Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Daze Awf

As the semester chugs ahead (unbalanced load of wash? no...that's the sound of Semester), I'm finding it harder and harder to manage the demands and commitments. Oh bore, another lament on the challenges of grad school.  No mind-blowing revelations in this, fair enough, but it's what's working on me right now as I think about all that I didn't get accomplished today, a Wednesday throughout which I didn't so much as leave the house (hey it was thunder-snowing and I biked 10 miles w/o crossing the room, so it wasn't a total veg-day).  And I get the all the old rules about "read as much as you can," "learn to power-skim," and so on and so on.  But it's still tough as heck to keep it all moving merrily along.  Weinberger, Hayden White, Ong, Barabasi, brief, predictive-reads on Linked (from 205ers), CCCC paper, perl scripts (wtf?), and something or another "publishable quality" on pedagogy, cognition and performance. And a 30-minute phone call with my brother who's temporarily in Boise dismantling and assembling intricately-programmed, adhesive-dispensing robotic arms. Splodge!

I'm only on campus two days a week--Tuesdays and Thursdays (other than practicum meetings on alternating Mondays).  Turn over three grad seminars and a section of sophomore-level research writing on those two days.  It's fine, efficient.  But it leaves me idling low on Wednesdays and Fridays--barely capable of flopping a home-row-frozen set of key-punchers on the laptop to plunk out any few words, much less reading more than forty or fifty pages very carefully (or interestedly).  Began the day today by searching with no end in sight (piece by piece) through a file cabinet for an article from last semester.  Found it.  It was folded.  The only one folded.  All credit to me, thanks.  Then, in a second-wave ransack of the various paper piles, notebooks, folders (paper, plastic, and digital bits) and cabinets, I searched for a couple of pages of notes (white legal pad...I can see them!) I scribbled down last summer--before the move.  Didn't find 'em. Gone. But I did find this old photo of the house I grew up in (hey, you want cohesion, my brother's the maestro of industrial glues, not me).  So here it is.  The place in middle Michigan where I lived for about seven years, from ~10 to ~17.  Must have been J.'s turn to cut the lawn. 


Bookmark and Share Posted by at February 16, 2005 10:36 PM to Under a Bushel

i'm so loving the unbalanced wash metaphor. grating noise of a zipper hitting the same spot over & over again like yet another e-mail adding potential readings to your plate, & that thump? not a sneaker--that was my head.

Posted by: tyra at February 17, 2005 6:35 AM

I never found the notes I'm sure I wrote either - notebook paper, green roller ball, pages and pages - did I dream that? did I really really want to make those notes but never got to it? Is that why there are still 30+ little flags in the book?

Balance is always about distribution of weight. Sometimes you start out feeling like "yeah, balance" and then somewhere during a rinse cycle everything shifts and you never know why.

I've done the scheduling in both ways - teaching three days and taking class other two, cramming it all into the two - either one gets out of balance about this point in the semester. you'll make it. :)

Posted by: Chris Geyer at February 17, 2005 9:41 AM

Well, if our brains are a bunch of neural chemical-electrical signal-pulse-packets flitting here and there, I suppose we could hear the thump if we had a device to assist us in listening closely enough. Yes?

And thanks, Chris, for the reminder. I expect to make it, just not sure *what* I will make it. I can see the notes in my head (three pages, black ink scribbled on white legal pad sheets), but I can't make out the words, except for the one at the top. I have a decent idea what was in those notes, and that'll have to do. I suppose you're right that the imbalance is inevitable. I felt it last semester when I was here almost every day of the week. Thought to try this schedule as a corrective.

Posted by: Derek at February 17, 2005 9:51 AM

I just have to share for I'm sure it will give you a laugh...

I spent at least 30 minutes last week searching for a book I've misplaced. The title you ask? _The Power of Focus_. I really need that darn book. (G)

Posted by: Marcia at February 22, 2005 6:15 PM

Good one, Marcia. Kind of like searching around for the remote so I can flip to Lost. Grad school is definitely testing the limits of my memory.

Posted by: Derek at February 23, 2005 5:04 PM