Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm sitting this round out.

November is NaNoSweMo (National Knit A Sweater Month). And NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). And NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), as well as InaDWriMo (Originally International Dissertation Writing Month, but it's grown to include all academic writing and has been International acaDemic Writing Month, and I can't find a nice link for it).

I've also seen versions for research, recording your own album, and a host of others.

If I were smart, I'd commit publicly to the sweater and academic writing versions--I'm far more productive when I feel vaguely accountable for what I'm working on. Posting progress on both a sweater and an article would motivate me to get more done.

But I'm thinking that November will be a slog, however, and I'm having my own, one-person version (characterized by the fact that I'm posting this on November 3, rather than November 1):

National Sitting-This-Round-Out Month, also known as NaSiOuMo.

I'd like to have National Sit-Around-in-Your-Pajamas-Eating-Chocolate Month, or perhaps National Sit-Around-in-Your-Pajamas-Drinking-Red-Wine Month, but I suspect that won't really be possible. So I'm going to keep busy. I'll go to work, and clean the bathroom, and answer student emails, but nothing extra. No attempts to knit entire sweaters, or to get articles ready for publication.

In another characteristic move, this weekend, in a desperate attempt to distract myself, I knit my glamour bunny yarn up into a lovely cowl.

I frogged it this morning, since it was too big. I'm going to cast on again with fewer stitches. But it pretty much sums up my "one-step-forward, one-step-back" progress of the last few weeks.

November is already proving--three days into it--to be a bit too much for me.

On the poor-little-me side:
  • I've been in grading jail for almost two weeks now, and while there's an end in sight, there's also another round of papers coming in.
  • Another round of papers means another two weeks in grading jail. Teaching three sections of the same class = early burnout.
  • It's my husband's birthday on Friday, and he's in Poland.
  • I'm exhausted from doing virtually nothing, mainly because an annoying knot in my shoulder (I've named it Don, after Don Knotts) is making it hard to get comfortable.
  • It's our wedding anniversary next week, and he'll still be in Poland.
  • I have an annoying head cold that won't go away.
  • Did I mention my husband's in Poland?
  • Student oral reports start tomorrow, and, despite giving them painfully detailed directions on what I want, the questions are still pouring in. Most of them--all of them, really--could be answered by simply reading the directions I've posted on the course site.
I feel all whiny (or, to use the considerably more charming British version, whingey--I do love the "g"), since lots of things are going well.

On the life-doesn't-suck-too-much side:
  • I'm teaching a major-author course this summer on Jane Austen. This means that I can spend my afternoon reading novels and consider the day productively spent.
  • I can also spend the day watching Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (in both Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary), and consider the day productively spent.
  • I made pumpkin bread today.
  • I have lots of lovely yarn to knit with.
  • I've got Veteran's Day off, which means six days between classes, and I'm heading down to NJ to visit the nephews.
  • The election campaigning will be over tomorrow. (This is good because it's getting a little nasty. And if I see one more attack ad for either Jean Shaheen or John Sununu, I will move to New Hampshire just so I can vote against both of them.)
  • I go to Poland to see the husband in less than three weeks.
I really can't wait to go to Poland. Actually, I just can't wait to see the husband. But the trip coincides with the next major round of grading, and I'll either have to spend half my time grading, or stay up for three days when I get home in order to get it done.

I will make some tentative, not-really-commitment kinds of statements, to see if that helps motivate me. For the month of November: I want to finish my Hey, Teach! sweater, as well as some socks for nephew-the-elder. And start the husband sweater. And read for my Austen course (which really does make me do a little dance for joy when I think about it.) And knit the cowl, for the second time (the yarn was so yummy to knit with, it's not exactly a hardship).

And we'll see how the month goes.

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