Tag Archives: writing

The deadline edition.

Currently, I am living, breathing, and sleeping thesis.

photo (4)

It’s become my world. It’s the only thing that I really think about, outside of doing sufficient (but significantly less than I am used to – I have permission for this!) work at my job to earn some money, and remembering to wash occasionally.

There’s a good reason, though. Just before I went to Melbourne in mid-November, my supervisor set me a deadline: my entire thesis, other than the introduction and conclusion, has to be finished by the end of this year. December 31st, 2012. d day. As opposed to D Day, which will come in mid-February, and will require that everything be written, edited, referenced, and finished.

Or PhinisheD, I believe.

The reality of this situation has hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Today is December 5. There are 26 days left in this year, but I’ve only got 21 working days left.

This afternoon and tomorrow are dedicated to completely finishing my marking (-2 days).

This weekend, I’m taking some time off to go to a close friend’s birthday, and spend the only time with friends that I will really have until next year as I’ve decided not to do anything for New Year’s Eve, as my friends are planning on going to a three-day-long festival down south, and I can’t afford the time – or the money (-2 days).

I’ll take Christmas Day off (-1 day).

That’s 21 days. Three weeks. I’ll need to do things like finish my Christmas shopping and celebrate my sister’s birthday on the 18th and do my paltry 15 hours a week of paid work, and I suppose I’ll have to sleep, which means that really, there are very few working hours left for me in this year. I feel like this should be stressing me out much more than it is. Occasionally I let myself slip into thinking that it’s simply not possible; there’s no way I will finish my thesis in the next three weeks.

But then, why not? I’ve done the work. I’ve written and read hundreds of thousands (millions!) of words over the past four years. My note taking system is so chaotic that it’s really very close to nonexistent, but I’ve got a good memory for details and can easily recognise links between concepts now, and identify areas of my work that require more attention.

I feel like a broken record, as all I ever talk about right now is my research. I never really intended for this blog to be a research blog, but I feel like it might become that. A change has happened in the past couple of weeks. I actually want to put all this hard work to use. I haven’t been the most proactive student in terms of writing for publication and attending conferences, so I know I have a lot of ground to make up, but I hope that 2013 can be my year for doing that. I hope there will be sessional teaching work and the opportunity to publish and present my research findings. I’ve decided that I actually do really want a place in this academic life, and to do it really well. This hasn’t been an easy journey – far from it – but I really do feel like it’s going to be incredibly rewarding, and this is just the beginning.

3 weeks.

Late night study tunes: edn. IV

Some creepy, blissed-out atmospheric sounds for a wet & windy night of study here in Perth.

Shlohmo – Bad Vibes.

The Brainfeeder crew are providing the right kind of soundtrack for my writing quite often at the moment. A brilliant young collaborator of theirs, Austin Peralta, died recently. Take the time to listen to his work; he was an exceptional talent. I listen to him a lot when I’m working.

My contributions lately have been short & sweet. Thesis writing is happening. Perforated eardrum continues to plague me. I’ve got less than 5 weeks.

It will be done, but only just.

33 days.

Late night study tunes.

I have decided to take advantage of the fact that normal people sleep during the midnight hours to up my thesis writing productivity.

So far, it’s working – nearing 2000 words tonight alone.

Normally I don’t listen to music with words whilst I study, which means I listen to lots of post-rock and post-metal, some classical, a bit of electronica.

The problem is that the music I listen to the majority of the time is hip hop (full o’ words!) and sad songs.

Sad songs are fine, but I can’t get too bound up in feelings when I’m writing.

This song. This song is one of the most perfect songs.

Glen Hansard is a genius. His voice speaks to me in the depths of my soul. When he sings, I feel it at the bottom of my chest, radiating down through my heart, into my lungs, and into my stomach. I understand biology, so I know this isn’t the case, but sometimes I wonder if there’s a space there where my attachment to music lives, continually making me fall in love and feel pain and remember good times and anticipate more.

His voice makes me feel hopeful and nauseous and comfortable and alone.

Falling Slowly is actually a cover of another song, also called Falling Slowly (unsurprisingly).

You are correct: they are both sung by Glen Hansard. You might have heard of his band, The Frames (but probably not – they haven’t received a heap of attention in Australia). They’re responsible for my favourite song ever, but it doesn’t fit in with this post, so I’ll post something else.

It’s one of the most heartbreaking songs in the world, but I did warn you that I listen to sad songs.

Whenever bad things happen in my life, I think of this song. When people die, when relationships end, when I feel I can’t go on. It’s almost my security blanket song, in many ways. It helps me to rebuild: if I stop feeling, if my heart gives up, I just get to exist and no longer care.

There’s a glimmer of hope in there, though, wedged in between the pain and the loss. It’s somewhere in the ferocity with which the song crescendos. It taps into the part of me that allows myself to own sadness and loss and disappointment and hurt, because I make a deal that after owning and feeling, I will move on and heal.

Don’t worry. I’m not there now. I’m just feeling reflective.

Asides from all that, though, it’s one of the best examples of Glen’s voice.

Get on board. He’s amazing.

[My favourite song ever? Oh okay. Here you go.]

Coinkidink.

How appropriate – I’m writing a paragraph for my paper on the fact that we are our bodies, and I’d just copied out this quote from Waskul and van der Riet (2002: 488) –

“…a person does not ‘inhabit’ a static object body but is subjectively embodied in a fluid, emergent, and negotiated process of being. In this process, body, self, and social interaction are interrelated to such an extent that distinctions between them are not only permeable and shifting but also actively manipulated and configured.”

At the same time, I’m listening to a podcast of Dr Karl on Triple J, and what was one of the first things Dr Karl says:

“You are your body.”

And he starts going on about the connected between the mind and the body in terms of feeling (emotional and physical). Spooky!

Despite this moment of fun, I am seriously struggling to get this thing written.