Monday, 21 June 2010

sticks and stones

21 june 2010

yes, this was a quite difficult day. i got to the office around 10 o'clock in the morning with a not so immense but still daunting list of things to do, everything under tight deadline and of high importance. this alone sort of makes me feel a little numb at times. i started off the day at the office, as always, with a nice of super hot cup of tea, from the mountains in taiwan these days. then, i had a large cup of water. it does prepare my mind and body for the journey.

i had to check out the final version of the ethics documents to be sent out to the office but decided to work on my course plan instead. i have been working on it for many days now, and also on the other pieces: questionnaires, interview with the secretary of education, and on other minor details. i was so slow and feeling overwhelmed by the papers and books and course plan on my table, plus having to make choices about the content of the course. i am supposed to write down everything making sense, but where was my mind? for a moment i felt i could collapse. i felt dizzy and really, really ill. i had this clear feeling my neck was going to, i don't know how to put it, but that it was going to break / fall to one side and i felt i could barely move. i nearly left the office and came home because of that. i actually planned to leave for a moment. then, i took a deep breath and thought: 'hang on, kalina. you'll be ok, and you need to stay and get your things done today as much as possible'. now i remember i had this neck problem once when i was in tennessee. one fine day i woke up with a very hard neck to one side. i couldn't move it, i felt a horrible, and i couldn't go to work that day. i remember i called the writing center and spoke with rob. i went to the doctor at the uni clinic. i also remember the problem was gone almost in the same way as it had come: out of nowhere. we do the tricks in ourselves. we should as well work on doing the right ones.

thank God i did stay. i took a pill to make me relax and went for a 5-minute walk right there around north and south corridors. i didn't even went down the stairs. the short trip and the deep breath away from the desk made me feel quite renovated and i felt a new perspective was there for me. i may sound very insane for someone who is not in the same situation or cannot understand what i talk about here. i think it is insane to an extent, but basically all my friends are going through all the same estressful kind of feeling these days. we all talk about fear and nerves.

i went on working, slow paced as always, but doing it, and that's what matters. doing is what makes me feel good. the photos with the collage of the little strips of papers are my assembling bits to put my course together. it is weird because i have the course in my mind and it is not a totally new experience, but when it comes to writing a coherent and cohesive piece, with the pressure of the PhD, everything gains a new weight and high level of difficulty. well, i cut the bibliography reference by reference into strips of paper and literally pasted one by one in the draft to the syllabus to visualize some order and balance in the content of the course. i like my method of work. it is very personal, it is like art craft, because i like and need to touch words, to draft, and to go through phases before i consider the job finished. it needs to maturate.

after a while it all made so much sense, and the pain was turned into work only, no more difficulty. i was happy at the end of the day with my work, which has been sent to ros, my supervisor. i also sent other document i drafted yesterday at hartley. we should talk about them all tomorrow morning. the meetings are always enlightening to me. i am stuck in the questionnaire part now. ah, have also sent the ethics documents to the office. help me God.

the day was nothing easy, but manageable. it was good in the end. if we don't quit, the moment becomes one of possibility. i am certain the neck pain and all of the nerves and general 'symptoms' talk about success as well. it a giant tide of emotions, of accomplishment, of moving towards goals, of becoming a grown up. and i think there are little undesirable feelings that come on the way to disturb me. i should always be able to try and understand what is in fact going on, because it is not difficulty in the sense of tough only. it is also difficulty in this beautiful, magic sense of getting life on my own hands. it is empowering, wonderful, and frightening. amem!


  1. TEm gente que eu conheco nessa foto hehehe Beijo nene, fica bem, viu?

  2. hehehe
    que comentario legal. conhece, sim.
    ah, botei a foto do ambulante da praia na apresentacao, como voce sugeriu, viu? fez um sucesso otimo e a kassandra tambem comentou que adorou.
    beijo e se cuide, bereu