Sunday, February 15, 2009

In which I would rather do anything than work on my first conference paper

Okay. So the last remaining thing on my weekend to-do list (other than prep for tomorrow afternoon's class, but since I think I have lecture notes from last year typed up in my office I might pass on that until tomorrow) is to work on my paper for Kalamazoo. Scratch that: It's to plan my paper. Since the conference isn't for almost 3 months, what I need to do right now is a) read my abstract (what the hell is this paper supposed to be about, again?); b) think about how much can be based on a chapter I already have written; c) make some notes about what I'll need to write about; and d) make a list of things to reread/look into. That's it.

And yet, it's 5 pm on Sunday. So far this weekend, I--who planned, by the way, to spend yesterday morning completing this oh-so-onerous task--have done the following:
  • read for Monday's, Tuesday's, and Thursday's classes;
  • prepared for tomorrow's morning class;
  • graded an entire batch of (admittedly short) papers;
  • started to plan a course for next fall;
  • washed lots of laundry, including sheets and towels;
  • swept and shaken out rugs;
  • cleaned the bathroom;
  • taken out the compost;
  • started a big pot of soup for the week;
  • watered my plants;
  • put cinnamon on the plants' soil to get rid of a bunch of little fruit-fly-like insects (I think that worked once before);
  • taken down the long-broken clock in the kitchen and replaced it with a couple of pictures;
  • made butter;
  • washed a goodly number of dishes;
  • walked to and from the drug store and grocery store;
  • napped, a lot;
  • balanced my checkbook; and
  • figured out my taxes.
This is even lamer than dissertating. What's my deal?

All right. New plan. Just read the abstract. That's all! Then we'll just see where that takes us, shall we?

ETA: Damn it, I don't even know where the abstract is stored on my computer. Now I have an additional barrier to completing my task!


Fretful Porpentine said...

Wow, you're way more productive when you're procrastinating than I am when I'm actually doing work!

heu mihi said...

The key, Fretful, is to refuse to do a perfectly simple task. When one is trying to avoid a massive pile of grading, for example, or writing a dissertation chapter, it's harder to pull off. But reading one double-spaced page of text? Somehow that can send you into a flurry of frantic activity.

the rebel lettriste said...

If that abstract's totally lost, there may be another copy somewhere. (Do let me know!) I kinda do that shit all the time--the losing of writing on the computer...

the rebel lettriste said...

By which I mean--there may be a copy still in an archive on Outlook.

Good Enough Woman said...

You seem to live in that fantasy world I've often dreamed of--the kinds that has more than 24 hours in a day. Or you've got some weird relativity thing going on there in the fields. Or you are just superhuman. Or else I'm am just totally lame.

heu mihi said...

Or nothing on this list was actually very impressive but I dress it up to sound like I'm awesomely productive?

Found the abstract, RL! It was just categorized in an odd way. Really, I need to have ONE system for organizing my files, not seven. But which one would I choose?

Belle said...

You. Made. Butter.

'Nuf said.

Sisyphus said...

Heh. I so know that feeling.

Meanwhile, my place is a shambles, if you need to come out and continue with your procrastinatory ways...

heu mihi said...

Making butter is EXACTLY what I'm talking about above! Know how to make butter? Take some heavy cream (skimmed off the milk from the farm down the road--I pick it up on Mondays for $2/half gallon and it takes all of 3 minutes to skim--the advantage of rural living, I guess) and put it in the blender for about 7 minutes. Once it's turned to butter, drain it. Rinse. The end (essentially). I washed the dishes while it was making itself. Butter-making is a prime example of more-impressive-sounding-than-it-really-is to-do-list filler!