Ivory Tower


It is funny how quickly one turns into the cliché of a teacher: just waiting for the vacation to start. And I do not even have that many classes to teach.

I am looking forward to go to the Netherlands for a couple of days and visit friends of mine. Luckily I have no exams to grade. A couple of days before this trip I will attend a conference and present a paper.This feels a little bit weired. I wrote the paper some months ago, while i was still a SAH mom, and felt more like an ABD than a teacher. This has changed. I sort of feel home at school, feel most of the time comfortable teaching (and thus have only received positive feedback from my advisors) – and academia is so so so far away. I will read the paper again on the trip to the conference. It will be interesting to read it with so much distance.

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The year ends not as planned, with me sick first and then the New Cohabitant our traveling plans have to be changed.
Thanks to the help of my parents we finished the book project, sent in the document, and can enjoy the evening with a glass of champagne.

Last week The Husband and I attended a conference – together with the New Cohabitant.

It was so – strange. Familiar and foreign at the same time. I met so many people that I know for – what – how long am I stuck in academia by now – six, seven years?! We meet one or two times a year at various conferences, and the last time I saw them was about a year ago. So much has happened in this year – giving birth and all the processes that were released by becoming a mother. Not being employed at the university anymore. Being a SAH mom – there are hardly any female researchers in my field, and the few who actually hold professorships have no kids.

My advisor was there as well and she hugged me and I was so happy to see her. It is very unlikely that I will finish this PhD anytime soon or at all and I guess I need to talk with her about it, but that was not the right time.

The New Cohabitant who needs a better name soon is a wonderful show-around-baby. Smiling, happy, never crying at occasions like this.

The Husband and I split attending the workshops but as I am still nursing it was me who stayed at the room with the baby in the evenings. And honestly – that is the fun part of each conference.

It was stressful. But worth it. And still- I am wondering if I want to become part of this world again or not. Much to think about.

at least that’s how I feel. Not knowing what I want to do career wise, waiting for the Referendariat to begin, drowning in papers and preparation and unfinished projects and sorting through the backups of backups of backups – I never took the time to organize all my backups when the hard disk crashed a year ago. So now I do and I am facing just too many files and folders from various computers I had.

And I fucked up writing a thesis royally.

at least that’s how it feels. On Thursday I was working on relearning the basics. I am amazed how much time I had before the New Cohabitant moved in, and how thriftlessly I made use of all that time. Now I need to make sure I am not wasting the precious time I have for myself. With blogging, for example.

Friday, however, I had to run s lot of little errants like proofreading an article. Which unfortunately made me realize that there is a mistake in an article that is currently in the print. Nothing that will change the course of the world. Not that my academic field would be capable of that anyway. The mistake is something along the line “Hoboken Daily Paper’s headline on March 8th 1984 stated that grass is green (author date page).” Now I found the archive paper and no, the headline does not exists, and grass is not green but has various shades of green and yellow and brown. I _could_ have checked that, but I believed author. And that bothers me. A lot.

But then I spent time with the New Cohabitant and a smile makes everything irrelevant.

respectively my brain?

I am making progress in so tiny steps that they are hardly visible. I guess one of my biggest challenges is to focus on something for a longer period of time again and not get so easily distracted. Or distract myself.

The new cohabitant sleeps and I should use the time to work on the basics. Instead I am blogging and changing the themes. The theme update ate my blogroll (fixed that). And the about page (added the link to the text widget. Hm, apparently this theme does not show other pages…). Ah well.

Okay. Back to the humiliating myself by blogging about my (lack of) progress, I guess. I had the best intentions on Friday, but suddenly my inbox told be that the page proofs of a publishing project had arrived, and so the day was spent working on those. Saturday we went to the sea side, and Sunday just passed by without me noticing it how I spent it. Monday was great – I went to my first pilates class and Tuesday I was happy to feel my muscles. No sourness, more in the sense that I woke them up.

Now it is Wednesday. Okay. Lets start with re-learning about basics. Otherwise I will be doomed when the Referendariat starts.

and I am back at my desk, drinking decaf coffee. I need to prepare for teaching next year, especially one of the subjects. Time goes by so quickly, and the New Cohabitant wants attention and prefers sleeping at night (wonderful) and not sleeping during the day which reduces my time to work a lot. So I need a plan of action. I already looked at the curriculum of said subject and divided it into four topics that I NEED to know. There is one small topic I just ignore and will learn while teaching it. Nonetheless, I need to repeat basics as well.

  • September – basics
  • October – Topic one (lets call it “Applied Topic”)
  • November – Topic two (which we could call “Friday”)
  • December – Topic three (which we call “Beauty”)
  • January – Topic four (which we call “Russian”)

Now I wonder if anyone can guess what I am going to teach 🙂

That needs to work out, especially as I am co-editing a book in the fall, planing on a vacation, planning to visit My Old City, visiting AB in the South and visiting K who moves to Europe from the other side of the ocean, and I have two or three articles that would love to be written. Oops.

I better start now while the New Cohabitant sleeps.

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