Academic Muse

This is a space where I can share my thoughts, and have thoughts shared with me. "Beware your thoughts leave digital traces" Bruno Latour

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Procrastinating by another name

I recall years ago reading a nice little magazine article ( in the days when i still read magazines...obviously pre thesis)
It talked of it being a good thing your teenager was bored.
It then very quickly reframed boredom into having a thinking space.
Its the moments of not doing, that give time for contemplation.

So when Im spring cleaning in the middle of winter, replacing the curtains, vacuuming the ceiling, its because the ideas are fermenting. Just like a nice cider, it requires a little bit of time to bubble...

There's the possibility that
1. I do not want it to end.
I dont. I like being a student. And I like having this intensely selfish undertaking of depth. I want to graduate at the same time as two colleagues....I want to go to a conference next year that i could only attend with uni funding for a phd student...
However even if i finish next week, its still going to be the status of a student for a while so those arent very real excuses.

2. I havent yet found the cure for cancer *sigh* I havent yet scaled Mt Everest! I'm a perfectionist who want the best possible, that would be a problem, but unlikely. Dont think Ive ever been one before so its not likely. However i do not like failing, and i do not like aiming for mediocrity, I havent got anything worthy of a nobel prize, nor a booker prize, nor even an Australasian thesis prize. Its not a bodice ripping good yarn (yet).
My friend Heather would say just put on your ordinary...
apparently ball gown and bustier not required.
And Bruno Latour says a good thesis is a finished one.
Many dont....mine will. I know this.

3. I havent suffered enough.
I havent. I dont hate it. At times this is too easy...maybe i have enough now but it doesnt look hard enough.
My little contributions to knowledge do not feel grand.
Sure ive studied something no one else has. Its new in the world. Others might want to know more of it.
And ive a tiny inkling that with distributed agency is distributed responsibility so there's a tiny bit of newness for a theory
And the methodology supports some brave new world stuff on the research processes of working with young people and with sensitive research.
Are my molehills big enough to constitute "new knowledge"
As with no.2....might just need to pull my head in and be satisfied with being a modest witness, a modest contributor....even some of my fav authors are this. They do not come across as earth shattering, so i too should stop trying to shatter the earth.

4. If i finished i would have to play with the big girls and boys in academia contesting funding...
I dont have to. I could publish the smaller things. I can hold it together when its short bursts on a theme.

5. My angst, confusion, curiousity are sated. Having satisfied my curiousity, its boring to retrospectively write the story of my thinking for others...especially if its only going to have a minute audience *sigh*
And i have already fed back to my site of study...and was well received...but is still owe them and the participants of this, completion.
Also there's the scope for what i talk of to be useful for others...and i know it wont be if its not finished.

Weird but some of these procrastinations could cancel each other out...if it isnt to be read...why the tinsel and polishing...points of tension get held, sufficient strands woven to nurture a space for completing

6. and even procrastinating gets back to fermenting...



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