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I still havent started this fucking paper. That is it. I am leaving the house without the laptop. I cant write without it, but maybe I can at least, say aim three brain cells in the same direction.
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I have had some pretty unglamorous jobs.  Aside from the usual telephone tech support gig, where people would call and shriek about how I had broken their computer, I worked in commercial fisheries and on a farm (essentially rolling around in the mud for $7/hour). My personal safety was always an issue on the riverbank (I was less afraid of the bears galloping around our camps than I was of the men I worked with that first year) and I did my laundry in a five gallon bucket, with frigid, silty river water, but it was really pretty nice compared to sitting at this shiny box, in a warm dry room, trying to work on my thesis.

I mean, fish slime in my hair and carving pieces of meat out of struggling salmon? Not so bad. The mud bath that was picking carrots in the rain? It could have been worse.

Melanie, who is also working on finishing a thesis, and I talked about this when I was in New York.  Her question was, "Have you every actually dug a ditch?" and the answer is yes. 

Obviously I need to figure out some good bribes, cause my motivation is pretty much absent, and time is a precious, very limited commodity.  I am taking suggestions...
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I am at home, with too much to do and too little motivation to do it.  I had a lovely run-away, but my inner introvert now wants me to make like a Victorian invalid and take to the fainting couch with a good book for days, to get the quiet time I have not had these last two weeks.  I have no time for the fainting couch and/or delicate embroidery, so am instead trudging uphill both ways through the snow to answer the eleventy-million emails crowding my inbox, get ready to take Kiska visiting tomorrow, pack and prepare to leave for New York tomorrow night, etcetera, etcetera.
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Don' wanna work on the thesis.  I am tired.

However, I have been tired and had the don'wannas for a week, and I am running out  of semester. Hi ho, hi ho, off to IHOP I go. I will be the geek with the laptop and the earplugs eating cheese blintzes and typing away.
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And.... I am obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer today. 

After that last post telling the universe how tiiiiiiiired I am, I did the obvious thing and went to bed with a book.  And - here is where the plan got stupid - read the book.  You know, all 451 pages of it.

2 am is a perfectly reasonable bedtime on a school night, right?
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Dear Interwebnets,

Thank you for putting up with my whining.



It is 8:15 Friday night and I am home, bored.  I would be swing dancing downtown, but I cant get there from here (see: annoying car problems).  I am in the mood to sew, which is odd since I haven't really done any sewing in a couple of years, but I dont have the materials.  I'm not in the mood to knit, which is too bad since yarn is what I do have. I am not in the mood to work on my thesis, read the pile of books I am accumulating, or click mindlessly around the interweb.  I should not distract myself with recreational eating or baking.  The house is as clean as it is going to be with somebody sanding furniture in the living room (good thing the landlord thinks he is cute).  It is dark and raining, so playing outside doesn't sound like fun.

I think I will paint my toenails, assemble a dance costume for the hafla tomorrow, do my shoulder exercises, and maybe watch a movie.  Somebody doubled the size of my DVD collection when she was here last week (3 ->6, don't laugh), so I even have choices!

Updated: or (in retrospect) take a bath, read an interesting book about living an undivided life, and go to bed early.  I am impressed by the book, and will probably post more about it later.  Thus far I can say it doesn't trip my pop-psychology bullshitometer, which is unusual for the genre and is cogent to my life.
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Dear Interwebnets,

I have lots to tell you. I want to write about our road trip and old friendships, and being lost in space.  I have reflections on life in the south, the men I tend to date, and iced tea.  Oh, and lots to say about the dance rehearsal we had on Saturday, the hafla this weekend, performing this spring, other dancers, and some body image stuff. And, I want to talk about my current future options and where I am in the decision making process. And tell you some details of the recent car nightmare (hint: I am without a car this week, so trapped at home).

But, I am still a little discombobulated.  The shiny box is making it possible for me to sit here mindlessly, not accomplishing great things and not caring.  So, in an effort to save myself, I am walking away until I get organized. 

As my favorite Tigger would say, ta ta for now.

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It is a beautiful day. I think I am going to take the dog for a walk, shove a protesting cat-ten into the crate, and run away from home.  A night at [personal profile] joyce and [personal profile] madgenius's is just what I need.

And - I have all but three slides for my defense presentation filled in.  Of course the ones remaining are the three hardest (analyses and results, essentially), but it is good to have made some progress. I'm trying to put less on the slides so I have more to talk about, like I would teaching.  During my proposal meeting everything I wanted to say was already projected up on the wall, which made for a boring presentation. These people scare the hell out of me, but I am a good teacher, dammit, and am going to try and channel some of that spark into my defense meeting.

I hope you are having a good Friday, and that you get to do something fun tonight.
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I'm in the desperate asking for help phase of frustration, and sent out an email to my writing group.  One of them sent back this great quote - I love it!

"The secret of achievement is not to let what you're doing get to you before you get to it." - Anon.

Also, I have crossed three items of the list-of-evil since my hopeless post.  That makes 4 total, 14 to go. Baby steps, etc....

And let's not forget this old favorite: "The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work." - Robert Frost. Time passes regardless of how I am spending it. I want to get the work done, so I can have my brain back.

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It is Thursday night.  I have spent two pretty much full days staring at the shiny box, working on my thesis.

I finished polishing the methods section and wrote up the results.  I figured out the two holes in the literature review (organizational justice and leader prototypicality).  I have a to-do list: "write org. justice section / rewrite prototypicality section / incorporate new articles / draft discussion / draft conclusions / fix up citations").  I have made myself a table of contents and polished up the tables, figures, and appendices. 

What I need to do is start reading and type.  This synthesis is the hardest piece for me - I can do it, but struggle to aim myself in the right direction.  What I need to remember is that the written (typed) word is powerful.  If I just start putting words on the page - snippets from articles, sources to cite, bits of connection, soon I will have a draft.  And once I have a draft, I can revise.  Revising is fun and shiny, its just getting the words down in the first place that hurts.  I need to remember Anne Lamott's advice and embrace my shitty first drafts and silence station KFKD (K-fucked) as it loops endlessly in my brain.

I really want to start messing with citations, since that means I am done. I am good at that kind of cross-referencing detail work, but it doesn't make sense to do that until all the words are on the page.  So, I need to write.  I want to knock at least the justice section and either the new articles or prototypicality off the list before I go to bed tonight.... That leaves me one hard piece and the discussion and conclusion sections for tomorrow (oh, and the citations, but citations are fun).  It's manageable, if I do it.  So, time to focus.


Spending this time thinking about school has also brought to my attention that I still dont know what I am doing 20 hours a week next semester, for my assistantship.  I am beginning to wonder if they pulled my funding and forgot to tell me.  On one hand, that would be disastrous - I would have to come up with enough money to live on while I defended the thesis, swing into the job search, and move, all with very limited resources.  But, I would also be free.  And tonight, free sounds good.... (Fortunately my landlord is unlikely to throw me into the street and my visa has a high credit limit, so I can speculate without too much fear.....).
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I rillyrilly hate literature reviews.  I mean, the good ones are a joy to read, but creating them is Not My Favorite.  Everything I need to include has already been said more gracefully by someone else, whose ideas I must now be careful not to plagiarize. 

I have made it through the first 12 pages of my Introduction and Literature review, and I think they are good(ish) as is. I deleted out some stuff which is no longer relevant and threw in a few additional linkages, but they seem sufficient, well-organized, and complete.

The next eight pages - which probably will grow to twenty or so pages - is less fun, since only three of the five constructs discussed in the original proposal remain, and another one has been added.  Lots of linkages to be pruned and recreated using new variables. 

And then, for fun, I get to go back in and add all the stuff that has been published since I wrote the damn thing (March 2005, so 21 months worth of publications).


And then, for even more fun, I get to  go write a discussion, based on the literature review, and make some conclusions. 

But, once I do that and update the reference section, I will have a complete draft to submit to my advisor.  I just need to quit with the squirreling around and focus.  Easier said than done, of course, but I am encouraged by the feedback from a friend in my program (she said I am doing a good job! She also has a huge list of changes to be made, but I am doing a good job!). 

Unfortunately whining about what remains to be completed is not getting anything done.  Must focus...
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GS with UE seeks E to lock her in a dismal basement somewhere with no internet, interesting people to talk to, or floors to mop. 
redzils: (Default)
Dear self,

Did freaking out about the stats homework help you at all? 

Yeah, I didnt think so.

It didn't help you get it done any faster. It took a lot of energy to be that anxious.  And you missed several important hours of sleep.

It is good that you eventually calmed down, got a clue, and managed to boggle through most of it under your own power.  That way when you threw yourself on the instructor's mercy, he was able to take ten minutes and help you fix two things, getting it straightened out.

Remember, he is a nice guy.  Like every stats instructor you have had, he is a very nice guy.  (Also, where are all the women in statistics?). So cut the despair, the dramatic stomping and sighing, the middle of the night tossing and turning, and just GET SOME WORK DONE.

 the brat
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I did not succumb to my soda cravings.

But I should have - I gave up and came home around midnight, in despair, to get some sleep before my long day.  I was in bed by 12:30, but tossed and turned until about 3 ay-em.  This isn't all that new, but I haven't had this sort of stressed insomnia in a while.

And I don't like it.

I still have the homework to do and a full day to face.  And now I will be doing all that without the benefit of a good - or even adequate - night's sleep. Frack.
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I am at a coffeeshop drinking chai and wondering if my student from last semester (who is sitting less than six feet from the back of my head) recognizes me. She may actually not - I had more hair then. [oooh, side funny story. Our reception at the conference was really weird. One example of the weird: I walked up to a guy I used to know wellish (famous for comping me VIP tickets to the circus so I could sit close to the tigers), and said something really smooth, like "Hello." I was carrying a fruity drink and had to lean in to be heard, and he jumped back like he had never seen this strange woman who was advancing in to his space bubble. Then, five full seconds later, his eyes got really big and he said my name, incredulously. Apparently he didn't recognize me and thought I was a bar fly of some variety).

The good news is that the coffeeshop is open. The bad news is that they are in reach of the school wireless network. I love wireless, but almost wish I had my old external card so I could pop it and lock it in my desk when deadlines loom. I have so little willpower these days when it comes to distraction.
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I dont want to work on this paper. Which is why I haven't been.

However, I am running out of time to procrastinate. It is due tomorrow. No time is specified but I probably ought to have it in by 11 am, which is when class would meet if class was going to meet.

I need to write several pages of introduction / lit review, then have it looked over by someone else, do a final read-through, and ship it to John.

The roommates are up and making noise in the kitchen. I wish we had an all night coffeeshop. Actually, I am typing as I think and the Easy Chair may be open all night since it's finals week. I think I will take this show on the road, to sit over there and work. It is more procrastination to drive over there, but I get a lot more done without internet, as of late.

Fortunately I have the articles I should need, and its really only about five pages of real writing. Time to get busy . . .


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