Sunday, 15 November 2009

off track

15 nov 2009 - sunday 1.39pm - avenue campus

i have been off track, basically. this is probably the most honest statement i utter in the last few weeks. now i am swamped with work, desperate because of deadlines, and feeling unproductive. this is a thesis statement of my text today, a synthesis of the whole situation.

i have made some decisions that would apparently help me keep focused in my main purpose here in uk, which is to carry out my phd research. that has been the truth, however. it all started over the summer and the situation has been going on and on and on. i need to understand it at least so that i can think of doing something about it.

for the summer i found a wonderful, rewarding, job. it was rewarding in various aspects: academically and professionally because it dealt exactly with my passion for writing and for academic life in general. so, being part of a team that was set up to help prepare international students for their academic life here was without a doubt superb, of course even helping myself in the same terms. it was also quite handy, actually, this job was a life saver, because the pay went directly to my fees here at uni.

but but but . . . the work did not stop after 10 weeks. i was very very glad i had the chance to teach the extra two weeks, but i now wonder if i did the right thing. i need to find time for my academic work here. and i have not done this lately. ros is very angry at me. i don't understand it all, as it gives me the feeling she doesn't trust me, but in a way she is right. if i had not had so much distraction from my research i would probably be in better shape concerning my plans to Brazil, for instance.

i have to work on my literature review. i have to work on the plans for brazil. i have to write something that makes sense. sometimes i feel embarrassed to show sketchy writings to ros, but this is very much how i function as a writer: i draft, write a little bit, then i can only move on if i show it to somebody. then this somebody gives me suggestions, sometimes obvious ways are pointed out, but to 'whom' i was blind before.

do i have to change totally the person i am because otherwise i won't be able to finish up this work? can i go on being me, being this person who writes and revises . . . writes and revises. . . writes and revises. . . unsatiably? or is it insatiable? i remember when i was writing my dissertation for my master's degree in the us my supervisor, dr. elhindi told me to stop revising. i remember his words, which were something like: 'kalina, that's fine for this. you can spend the rest of your life revising it, but there is no need.'

i'll try now to do some work.

oh, i ended up not talking about the decisions. here they are: - to stop using orkut and facebook, because these two have already taken up really too much of my time. i also reduced my social life to almost zero, but it was not that hectic before, anyway. i missed some nice programmes with my friends that i wish i had gone to, only because i either had urgent things to do or was drained - exhausted.

an example of my being exhausted was that this past friday, when i decided to stay on avenue a little longer to work some more on my lit rev emma came by the office for help with her assignment. i was looking at her but my thoughts were a little someplace else. . . i was not totally there with her. i felt i had no concentration. i don't like one bit of that. anyway, we had a good chat - emma is very easy and makes the chat go smooth -  and i gave her some hints on the assignment, and some print outs as well. she left saying she now knows how to structure her essay and go about her things. good!!! from the event i could undertand i really needed to go home at that point, which i did. it was only 4.30pm, the day was already as dark as night, and chilly. i went home, had some cereal with a banana, because i was also hungry, and finally went to bed around 6pm for about 45 minutes. is it life???

i wonder.

6.18pm update: i am still on avenue campus, but feel totally different from the beginning of the day. i need to register this here in this very place where i claimed to be barren. well, my claim, my opening up my chest has been fruitful after all. and that is the point of this update now: to state that sometimes in life we need to sit and look carefully at what is available in our plate (as pedras no caminho) to then be able to go on. this writing today has - i have no doubt!!! - freed me from a lot of things. during the days, when i saw one or two of the very few people today in the office in this unusual sunday i thought i could leave too and finish the work from home. i was tempted to go to the grocery store, but i decided to stay and finish at least the section i came here to finish up. yes, i made it!!! i not only made it, bu also did some necessary changes in my work plan and emailed it to ros and asked for a session. done my share. what a bless. thank you, my good God.

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