Thursday, March 20, 2008


Ok, so I mentioned a while back that I've been nominated for an award (a nomination that continues to be very exciting for me), but that this requires me to do a bunch of crap.

The crap that it requires me to do is basically to put together my tenure materials a full 6 months before they're actually due. Now, at my university, we've got an annual review process, so it's not like I'm doing all of this from scratch. Really it's just a matter of going through what I've already got and updating and revising some things. This has been the task that I set for myself this afternoon and this evening. Well, and it will carry over into tomorrow morning, but I'm hoping to get all of the big stuff done today.

This task, my friends, is both interesting and totally sucky. First, for the positive:

1) It's strange to be able to look in one three ring binder and to be able to see evidence of one's professional development. Strange, and sort of nice. I mean, it's not often that one gets such opportunities for navel-gazing on such a broad scale, in which such navel-gazing and self-congratulation is actually rewarded.

2) I like playing around with what is included and organizing all of it. This is because I have mental problems.

3) I am sort of enjoying the fact that this means I'll have almost nothing to do when the time comes to submit the thing finally for the actual tenure process. You know how I love procrastinating by doing stuff that I don't necessarily *have* to have done immediately. This is the perfect pastime for not finishing my draft of my article, I've got to say.

4) I *really* want to win. Like *really*.

What sucks?

1) It will suck if I don't win. I'm trying not to think about that.

2) Why is it that there are always weird items that you know you need to include but that somehow have been utterly lost in the mountains of paper that accumulate around one? Nothing essential, but still - why? Just why are there missing links?

3) Why is it that I always lose steam just as it's time to get to the "service" portion of the materials, the portion that needs the most work precisely because I always lose steam as I embark on working on that portion? And every year I tell myself that I should work on that part first, and every year I don't do that. Why? Because that portion of the binder is basically filled with thank you notes, and that is totally annoying to try to organize. I feel like there's nothing interesting in terms of self-presentation in that part of the binder. Totally annoying.

4) Why have I managed to include so much crap that is obviously just filler? Even after trying to edit for two years in a row?

5) Why is working on this so frustrating, ultimately?

So I keep trying to keep my eye on the prize (which is a cash prize, not just a token of esteem) and to stay motivated. But all I want to do is to nap with my lazy kitty-cat. That said, I think I will be better able to work on the article once this is done. This is my hope, at any rate.

In other news, I really gave an amazing lecture today in my one class. It was like somebody else was using my body to say smart things. And I didn't even do this from real notes: again, it was like some sort of divine intervention occurred and turned some marginalia into a brilliant hour-long lecture. Who knew that this was possible?

Ok, back to it. Annoyed to have to get back to it, though.

1 comment:

Sisyphus said...

I like playing around with what is included and organizing all of it. This is because I have mental problems.


I vote for taking the nap first and then doing work. Obviously. :)