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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blocks of Time

Z suggests we need blocks of time in order to enter into our identities as researchers. In other words, it is difficult to sit down to write if one hasn't been assuming the identity as a researcher and writer in the rest of one's life.

She applies this to women, in the first place, though I don't see why it is not applicable to me as well. Researching and writing academic articles and books is such a strange activity that it is hard to assume that as one's primary identity in ordinary life. Of course, the micro-indignities to which women are subjected remain outside of my experience, so it may be that {some) women experience this with even more intensity.

Still, I, like anyone else, have a difficult time transitioning into work. July and early August was spent moving back to St. Louis for my sabbatical. I was moving out of one apartment and into another, storing things at a friend's house, moving things out of my soon-to-be ex-spouse's house, etc...I decided I wouldn't even try to write during July. Now the huge block of time looming is my sabbatical. Within the huge block, I need to have large blocks each day. When I open up my chapters again I think: "Why am I even doing this?" It seem almost crazy. So before I start today I will finish this blog post.

There. It's done.


Clarissa said...

"When I open up my chapters again I think: "Why am I even doing this?""

- I ALWAYS have this feeling, as well. "This is all useless, it has no meaning, everything I write is crap, etc."

Have fun on your sabbatical! Will you be living in STL now?

Jonathan said...

I am here (STL). Let me know when you cross the river next with N. and we can get together if you want.

Let me know (back channel) if you want me to come to talk at your University as well.

Professor Zero said...

OK, I will hazard refining the concept slightly. The regular transition time does exist for all.

But when I give the example of 2 hours transition time to 2 hours work time, maybe I'd call that 2 hours the time of getting out of the ĂȘtre-pour-les-autres and into the ĂȘtre-pour-soi!!

Which can also be necessary for anyone. I just said women because it is women I most often hear protesting that they need large blocks of time in which to work.

I actually don't believe that and tend to think of it as an excuse for not starting until it hit me: to start working, you have to be present to yourself.

And that is when I realized what it is that the "big block of time" is for -- the first half is not for getting anything in particular done, it is for becoming present.