The Week of “I Can’t Believe I Get to Work Here”

That was the week inbetween my trip to Chicago and my trip to New York. John Durham Peters was in residence was in residence here and I had much fun with him. Georgina Born came and gave a talk on a Thursday afternoon. I had a great time with my grad students. My undergrad class was a blast as well. We saw Jesu and Isis play a great show downtown on a Sunday right. It’s all too much to narrate here in any interesting way, except to say that I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure that I really get to work and live here. The whole year has been this way — exhilarating, but also exhausting. It’s a cruel trick of this trade that we are given too much to do that we must do. You can either forego the really fun stuff — the Sunday night rock show, the talks by interesting speakers, the social events around said talks, the extra time with students, the conferences and travel, all the things that make this worthwhile. Or you can allow your desk to reach this state:

As is the case every April, my organizational life is near crisis: I’d begun the year with an attempt to keep my various lists together using a pile of index cards (the hipster PDA) which was an utter failure (yes, Villa, that’s the system I showed you last summer). It’s all in my head again now, and has leaked out on more than one occasion. My analog academic calendar, which has served me very well for my entire career, is now pushed far beyond its limits as I try to keep straight the schedule of events for next academic year (and even a couple for the year after that) which are piling on top of one another, but which cannot be represented except on the back page of a calendar that ends in August 07. For this reason alone I am considering a PDA. And then there are the 100 or more emails that arrive a day (weekdays only). Every week important missives go unanswered. All of which is to say that along with the intellectual euphoria comes a certain level of confusion that I have yet to master. But the thing is, it seems annual and cyclical. I won’t call it productive, but perhaps it’s at least a saner choice than a proper and orderly and boring life.

And anyway, I managed to clean my desk. It looks better now.

5 replies on “The Week of “I Can’t Believe I Get to Work Here””

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    Glad to hear that you’re keeping well. Incidentally, whose statue is that on top of your monitor?

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    From this angle s/he bears a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Phew, thanks for clearing that up–I was beginning to wonder……..

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