Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Getting dumber

I have made some headway on work in the last couple of days, finishing up a syllabus for my upper-year class (though I am still going to work on it, tweak the assignments), and starting to think about the challenge of evaluation for my 90 first-years.

And today I started to write. Got most of a blustery introduction together. This is a new article that I want to have a draft of by the time classes start on September 5 (laughs uproariously). Well, mostly new. It may - will, I hope - involve pieces from my dissertation. Though I can never tell, given my writing process. But yes, that's the general idea. To incorporate some dissertation bits. I thought I was done with dissertation material, after publishing one chapter from it. But I realize there's some more to be gleaned, I guess - just reorganized and repositioned alongside some new material.

So I went reading my diss, looking for what I could pull out in relation to my new idea. And dudes, I was smarter then! And it wasn't long ago - I submitted it in October '05, and defended in December. But as I was reading bits, tracing debates, I thought, wow, I couldn't just write that with such ease now. I don't know this stuff as well. I was, in fact, surprised at some of what I knew. Where did it go?

Sigh. This does not bode well for a robust intellectual future.


Tiruncula said...

I had the same experience with my diss yesterday. I found a chunk of text that was not only helpful but polished and coherent. It might as well have been written by somebody else.

Hilaire said...

Oh, god. In addition to a This Slim Volume club, we need to start a group therapy session for those of us with self-dissertation envy!!