Friday, July 20, 2007

Silence

So I thought, once I switch to teaching U.S. history, which I'm a trillion times more familiar with, I'll free up some time and right write some substantive posts. :-)

Still, even though I'm not writing my notes or deciding which primary sources to work with in class from scratch, I feel sooooo busy. They're a pretty good (if annoyingly quiet during class discussions sometimes) class.

There's another issue--a problem that I had while trying to write my dissertation as well. I don't know how to cut back and not try to become an expert on every single thing. I read a lot for that world history class, got all off into stuff about which I'll never write or need to know minutiae about. Same thing with this first half of the survey--I've been reading up on the smallest details, adding articles and books to my TBR list (Which is depressingly long. Really.), and generally being very micro-minded.

And then one of my committee members had the unmitigated gall to send me an e-mail asking how my summer was going with the implied question being, "Have you done any work/research on your Magnum Opus (is it Opus Magnum?)?" I wanted to write back and say, "Child, please!"

Here is the deal. I have plumbed the depths of local Louisiana libraries and found some good stuff... that sits on my dresser at my parents'. I've gotten the names and numbers of some more interviewees... and saved them in my phone. And I finally found out the name of the guy who wrote his stuff on the industry in my area, but from the point of view/experiences of contract growers... and that's all I've found out (his thesis is in my TBR pile, as well).

Thing is, after re-reading the damned thing, I am convinced it's hopeless. I hope no one ever reads it, much less references it!

Other historians have been asking me, "have you found/looked at any publishers?" Should I be? I haven't even applied for a job (I do have one for the fall, don't worry)! Seriously, do people look into publishing this early, with a minimum of 50 years of revision, rewriting, and research needed on the thing? I thought that would come later. The last thing elle, p(rocrastinating) h(appily) d(ammit) needs is talk of deadlines and such. My mind will finish the shut down process it began during the spring semester.

So that's my life. How's yours?

7 comments:

Quinn said...

Best advice I got was to drop the thing for a year. Hell, at least give yourself six months to breathe and get into teaching!

Rebecca said...

I agree. I'm about to start looking for publishers--it will have been about a year. Give yourself a breather.

Zan said...

Well my life is going fabulously, Elle. Migraines, lupus flare, dealing the Mr. Fuck and Run...and hanging out with friends for Margarita Bitch sessions after work. Thank god for that!. Actually, my niece of love and joy will be coming to spend the night with me the first weekend of Aug. Which will be sooo much fun. (Now, do I send her back with Pink or Purple hair? Decisions, decisions....)

I vote you take a little break. Breath. Relax. Enjoy life. Worry about getting the bloody thing published next year. That's early enough.

Kismet.4 said...

I feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one languishing a bit in the process towards the phd ivory tower (eck, gag, hmm). so thanks for the post...

JustMe said...

sounds like you are an amazing teacher! but yah, give yourself a break! take care...

Eddie G. Griffin said...

I love the chase... run all day into battle... take on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE... Some things you bite off you must chew. Even when you take a vacation, it is no vacation, because the hunter in you never quits. Take it from the life of a soldier in the army of the Lord.

elle said...

I feel like I need a breather.

Ah, Mr. Fuck and Run--I used to know him!

Rebecca, I probably need to e-mail you about the process.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...