14 October 2011

Making time to blog

It's been a busy week: it's Friday now and I don't know where the time has gone. Going back to Middlesex once a week (yesterday, for the first time) is really nice: I can clear my head, engage with the students, think about other things. We seem to have a really good group of students this year--a really good mix and people who like to talk which is really important and really makes my life much, much easier. It's a long day for me, but I come back feeling refreshed. I just need to make sure that I don't lose my Fridays, but I have the virtual writer's retreat where I write for two and half hours on Friday morning, so that should help.

I made a difficult, but ultimately essential decision, about the scope of my thesis this week, decided to cut out 2/3 of what I had intended to do and focus, instead, on the 1/3 that I know the best and that is the most clearly developing at this point. It sounds more drastic than it is: ultimately it will mean losing two analytic frameworks and using only one on the data. The problem, I think, was that I was trying to bite off more than I can chew in terms of my analysis. There is more than enough to look at in the metaphor analysis. I need to do that well.

I'm a bit frustrated that it's come to this, to be frank, because I have spent this year chasing after all these ideas that are not really going to come to fruition in the final project, but I suppose the point is: that's the point. The PhD is about figuring this sort of thing out. Trying ideas, failing, and trying new things. In metaphorical terms, I think I flown too far from the mother duck in terms of my analysis. I need to come back to metaphor as the beginning  middle, and end of my analysis. I came here to study metaphor. My supervisor is a world class metaphor scholar. My primary analysis has been on metaphor. Why not write a thesis about metaphor? Seems clear enough.

So categories and impoliteness, although I will still be talking about them a bit, will not play a key role in my analysis.

I should say, I have written this all up in an e-mail to my supervisors that I will send in 4 hours, after reworking what I did for them last week. If they say yes, we move forward. And I can finally, finally, FINALLY start to build on the work that I've been doing and stop having everyone month be a new idea that distracts me and makes my supervision team think, Well, he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about.

In other news, from the post below about being less angry, I finally had a good week of this: Yoko and I have a real live date tonight, with dinner and coffee and no (well, probably no, likely no) kids. Just us. I can't believe it.

Finally, I had my first parent-teacher meeting ever where I was the parent, not the teacher. It was strange: I felt like I was pretending a bit (You know, I made this child, but I don't really feel like a parent. Is that okay?). Naomi likes to write and read, her teacher says: she seems very bright and likes structure. In a month, they will begin doing real work where they have to sit and work on projects for an extended period of time, and the teacher thinks Naomi will like this, because she likes having things just so. And her English is fine, she has friends, and enjoys herself.

I breathed a sigh of relief at all of this. My pursuit of my dream has resulted in normalcy for my wife and at least one of my daughters. That's something. I can sleep a little bit more soundly. Well, not until the thesis is turned in. And I have a permanent job... And, and, and. I'll sleep soundly when I'm dead.