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Monday, 20 May 2013

The Next Two Weeks

The immediate future looks a bit hectic, as I realised last night staring at the ceiling and cataloguing what I've got to do - and what might get in the way. Things could get quite tricky quite fast.

On the PhD side of things, I need to get my third chapter fully drafted by the end of the month. I have a supervisor meeting on the 30th and by then I want a complete draft so I can make necessary corrections and enhancements over the summer. So I'm looking at perhaps another 6,000 words of analysis. And, really, I have to get that done this week because I'm not going to get much of a chance next week.

Also of importance this week is some secondary reading, which I have to neatly combine with some documentary viewing. I say 'have to' and mean it: our hard disk recorder's close to capacity and my father's going that funny colour which means that if I don't watch some stuff he's going to evict me. I've got a heap of documentaries on there but also some recent drama and too many classic films to count. So it's looking like I'm spending the days this week trying valiantly to create some space on the recorder and the evenings going loopy in my office trying to put words on the page.

Next week, things get a little more complicated. The Wakefield Drama Festival starts on Sunday 26th (preview post here). For seven consecutive nights I'll be at the theatre and, although I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading the time it will sap. Added to which, I've got the Postgraduate Colloquium all day Tuesday, my supervisor meeting on Thursday and I'm babysitting for a few hours on Friday. The latter two I'm fairly okay with but it's the first that's causing me anxiety.

The organisation of the colloquium has been fairly fun, like trying to keep control of a bike that at first won't let you pedal then doesn't want you to apply the brakes. If I'd stuck to the organising I'd probably have been fine but I'm conscious that I need to give a few papers this year to stick to my goals for 2013. So I've written a paper called 'Edmund Yates: Rumour and the Forgotten Author' which I'm fairly happy with. The only part I'm not happy with is presenting it. My public-speaking fear has kept me awake a few nights recently. There are reasons I'm not cut out for this line of work and I suspect next Tuesday will demonstrate that. If it does, I think a new career plan is in order.

During the drama festival I'm not going to get much PhD work done (which is why this week is so important in that respect). I don't know what I'll do during the two days I'm actually at home that week but it might involve sleeping and, on Monday, plotting to run away.

So what are the variables? Well, apart from my paralysing fear, there's the small matter of my grandmother who has decided that my father doesn't understand her so she needs to talk to me and me alone. That's fine for a few days over the weekend but, given what I've got to do this week, it could soon become a little irritating. I'll try to hold my temper because I really don't want to upset her more but having the same conversations fifteen times a day could drive me round the twist. Also, last week we had five power cuts (including three nights where it was off overnight, leading to some fun times with the dog-that's-scared-of-the-dark). They claim the problem has been fixed but more outages could lead to some epic frustration. As with the grandmother situation, this isn't within my control but it doesn't stop the anxiety. I'm beginning to learn, very little stops the anxiety.


Rodney Willett said...

Hmmmm. Well, we had a similar hard disc problem and I solved it by transferring "stuff" onto discs. This takes time so I would set it up to copy after we had gone to bed and let it get on with it with the TV firmly OFF.

As to the public speaking. I am extremely lucky - I have been doing that from the debating society at school and ever since - but Marcia not so. In the end she would rehearse (over-rehearse?) what she intended to say until she knew it backwards. Then (incredibly) having really memorised the bullet point she would speak without notes. Te result was, of course, that nobody believed her when she said she was out of her mind with fear but I was very well aware that she was. That doesn'y help at all, does it?

CharmedLassie said...

I've got a feeling mechanics of any kind like that would disturb the dog more than I'd like!

I tried Marcia's trick when I did a dramatic monologue at undergrad but that was much shorter than this thing. I'm not sure my brain has enough room in it to store a 1500 word speech at the moment.