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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, February 28, 2011


It is often useful to formulate very simple instructions for something that, in theory, you already know how to do. This technique can help you to clarify what it is that you find difficult in some aspect of scholarship that should be easy but is not.

For example, I have problems keeping everything I need for a particular project in one place so I can find it. If I mastered that technique, then writing the article I'm trying to finish this week would be very easy. I wouldn't have to worry that one book was in my car, others in my apartment, and some others in my office. So I could write instructions on how to finish an article. First, assemble all of the materials in one place. Then, make a list of the parts of the article that need to be completed. Then, complete those parts. Fourth, send the article as an attachment to the guy.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

At least this is one problem I don't have. :-) My control of my research materials borders on the unhealthy.

Once, my suitcase where my entire research for the dissertation was lost by Greyhound. I was not in the least upset because every single part of this research (the reprints of articles and book pages, my notes, copied quotes, etc.) was backed up elsewhere.