Coffee and Dissertation Jitters

I keep meaning to establish a regular practice of writing for this blog every day, but I find myself stymied by a deep belief that, unless I have something interesting and important to say, I should keep my mouth shut.  I’m going to act against that belief in this post and attempt to write something trivial and banal, in the vain hope that doing so will jump-start the writing process.  My apologies to you, dear reader, for having to bear the load of this exercise.

Item One: I’ve been off coffee for the past four days, as I am going under the dentist’s knife tomorrow.  The gap in my smile will in four month’s time be filled by a $3,000 dental implant (don’t ask me where the money’s coming from, because I haven’t figured that out yet).  First they put a screw in, and since I can’t drink anything the morning of the surgery, I thought I’d get off coffee so I don’t end up with a withdrawal headache to add to the post-surgery pain.  But I went out to breakfast today and had some coffee, and I’ve got some crazy jitters right now.  Maybe it’s all in my head, but I feel like I could shake a tree out of the ground if I just held on tight enough.

Item Two: I presented at a conference last Friday–it was “received well,” as they say–but now that it’s over, I have to return my focus to the dissertation itself, which is a much bigger and nastier beast than the 10-page conference paper.  I spent yesterday’s working hours taking stock of the project: what I have done (not much), what I have yet to do (a lot), and what I hope to achieve in the end (nirvana?).  Turns out there’s a whole shit-load of research material sitting on my hard drive that I haven’t touched–literally hundreds of pages of scanned documents that I have stored but have been too scared to actually read and take notes on.  But the time for delay is (and has been for a long time) over.  And so I leave you to dive into primary sources.

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