Friday, November 28, 2008

From picketing to writing

Photo: Getting warm around the fire barrel. Strike day #16.

I've been out on the picket lines for 23 days, and in those 23 days (scary number) I've gotten about thismuch done for school. That's it. Nada. Not that I haven't been productive in other ways, mostly personal and interpersonal, but definitely not academically. The majority of us are feeling the same way, and we've started to come up with reasons why:

a) Picketing is tiring.
b) The cold is freezing our brains.
c) Continually walking in circles in numbing our brain cells.
d) There is only so much intellectually stimulating conversation you can have on the lines when you are interrupted every two minutes by the shout of "CAR!!!"
e) We don't have any deadlines right now to enforce the sense of pressure that many of us need not to procrastinate endlessly.
f) All of the above.

In my case, it is definitely all of the above, with e) perhaps taking precedence over all of the others. I'm a deadline girl. I need 'em. And now, with York and CUPE back to talks, the sense that we might be getting back at it soon means that the familiar, slightly panicked sense that I need to get my butt in gear has returned. Yes, picketing makes me tired, and I've got a cold, but I'm back at it, and actually quite impressed with myself. I've been reading J.L. Austin's How to do Things with Words for a paper that I'm writing on the politics of naming in Susan Howe's "Thorow." I've also done some article hunting for a paper on Lisa Robertson's "Debbie: An Epic", part of my bibliography assignment, and I've come up with a topic for one of my term papers. Not bad for two days work!

One good thing about the strike (one of many, I should say) is that I feel like I've shaken off the stress and the sense of insecurity that I had at the beginning of the school year, when I felt like my brain couldn't get itself out of the working world and into the academic one. I had that great feeling of intellectual Zen last night that I used to have all the time at Dalhousie, which is why I think that I'm able to work right now. It's exciting to feel like finally, at the end of November, with term over on Wednesday, that I'm back in the groove. Better late than never!


DaemonQ said...

Five terrible fake Jane Austen novels

1. Rash and Rationality
2. Punk and Punctuality
3. Beast and Bestiality
4. Funk and Functionality
5. Fried and Credulous

Five rejected names for Austin BBQ restaurants

1. The Saltiest Joint
2. Suck the Bone
3. Unexpectedly Covered in Sauce
4. Bar-B-Q*bert
5. Texas Pete’s Rootin’, Tootin’ Pulled Pork ‘n’ Fellatio Funfactory