Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Five: Rainy Day Edition

We're having a cold, rainy day, which should be conducive to getting work done, but oddly, is not.

I'm struggling to get my prelim statements written and my proposal revised. I'm lucky if I get 50 pages read in a day, and I'm excluding about half of what I do read as not relevant or useful. Which I suppose is progress of a sort.

I'm just very disappointed in myself for my lack of real, tangible progress, and I'm worried that my committee members are getting tired of my excuses.

Unfortunately, the deeper the hole I dig for myself, the more inclined I am to wallow in that hole. Today, I picked up a tall pile of research books---then left them in my backpack for the rest of the day while I watched DVR'd episodes of "The Superstars," surfed the Internet, and read "The New Yorker."


I'm starting to contemplate a life beyond grad school. I've applied for a couple of jobs, but the market is tight, and Madison isn't really the best place to find a job in publications or marketing. In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of the university's free computer courses to update my software skills so I'll be a bit more competitive when the job market does recover.

I'm not giving up on getting my doctorate yet, which is why I'm reluctant to leave Madison. I'm still planning to resubmit my proposals. But I think I need to be realistic and prepare for the very real possibility that I may get rejected again.


I watched Network last night. For a 30-year-old movie, it is surprisingly relevant today: concern that media has become an opiate of the masses, the ubiquity of corporate influence, the co-option of radical action into dominant discourse, paranoia about the Middle East.

I'm also constantly surprised when I revisit older movies by how intelligent, articulate, and subversive they are. The writing in Network is so smart and thick; I had to actually pay attention to the dialogue---and even occasionally replayed a segment because I couldn't keep up as the characters debated social theory.

Not that I don't enjoy my mindless entertainment---the Bring It On series is high on my list of favorites---but once upon a time, films could be smart and witty and relevant and fun.


I finally got some sailing in this week. I went out for about an hour on Wednesday, and in that hour, I managed to hit two keel boats. Both were parked at buoys. The first one, I hit when my boom fell down after the line came undone. The second, I hit when I got my rudder caught in the buoy line.

Other than those two incidents---and a less than elegant landing---I did fairly well. Or, at least, I didn't capsize. Which I count as success.

I'm signed up for a couple of lessons next week: a landing clinic and a lesson on one of the cruising keel boats.


We're supposed to continue having cruddy weather over the weekend, so other than trying to get some prelim reading done and spending half of Sunday at a class on Access, I'm planning to stay in with a pile of movies and a stack of magazines. I also finally got a library copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Hmmm . . . that prelim reading might get put off yet again.


At 10:25 AM , Blogger artemisia said...

Try not to beat yourself up about your progress. Maybe you need a break. There is nothing wrong with that.

Be honest with yourself and the right path will present itself. It will. Trust yourself.


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