Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday thoughts

I really don't have anything intelligent to say. Now that The Events of last week are over, I seem to be sort of comatose. When I'm not up at night worrying about my publishing record (she laughs morosely).

- I've noticed a kind of half-contentment about one aspect of my job, much as I loathe most other parts of the institution: I like feeling as if I am forging a network. Last week, in the midst of The Events, a friend of mine looked at me after she saw me bantering with the tech guy who was dealing with all the events. She said, in a kind of wondering tone, "Wow, you're really getting to know people around here, aren't you?" And yes, it's true. I like feeling as if I have settled into a community, fucked up though the community may be. I feel as if I have contacts with people across the university - grad students, faculty, and administrators. I like that feeling. A lot. I think I've remarked before on here about how one of the ways that I knew academia was right for me was the way I feel socially at ease in this setting. When I worked in other settings - as I did almost until the end of my PhD - I felt like a shy mouse. That's not the case in the university - I feel a sense of belonging that I appreciate. I'm watching that deepen. I suppose that is the virtue of not having gone out on the market this year: I get to have at least one more year of these networks. It is true that having those two one-year limited term appointments meant upheaval - more than I recognized, I think.

- That said, I am in the process of admitting a grad student. Doing the paperwork I have to do to get that processed is so ludicrous - and so specific to this institution - that I am reminded of what I hate about this place. I am scandalized by the stupidity of it. Just appalled.

- But it will be cool to have a grad student. She will also be my TA. What fun. I am still at the stage in my career at which all of these things are inordinately thrilling...learning new things, like how to supervise!! seeing how it works!! cool!!

- I will also be a reader of an Honours thesis by an amazing student I greatly, greatly admire. She's in my Theory class right now, and she asked if I would be on this committee. She told me the other day that this was her favourite course, and that now she wished she had majored in My Subject. It's soooooo nice to hear that kind of feedback from really intelligent students. I'll have to read the novel on which she is basing her Honours thesis (I've been brought in for the contextual, theoretical piece, not the literary piece). I just looked it up, and there are all sorts of descriptors like "macabre" and "horror." Also torturing animals. Ugh - I am so not good with this stuff...I will end up sleeping with the lights on, mark my words.

- I am pretty bored of myself. I have a more home-oriented life than I've had in years, here in Scary City. In fact, I've never had such a quiet life. I like home, and I like aloneness, but it's an awful lot of it. I am craving a bit more social time with people. Being in every night this week, and having nary a plan for the weekend (with the exception of a 10:30 coffee on Sunday morning) is a little tedious. Everybody is busy this weekend - I did try to get something going on, and also I had a plan for tomorrow night and it fell through. This is what most of my weeks look like, and it's getting a little old.

- I went to The Other Boleyn Girl last night. Really underwhelming.

- I realized I've never updated about my little cat-for-the-year, Diamond. That all got lost, in the beginning of her year with me, in the midst of the loss of Mr. K. Well, she's a doll. I just love her. She has a hilarious, eccentric personality. We've bonded quite strongly. She makes the endless boring time here quite a bit more bearable.


Psychgrad said...

This is interesting: one of the ways that I knew academia was right for me was the way I feel socially at ease in this setting. Since I tend to be shy myself, I have wondered if I should use a feeling of ease as a guide to what activities I puruse/avoid. For me, a fair amount of dis-ease is a necessary step to finding comfort/a niche.

Congratulations on getting a graduate students. I'm looking forward to hearing how that goes. I'm assuming it's a 2 year program. Does that mean you'll feel obliged to stay an extra year?

Brigindo said...

Diamond is adorable. I can't imagine life without a cat in it.

Sorry about the humdrum weekend but the grad student is exciting news. Congrats.

squadratomagico said...

Sweeeet kitty! I'm partial to black cats.

JustMe said...

lovely kitty! and hope some of the comatose-ness leads to rest and relaxation. though i know what you mean about quantity of alone time...

Hilaire said...

Psychgrad - That sounds like a really good way to assess possibilities for your future. I'd love to hear more about this, perhaps in a blog post. :)

As for the grad student, she knows it's possible that I will only be here for one year of her two. The thing is, I'm co-supervising her. Given my potential departure, this is the only way I'd agree to do it. So she wouldn't be left hanging. So yes, I told her that and she was okay with it. So does the co-supervisor, who is my friend. If I were to leave, I would offer to stay on the committee from afar, too. Hell, I might even be able to co-supervise from another institution.

Belle said...

Until I read this post, I never thought about why I feel comfortable in academia, which, by all accounts, should be like cat-in-water to someone of my background. But like you, I find this strange world a comfortable fit. Even with the insanity, inanity and downright silliness, it fits. Perhaps because I too have such elements in self.

Diamond is gorgeous. Ear scratches to her!

medieval woman said...

What an adorable blob of fluff! I just emailed you a tome! ;)