Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Open Time

It’s suddenly hit me that this will be my final day of teaching for four months. While my schedule is not exactly empty – there’s a grant to begin to manage, a conference panel to organise, a couple of papers to write, and that small matter of finishing my fieldwork and doing some very intensive dissertation writing – still, I’ve been so heavily scheduled for the past four months that the amount of time that’s being cleared up feels like a veritable chasm of unstructured life awaits – I experience vertigo just thinking about it.

It’s an interesting thing, the level of overbooking I’ve engaged in during the past several months: I work intensely efficiently when forced and, for the past several months, I’ve literally needed to be… purposive about every waking moment (not to mention considerably condensing the sleeping moments…) to get everything done. It’s felt a bit like an endurance race, and getting to the end of this period, I now feel like the person from the folk tale – the one who complains that his home is too small, and receives the advice that he should move his in-laws into the house, then the cow, then the pig, the chickens, the goat, etc., until, when he can stand it no more, he is advised to evict everyone, and he then finds himself revelling in all this open space… It almost feels decadent, this sudden influx of disposable time…

We’ll see how long this sensation lasts, before I lose the perspective provided by this intensely busy term…

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