Re-thinking the medium

I started this blog as a site to work through some of my initial ideas about my research, while in the middle of fieldwork. But as fieldwork became increasingly amorphous and unclear, it became harder to keep a blog on it, and as with everything, I increasingly became distracted by all the other worldly things that are tangentially related to my research. My problem, in my work, in my writing, and possibly in my life more generally, is that I find it very easy to get distracted by all the data surrounding me. It is as though I were hyper-sensitive to all information and can no longer parse out the important stuff. It used to make me feel like I had a super-power, but I've started to worry that it actually is a hindrance. I want to move toward tunnel-vision, focused and ready. But it's really damn hard.

Anyway, I present this dilemma here in order to remind myself that the next three and a half months or so need to be uber-precise. I want to finish this project (aka the dissertation, grad school, doctoring, etc) by 2010, not because I have a clear sense of what comes next, but because I'm weary of the world of studenthood. Perhaps my biggest problem in completing the tasks at hand is that I'm still unclear what the future projects will be. Academia often makes me nauseous, yet I've been there (is it a place? a mindset?) so long, that I've started to worry that I can't function in any other environment. Any time the threat of staticness, or narrowness, or confinedness rears its head, I start making plans to leave. It has happened frequently in grad school, but now that I'm far away from the city of my institution, all I can think about is quitting. A friend sent an address update that informed me that she had taken an assistant professorship in Northern NY. She was always so adamant that she wouldn't leave the west coast. But the idea of her now being a professor, when I knew her when we were idealistic college students, freaks me out. She's really in it. And I'm not sure that I want to join the fray.

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