Friday Five: Productively Unproductive
Things I'm Doing Instead of Working on My Prelims
1. Sending and replying to e-mails on various minutia: student questions, dog sitting, weekend plans, group projects, and so forth. I've gotten about as bad at returning e-mails as I am at returning phone calls, so I have a bit of a back log.
I also really need to clean out and organize my e-mail, considering that, as of this writing, I have 1618 e-mails in my inbox, 248 of which are unread (mostly Google Alerts).
2. Applying for project assistant positions. Once again, my life is in complete limbo. So far, I've been rejected for two research grants, moved onto the second stage for one grant, and am waiting to hear from two more grants. I probably won't know until June whether I've got a research grant. I've been accepted to library school, but I don't know yet whether I'll be able to start in the fall or if I'll be deferring for a year. Or if I'll be starting in the fall and then taking a leave of absence for a year. Or just going straight through.
In meantime, deadlines are coming up for PA and TA position applications, and I don't want to wind up without a research grant OR funding for the fall. So I'm applying for positions and will figure it all out later.
I'm also trying to find some kind of steady income for the summer. I can continue my regular part-time job, but I can barely eek out 10-15 hours of work a week, which doesn't come close to covering my monthly expenses.
My mother remarked last night that I always seem to be applying for something: research grants, grad schools, jobs. I can't wait until I'm done with all this and am in a steady job and don't always have to be applying and worrying and wondering what I'll be doing in six months or even---dare to dream!---a year.
3. Cleaning the kitching, in anticipation of making a big mess in it this afternoon. I'm making Spinach, Gorgonzola, and Pine Nut Lasagna for dinner. It's a new recipe and involves multiple steps with many different pots---cooking the noodles, making a bechamel sauce, mixing the filling---so I'm expecting my kitchen to be a disaster afterward.
On the bright side, someone else has offered to host our weekly Friday Night Dinner, so I don't have to worry about getting the rest of my place cleaned up.
I think I really need a pasta maker. Because exactly what I need is another gadget that I have no time to use.
4. Eating Easter candy. Easter candy is my kryptonite. Cadbury Creme Eggs. Peanut-butter eggs. Marshmallow eggs. Kisses in shiny pastel wrappers.
I had been doing very well at eating better and exercising, and despite the Wii balance board's refusal to register much of a weight loss, I was losing some weight (based on being able to move my belt buckle over two notches). I haven't had a soda since December, and I'd stopped snacking between meals (except for an afternoon snack bar on days when I TA; my office and the classrooms are on opposite sides of a very steep hill and a very large set of stairs, which I traverse at least twice a day).
But darn Easter candy! I've had two Cadbury eggs already today.
5. Catching up on blogs, Facebook, and the news. Between chasing down references for PA positions, reading for my TA classes, getting a journal out to the printer, and trying to keep up with my own course work, I haven't had a lot of time to notice the rest of the world.
Of course, it doesn't help that I've been going to bed at about 8 o'clock every night. I stay up reading, but still . . . Every night this week I've been totally wiped out after dinner.