Friday, December 14, 2007

Snowed in

Locked in my apartment all day, working from home; it's just as well that I didn't even attempt to get to the office first thing, as when I attempted to go somewhere later in the afternoon, my car got stuck in the snowdrifts three-quarters of the way out the driveway. That was some fun times, friends. Thank god for friendly people on the street who know the right combination of pushing and rocking and shifting and shoveling to extract a low-quality mobile tin can from winter's detritus. I then parked my car as deep in the driveway it would go and settled back into my home workspace.

So. GREs are done, recommendations are done, transcripts are done, now I only have the some statements of purpose to struggle fruitlessly over for a few weeks. I was never a big fan of this genre of writing, due to my own problems articulating a clearly-defined set of research interests and projects. My questions all get so large that they lose coherency. Which is kind of a problem when you're looking to publish bite-sized chunks of inquiry and develop coherent projects and the like. You know, the whole being-an-academic part of being an academic. Hm.

I do desperately hope that I'll somehow acquire this ability somewhat naturally (osmosis-like...) when I'm a full-time student again. I don't recognize "the publishable topic/paper/etc." when I see it, yet. I have a paper that I'm in the process of substantially cutting and revising for submission to a journal, on the recommendation of Adviser Guy. I wouldn't have thought of it as something publishable until somebody told me so. Re-play of a conversation from a few weeks ago:

Me: I don't know how to write something that's publishable!
AG: Well, this [the paper] is publishable.
Me: But I don't know how I did that!

So I guess until I figure out a process, "spirit possession" will be my process-by-default. I'm sure that's sustainable.

That's all for now. Many thank-yous to Sisyphus, whose lovely shiny blogger gift came in the mail on Wednesday.
Reductionism who in the what now?