Tuesday, March 9, 2010

success! (partially)

What up fools,
I e-mailed my professors yesterday, giving them the versions of my first two A exam papers that I had done so far and warning them that I was going to drop the first two and start working on #3 as soon as it came in (because I have to present that third paper at a professional conference in April). They said they were happy with what I had done and that I was right to focus on the 3rd one until it's finished. What a load off! I had developed stomach pain, head pain, etc. from the stress of doing these papers, but I feel better already. It was weird having that psychosomatic shit going on, because I've never had that before. But it is nice to see it receding into the distance.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Success Blog

This is the first post of the rest of our lives. This blog began in the olden days (a couple of years ago now, I think) as a creative outlet for us to discuss our experiences with psychotropic drugs. Obviously, though, the original concept left something to be desired (at least as long as we three were to be the contributors) - none of us has posted anything since July 2009! So if we don't care enough to write blog posts about doing drugs, what might interest us enough to justify the effort involved in sharing our stories?
Considering this question, I thought about the things that normally prevent people from smoking weed (and that actually have prevented my two colleagues from smoking for quite some time, as I understand). One big, fat, four-letter word came to mind: WORK! It's all this fucking work we're buried in that keeps us from writing joyous tales of intoxication, or even (for the thankfully sober among us) joyous tales about whatever gives us a "natural high."
To turn away from our work for long enough to post shit on here, we'd have to go out of "work mode," stop thinking about our daily responsibilities, and shift into "Weed Blog Mode," thus necessitating a later return to "work mode." Given the time constraints of our schedules, nobody seems to want to make such a philosophical leap in the middle of a workday. All three of us do, of course, "waste time" - that is, we do things unproductive for our work during the hours that we (or our bosses) have designated as "work time." But watching funny or titillating videos online, listening to music, etc. do not require as much mental energy as communicating with our long-distance friends.
I suggest the following, then: since you two (P. and S.) don't smoke any more, why don't we write about our work itself? I think this will provide several benefits:
1. It's easy - our work is what we're thinking about much or most of the time anyway, so we should have plenty to say about it.
2. It's therapeutic, and for two different reasons: A. Generally speaking, I often feel (regarding my work) an urge to just sort of lose it - to throw the computer out the window, physically attack my bosses, quit my job to be a drunken slob, etc. Putting these feelings onto paper (or onscreen, anyway) might help to assuage them, to exorcise my demons, if demons they be. B. Most people in their twenties who are trying to get a career going have more demanded of them, with less praise offered in appreciation of their efforts, than they have ever had before. The more we progress, the more pressure our families and colleagues place upon us to be "serious" and "success-minded," yet the less they seem interested in the work we are actually doing. When I was in high school, my parents would read any paper I had written on any damn topic; since I've been in graduate school, I've written about 20 full-length research papers, none of which ANYONE (including my friends, coworkers, wife, and family) aside from my professors has EVER read. I have provided people with copies from time to time - they never read them. But maybe you two know the type of shit that I'm going through. Maybe you, also, find yourselves struggling valiantly to establish yourselves, seeing ever more of your time sucked up by "work," while your loved ones take zero interest in this supposedly all-important activity.
3. It's flexible. We all talk to our friends now and then and manage to scrounge from them little bits of sympathy, but how are we to know when they'll have time to listen to our shit? Since we can't know this, maybe the blog will provide us with a more convenient way to send out our messages, which the others can read and respond to at their own pace.

So those are my reasons. As for work, which I am about to get back to, I am in the middle of writing Paper #2 of my A Exams, which are my PhD qualifying exams. There are three of these papers overall, and I have some of #1 written. I'm trying to finish #2 before going back and finishing #1, because I've been working on #2 for about ten days straight now so I don't want to leave it while all the related crap is fresh in my mind. Question #3 is arriving Monday, and the answers to all three questions are due Friday, March 19. What are you guys busy with?