Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Think I Can

"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves...Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." - Rainer Maria Rilke

I have been putting off writing an abstract-proposal for a paper I haven't officially written. It's for a conference that I wish to attend in March. It's on conference on what I "do", so it would make perfect sense for me to present a paper of my choosing. Of course, this involves me writing this paper...which would be very good for me...and presenting this paper to an audience of colleagues for debate and constructive feedback...which would also be very good for me...

But the introvert in me says, "No! No! You will not poke your head out into the academic community with what you do! God forbid someone finds out that you are a farce! You are not worthy of such things! Submission of this abstract involves taking the chance that it will not be accepted anyway. Then what will you do? And if it is accepted, you have to write that damn paper, honey! Don't make such a spectacle of yourself. You can't handle this."

Of course, the other part of my psyche knows that not only can I do it, but my research and work will be most welcomed at this conference and in this particular community. I would be a fool not to do it. Plus this, my lucky dice are too hot lately not to roll again. I'm a shiny little star these days, no doubt about it. All I need to do is sit down, commit myself to an hour of envisioning one of my dissertation chapters and then the work will be done for me. I'll write a paper while writing a dissertation chapter...and, in doing this, I'll get some great feedback in my community. It makes sense, yeah? Yeah...

So, I guess I need to get out of my own way. The deadline is Friday. I have an hour to spare. My thinking cap is officially on. Let the games begin...

2 comments:

VJ said...

Ah the old standard soft shoe & tap routine. I knew it well. You'll do fine. If you've got pretty slides of interesting events & venues, even 'more better'. Metrics & stats are always fine, but severely under appreciated and almost always misunderstood to some extent. Telling someone you've been there and saw this & that for yourself, investigated this or that dimension or theory and found it wanting or inadequate to the reality as you experienced it, always is telling and interesting to many. It can never be a 'farce' as you Were there, and did spend some time investigating with your own eyes & ears.

But keep it short & sweet, suggestive as a burlesque queen, without revealing too much you already don't know or can not yet suspect (until it's written!). Simple stuff that becomes easier with practice. Like skeet, you're trying to hit the bird/clay where it's predicted to be a few fractions of a second from the present. Pretty soon, it's instinctual. That and 2 bits used to get you a ride on the trolley too. But I imagine you'll have a grant to go to the conference to present, something that was almost unheard of in my day....

(Cue the authoritative scratching of steel nibbed fountain pens, the smoky light of the famed double whale oil lamps, the ever present haze of pipe smoke, and always the smells of strong drink & beers and the sounds of tinkling laughter in the next room...academia at it's best is recalled at a great distance & remove from the action. Like all wars). Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

EA said...

Indeed, let the games begin, and also, Happy Birthday.