Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Break Woo (the Hoo is Optional)*

So today Witty Sardonic Friend left for the next three weeks -- without making blueberry pancakes, I might add. On the other hand, he did give me two loaves of bread (amazing) and a loaf of banana bread (sinful). He also called me and IMd me a zillion times, so I don't feel totally bereft, left behind, unloved! (Last night, I went over to his house and helped him clean after I finally got up out of the blogchair, that I am currently in again, thank you very much, for a shower around 5PM. I think I have sloth down.)

(Wrist to forehead) Whatever shall I do with myself now?

Apparently, fork over $265 that I don't have for a new alternator for the POS car so I can get around Grad City until August. This is ridiculous. On the one hand, I have this job in the fall like I'm one day going to be a real person who can pay my bills (maybe even on time!), yet I'm still at the point that I'm juggling one thing against the other and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing! I'm so glad this graduate-student-hell/ not-being-a-real-person is almost over. (Interesting tidbit: I told Senior Scholar I'm TAing with that I resent having a crap car and not being able to pay my bills because I was a real person with a job once. He said he hadn't been, had gone straight through. I don't know what to make of it, but it seems to explain something important about the difference in expectations. I'll keep picking at it and make something of it.)

Anyway, all this is mitigated by the fact that I actually did get some work done today, inspired by the dedication of Dr. Four Eyes and Dr. Crazy, both working hard and blogging about it. Well, first I had important things to do like taking a nap with my head under the covers after coming home from sending WSF off. Then after that, the cat decided he wanted to sprawl on me (practically on my face) and since he had curled up under the covers with me I had to let him sprawl on me for an hour. Then I was inspired to get up and enjoy the 70 degree weather we're having.

So I walked (car not ready yet) to the Caffeine Corporation. Creepy Guy was working, but I refused to be daunted and sat in the big chair for hours upon hours. And that's where I started cleaning up all the shitty first drafting of the second section of Chapter 2 (on paper, rather than on computer, which doesn't feel as much like work), fielding calls every two or three seconds (making working fun), and reading the final chapter of this psychoanalytic book that I felt I had to check out. (Note: two out of three of those things were work!)

To psychoanalytic theory, I just want to say UGH. I've never been a fan because 1) FREUD, and 2) I just don't think that all people are so similar. (I'm just not sure I want to transform my hysterical misery into everyday unhappiness. My hysteria is much more entertaining.) Anyway, some of my fave scholars do use p-a theory to do some really interesting things, but. . .not me. There's this key term I use in my dissertation all the time that has a specific and somewhat different meaning in psychoanalytic theory from the way I use it. Some people in my field have drawn from the p-a stuff, but I think I've figured out that the definitions are different -- overlapping, but different. At least, I hope so. I figure if I'm getting to that point where I feel like I have to clearly and carefully define my terms in my diss as this and not that, addressing this conversation but not that psychoanalytic one over there, then I must be getting close. To something. Like whatever it is I'm trying to say in this dissertation.

All this to say, I worked, but didn't stress about it. I didn't even remember that was possible. WSF was amazed that I was working (instead of crying in despair, no doubt). SO told me he wanted to read a chapter. (HA!) All I know is I have a whole big apartment to pack after this diss is in the can. I gotta get moving on it. My secret hope (shhh, don't tell my advisor) is to have a shitty shit-shite first draft of the whole damn thing by the end of the month. Here's what I'd need to do in the next three weeks:
  1. Write shitty draft of intro
  2. Clean up Ch. 2
  3. Expand 20-page Ch. 3 to 40 pages
  4. Write shitty draft of Ch. 4

All right, maybe not. But still, I'm on for cleaning up Ch. 2 by the end of break.

*WSF, who coined the term Spring Break Woo Hoo, tells me that the Hoo is Optional. In honor of his leaving me alone in the desolate wasteland of Grad City, I'm humoring him. But I think he's full of shit. Maybe I should just call and tell him.

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