Tuesday, 8 September 2009

What's happening.

Here's the thing. I'm in the middle of a very difficult semester. The teaching workload is very high, the subject matter in my Women Writing course is proving to be emotionally exhausting for me and for my students, there's a lot riding on what research I can squeeze into sausage casings during the next few months, so I've committed myself to producing lots, and the university has just thrown some fairly amazing obstacles in the path of anybody teaching certain categories of subjects next year which requires a lot of thinking and planning for there to be any chance of dealing with them successfully. I don't mind telling you that my ability to deal with it all in a calm and reasonably psychologically healthy manner is being seriously tested. Physically it sucks, too - just now I've got this disgusting twitch in my right eyelid, and writing 8-12 thousand words a week is a pretty sure recipe for tendonitis.

One catch with all of this, the part that's making it harder than it probably needs to be, is that it's put my mind into a state that feels a bit like how bipolar disorder sounds in the descriptions of it that I've read. I can't turn it off when I've met my deadlines, and so I'm amassing a growing pile of scribbled notes for future critical writing which in each case I'm horribly excited by the thought of but I don't know when I will get an opportunity to return to any of them. Certainly not within the next six months. Well, work is very demanding in both bad and good ways at the moment and it's hard to write about it or about anything else. With the small pieces of time off that I do take (and which I can only have if I let something else slide) I don't want to be thinking about how to put experience into words (to quote DW Harding) - I want to be gardening, or sewing, or cooking, or communing with a cat, or doing thing siwht friends, or dancing (!! yes Dorian and I have taken up social dancing! inspired by various things including the aftermath of the Canberra trip, Dorian's jazz adventures, and all those yearsof reading Dogpossum blogging about lindy hop) - basically doing something that's not all in the head, in the head, in the head.

So anyway I thought I should accept and say that much as I would love to be putting these experiences into the record of my life that is this blog, I'm basically on blog-writing-in-any-meaningful-sense hiatus, at least until the end of semester.

That said, I did enjoy posting pictures from Europe and I will continue to do post pictures, although pictures of La Trobe tutorial rooms don't have quite the glamour of pictures of gondoliers drifting by the Rialto. That was another thing (that trip) which was just too full for me to be able to write it down, especially in the little bits and pieces of time I had available. Suffice it to say that it gave me plenty to think about, and in between scratching up lectures and what have you, I'm continuing to do just that....(think).

18 comments:

David said...

I hear you (work-wise)

Kirsty said...

I don't know how you manage to fit in 'what have you'. The dancing does sound like a good thing.

Anthony said...

God, sounds awful. BUT... I feel quite positive about La Trobe at the moment. The problem of reconciling research expectations with teaching commitments is - what's the phrase? - a "hoary old chestnut". One thing is to accept that research will go onto the back burner until 30 October; the other is to commit to writing up some of your research three or four times a week even if it means only grabbing an hour or two each day to devote to writing.

Hey, but don't let go those memories of the European trip. Make those photos your screen saver, eh?

Ampersand Duck said...

Yeah, at least you have the dancing. And the cats. Both of which, if you use them properly, should return the blood to your hands between writing frenzies.

So what is Dorian doing while you are so overloaded? Any fufkining?

elaine said...

I have so much respect for people who commit to a life in academia. The working lot of young academics is Not Easy (capitalisation intended).

Keep patting the cats and dancing and doing the things that fortify. Blogs have no feelings so can sit around neglected and not care two hoots.

Mindy said...

Two words: cat blogging.

innercitygarden said...

I had nothing productive to add, so I was just going to wander away without saying anything, but then I noticed BAZLOTTO!

And on that note, see you on the other side (I will be mending a stupid toy car from now until at least 30 October).

Armagnac Daddy said...

"writing 8-12 thousand words a week is a pretty sure recipe for tendonitis. "

Inspiring though, well done! Mostly I say this as I have a 10,000 word paper due in 4 weeks and I have barely started, and I need to know it is possible.

Casey said...

Good luck Laura. Know that I will be trawling round here perving at the cat pics anyway.

All that mandarin peel placed with precision on that poor cat. Topped off by the little sticker. Laughed till I cried. I mean, he looked so pleased with it...

librarygirl said...

WV is bunmo.
If time for nothing else, just cuddle the kitties. Good for blood pressure and general stress levels.

elsewhere said...

Keep well, somehow

R.H. said...

Miss Laura, scholar, humanitarian, Flower of Warrnambool. Only the truth will do:

Your blog is the standard by which I've judged all other blogs.

-Yours,
with affection,
Robert.

Casey said...

Anyway, apropos of cat blogging, me and the person I work with happened upon a bunch of stray cats/kittens living on a vacant lot. My workmate has arranged for trapping and homing of the strays with groups that have a no kill policy (looks like I will take two). If I get these cats, I swear I will start a blog just to put up pics. So I was down there this lunch time, seeing how they were going, and our worst fears were realised. A big beautiful champagne/very pale ginger big boy was trying to bonk one of the kittens. The lot is boarded up but you can look in through cracks. "Stop it" I shouted. "I see you, I know what you are doing!" I kind of notice people were grabbing their kids as they walk past me, but I continue. I run round the side of the block and poke my head in and shout to the big boy " You put it back in your pants Mr!. Stop biting that neck! No no no!!". The man selling cancer badges a few metres away is now slack jawed. "A bunch of strays are bonking!" I shout to him. "This has to stop you see!" He nods vigorously and looks the other way. I realise people think I am insane. The big boy is looking ashamed. I didn't know cats could look ashamed but he is. Good heavens, he's cute. Then I realise....wait a minute! he's a ginger, the kittens he is trying to bonk are gingers!!! It's alright!!!! There will be no procreation here. 95% of gingers are boys. The odds are on my side. He's just gay, and not that there is anything wrong with that....."It's alright" I shout to the man selling cancer badges " He's gay!" The man again nods vigorously and I can see he is considering pulling up stumps and moving elsewhere. I decide to leave the big boy to it. There is nothing I can do and the kittens seem quite fond of him. Perhaps they are also gay...."I am not crazy, I am just concerned" I say to myself walking away.

Just thought you might want to know about this...

Good stuff on the elite sports stuff...

Marshall-Stacks said...

Jane 'The Beat Goes On' Austen-Alert: Stephen Fry plays Mr Bennett in Jane Austen: HandHeld
which premise is that of a documentary crew fly-on-the-wall sorta thing (according to imdb.com)

Handy Hint for keyboard wrist strain: wear a tennis sweatband. This is a quack-recommended idea.
I've had wrist RSI since 1965 pushing a non-ergonomic ledger machine all week for a bank.

Love to BAZ

dating said...

love your work !

dogpossum said...

BAZ FREEKIN LOTTO!!!!

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