Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Return of the Elf, 2014

He waits in the dark.  This year, he has a friend.

I open my closet doors, blissfully unaware of the horror within.  We're so far into December I think that perhaps the elf has been defeated; I am a ranger caught off my guard.  At first, I do not see him there.  I bend down to grab my laundry basket.  I turn back around to shut the door, and there he sits-- I scream, genuinely frightened and surprised!  His High Evilness, his All-Seeing-Eye, has waited for this moment the whole year.

But Rudy seems nice.

Monday, December 15, 2014

On Finishing a Thesis Chunk

At 1:06 this afternoon I officially finished the semester.  At 1:06 I printed off my sixteen-page thesis chunk (5657 words!) and my four-page semester self-reflection paper and placed them in my adviser's mailbox in the office.  It's a nice feeling, but not so sweet as the end of a semester usually feels.  Despite having spent more time on these sixteen pages than I ever have on a paper of comparable length, I know it's not really over.  I have my work cut out for me on this thesis, and turning in the chunk today only means that now I have time to get more research done--in a very compressed time.  The whole thesis is due in late March.  I read a thing online recently called "The Manifesto of the Cult of Done," and one of the tenets said: "Done is the engine of more." I liked that.  I'm done, so I can do more.  I used that to push myself to complete the introduction-- once I finish this task, it will leave me free to do more research.  And I am looking forward to the research finally.  The path looks so much clearer than it did from August to early November.  I wish I had another six months to continue researching.  I have a nice stack of books and articles to take home with me over the break, and while I've spent this afternoon not doing very much of anything, I really intend (and need) to read and write quite a bit over break.  If I can get a chapter draft done by January 10th I will be a very happy camper.

But this afternoon I langoured in the freedom of not having a paper immediately due.  I sat on the couch with an episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, a plate of almonds, dried cherries, and goat cheese, and finished up some online Christmas shopping--while I longed desperately for every piece of clothing in Miss Fisher's wardrobe.  The week stretches busily before me, but at least this afternoon afforded me a moment of quiet, calm, and relaxation.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Writing a Thesis at Home: A Haiku

Sitting on the floor
Attempting to concentrate
Two too many cats.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Writing a Thesis at the Grad Write-In: A Haiku

Click-clacking of keys
Books strewn across the table
I belong right here.