Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Segue: Life Is One Big Segue

As I said to Oanh, when she suggested that I might do the book meme she tagged me with as part of this segue series, 'My life feels like a constant segue at the moment'. By which I mean I never seem to be doing the very thing that should be my life's purpose aka the thesis.

I had a meeting with my supervisor yesterday, and he thinks I can finish the confirmation document before I leave for Melbourne on the weekend for a two week catch up with friends, colleagues, people I've never met, and family.

Was it wrong of me not to mention the 90 0r so assignments I was yet to mark at that point? I did rapid calculations in my head and thought, 'hmmm, an hour or two a day, tidying up and rewording, adding a bit of information that I'm all over... I can do it!' Well now I have to.

But what do I do? I start to blog. In my defence, this comes after 5 solid hours of marking and adding up. I'm trying to be efficient in my resting; best not to move too far away from the desk and computer.

Anyway, as is requisite in computer procrastination circles these days, I checked Facebook and saw the latest PhD Comics by Jorge Cham. I subscribe to PhD Comics, and every time I read one, I'm struck anew by just how perfectly Cham captures the lot of the post-graduate student, covering every anxiety from advisory meetings, future employment, teaching and more.

For instance this was me at one point:
I get a whole lot less vengeful now.

I dedicate this one to dogpossum:

DP is so not like Mike, the eternal grad student. She completed her PhD thesis and was passed with no corrections!! But still she finds herself in a Mike-like plight. Somebody give her an ongoing academic job. You won't regret it.

I don't want this post to go on for too long, because, like, I'm supposed to be doing more marking, but I wanted to put the comics up for two reasons. The first is just me taking the opportunity to boast that I saw Cham talk when he visited Brisbane. He spoke about the power of procrastination, and of course that resonated with a lecture theatre jam-packed full of post-graduates. He asked the most pertinent question posed in all of physics. The true question is not really about the inspiration that struck Isaac Newton re: gravity when the apple fell on his head, but, 'What was Newton doing sitting, daydreaming under the apple tree in the first place?' Hmmm? Procrastinating, that's what, procrastinating. Don't let me hear a word against it henceforth.

The second reason was inspired by Cham's comic about the impact of his research vs his brilliant comics:

It reminded me--there are at least six stages of thought process between first sighting 'Impact Factor' and the point I want to share--that I really wanted to plug a new blog call Comic Artist Rehab, where some independent comics artists that I encountered while doing my thesis on zines, have organised to support one another to get back to creating comics as they once did, before life and such took them in other directions.

The strips are wonderful and I especially like reading the comments they make on each other's work, because then I look at the comics again and appreciate them even more. Enjoy!

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