making my own explanations clearer. You'd think I'd typed it once and would just go to the old file to find the quote, but no. It's actually faster -- and more involving -- to type it. Weird.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Through Sick and Syllabus

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache, one that left me feeling nauseated. But since Tot has been sick, this is the only day I have daycare, so I somehow managed to get him up and out and to daycare. I've also managed to clean up the patio -- after days and days of a heat wave, the sky darkened over and burst out a rainstorm yesterday afternoon, knocking the chairs and small plants over. I've also managed to do the dishes. I ate a donut and had my corporate coffee. Now here I sit.

I start teaching on Monday. It's usually good to be prepared with things like syllabi and any initial readings. I know that. I need to work today in order to get these vital things done, especially so I don't have to be away from the family this weekend too much to get it done. That's what daycare is for. But I feel terrible. Just terrible. The headache's mostly gone. But I just want to fall over and sleep. I also want, inspired by her Royal Cogness that starting a project from a dead stop is bad, to work on the article that is due in three weeks. I also want to work on my annual review report that is due in less than a week. My brain has great plans. But I just feel terrible and haven't been quite able to get myself started. Really, I think sleep is such a wonderful elusive activity. Oh goodness, I'm tired. I'm sick. I'm a wee bit whiney. I just want to watch movies all day. Crochet. Sleep.

Of course, if I don't get these syllabi and plans ready then I'm going to have to steal from family time. I don't want to do that either. Sigh.

It doesn't help anything that I'm teaching a new course. Well, let's face it: most of the syllabus is policies and that sort of stuff. I can do that, right?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some of Us Never Learn

So Tot is still sick -- ear and upper respiratory infections. AL has also been sick since the holiday. And guess who's sick now?

Guess who still hasn't worked on her syllabus? And is now late with her annual report? And has less than a month to write a well-written article? Remember when I said that being a mom means that you can't leave everything to the last minute because the last minute is when everyone's going to get sick? Well, I may be smart, but I'm not wise. I haven't learned this lesson yet. Luckily, I have the weekend before the syllabi really need to be done. And Kinkos is open 24 hours (somewhere, not near here).

What a dork.

I'm keeping Tot at home because he doesn't look good and because I can, in contrast to how it usually is when I can't stay home unless it's really bad. Also, I'm sick too, though not terribly. It's also super hot; we've been having a terrible humid heat wave.

Tot is trying to say letters to Superwhy right now. He says these sounds in a very staccato way; it's very cute. Poor guy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Telegram from the Sleep-Deprived

I wanted to respond to this and say something about how parenting is more about contentment and fulfilled-ness and not about participating in pleasurable activities (for frigg's sake: if you want a pleasurable activity, try a movie, a book, pick up a sport -- do NOT have a kid), but I'm too busy hating not just my life but everything right now. After, not one but two nights of sleeping through, Tot stayed up most of last night crying and wailing. I finally got to bed -- with Tot in tow -- around 5am, just in time to wake up and get AL to work by 8. I'm supposed to go to the farm. I'm supposed to get my syllabi done. I'm supposed to be looking for cars. I'm supposed to be a human being. No go on all fronts.

Must call doctor. Must then figure out if I can get Tot to daycare for two hours so I can get some frigging sleep. (Nope.) Must call farm. I'm feeling musty today.