Monday, November 09, 2015

Random bullets of November

  • Flavia Fescue is right: "you should always ask."   In a quiet moment recently during an in-person exchange, I managed to ask an editor of a collection about an essay, tentatively accepted, that had me so stumped that I hadn't turned in the final version.  I wanted to ask "has that ship sailed?" but not in so many words.  Answer: no (hooray!).  I had been too chicken to ask via email, so this worked out well.
  • It's energizing as well as exhausting to see people at a conference, as I'm not the first to observe. Have you ever noticed that conferences (some of them, anyway) are among the few places where we can praise each other face-to-face for scholarship, whether we're acquainted or not? Think about it.  How many other places, except for an invited talk, do you get to hear applause for your words and kind words for your ideas? There's a glow of good fellowship, if that's still a word, that can make quite a difference in the most Novemberish of November moods.
  • On the other hand, you're always reminded that you can never work hard enough, fast enough, or long enough to get all the things done. To judge by the tone and number of emails that greeted me, I am pretty sure that some people never sleep and find you morally remiss if you don't email them from the plane on the way home.  This makes for a depressing return and a resumption of the feeling of hopelessness that has dogged me all semester. 
  • It's like this: When one of my kids was little, one unusually busy day I asked hir, "Have you done X? How about Y? Z is coming up," until ze said, "Stop chasing me!" and I apologized. Without going into specifics, that is exactly how I feel right now: Stop chasing me. 
  • But to end on a happier note: it will get done because it has to get done.  If it doesn't, people can be angry with me but unless they take to torchlight mobs and tumbrils, they can't actually hurt me.
  • And soon it will be Thanksgiving!

No comments: