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Wednesday, August 8, 2012


What is your fuel? Caffeine? Good food? Fountain pen ink? Perfume? Sex? Music? Massage? Praise from others you admire as scholars? The acceptance of articles? Intellectual dialogue? Reading primary texts or foundational works in your field? What happens when you don't get this fuel regularly?


Clarissa said...

For me, the fuel is:

1) reading anything in Spanish. Even a Mexican newspaper turns on the desire to do research in my field.

2) conversations among colleagues and friends about how research is impossible to do, there is never time for it, getting published is impossible, etc. I'm so afraid of being sucked into that mentality that I immediately start working with abandon on my research. :-)

undine said...

Interesting post. This got me thinking about "fuel"; I'd say primary texts, articles (including my own), and reading about other people at work--hence my visit to your blog.

undine said...
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Professor Zero said...


1. Exercise. I just figured this out. An hour in the gym just does not do it. It has to be more, or I am antsy and my mind is not clear.

2. Reading articles and primary texts that are not strictly required for some immediate purpose. If I do not do this I feel like a drone and also do not think as well generally.

3. Interacting regularly (i.e. on one's own campus, not just at conferences) in person with people who treat one like a colleague. This does not include instructors, no matter how nice and collegial, because their job is not the same. People who are working well and not burdened by B.S. and who beam this out. If not, I *stop feeling like a person.*

4. Biggest piece of fuel in last decade or even two: a department chair who said, give your view because (a) it is an expert view and I am interested, and (b) I understand it is your own and that you speak for yourself only. I had always been told (a) that I did not have an expert view and also (b) that my views, if voiced, had too much influence. It was amazing how much being given that much autonomy, or actually, assigned that much integrity did for work in general.