Monday, November 28, 2005

Brain Soup

It's such an easy principle: do one thing at a time. That is, when your to-do list stretches from here to the driveway, just go methodically down the list. Only worry about one task at a time, since you can't work on more than that at a time, anyway.

An easy principle. But try telling that to my irregular heartbeat and compulsive stress-induced tears.

My schedule:
Monday - Fill out Ph.D application form. Write presentation assignment. Plan class for Tuesday. Harass recommenders, since I haven't received any of their letters yet.
Tuesday - Write two short essays for Ph.D application (about which I had no warning whatsoever). Teach. Collect essays to grade. Take GRE practice test. Revise longer essay for Ph.D application.
Wednesday - Take the GRE. Celebrate, briefly. Hold an office hour. Finish reading Kathy Acker. Choose a topic for my 15-to-20-page Punk and Post-Apocalyptic Literature paper. Read through the essays I collected on Tuesday.
Thursday - Research for Punk and Post-Apocalyptic paper. Teach. Start grading essays. Begin fasting.
Friday - Get fasting cholesterol test. Eat. Put application materials in the mail. Celebrate. Outline Punk and Post-Apocalyptic paper. Finish grading essays.
Saturday - Write.
Sunday - Write.
Monday - Write.
Tuesday - Write. Grade presentations.
Wednesday - Write. Hold an office hour.
Thursday - Grade presentations. Hand in Punk and Post-Apocalyptic essay. Celebrate, for real this time, with friends and fun instead of just sighs of relief.

Ahhh, the end of the list looks good. But I'm at the top. And that presentation assignment should be so easy: just a matter of wording. But the other things are looming over my shoulder, pressing against my skull, squeezing my brain, making the right words for the assignment ooze out through my ears instead of blasting across the synapses, through my fingertips, into the keyboard, onto the computer screen.

Also, the snow is working up a 10-12-inch tantrum outside my windowless office, and I should really get out of here, get home, as soon as possible.


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