I’m trying to get myself together for the push to full professor, and it means there are a couple of projects that I should finish off or at least show real progress with.
I am not good at working to deadlines, and there is a definite time component to this. IOW:
That’s the ticket! “Go back to your desk, settle down, focus, and catch up!”
(Keith Warren is undeservedly obscure. He’s brilliant here. )
And thus, I had a stern talk with myself about what I am not going to be interested in anymore. I have to limit my interests, I say. Narrow my reading. Sooooooooooo in the interests of doing just that, I said to myself: “Self: Pick two areas you aren’t going to read in anymore. Things you are not interested in. Eliminate them! Strike them off your list!”
It thus dawned on me: For years I told myself that I am not very interested in the Middle Ages (life being nasty, brutish, and short, you know, and most movies or books set in the middle ages use it as an excuse to have some horrifying torture scene in it that would keep me awake sick to my stomach for days) and I’ve never really gotten myself to read Dostoyevsky. But…in recent years, I relaxed my ban on all things Middle Ages as I (rightly) became irritated with myself for not knowing a proper timeline of history, and instead having one that looked a bit like this:
Lots of in-depth, nerdy dates about Greece and Biblical dating, and the Romans….to about 500 CE…then….1776.
So not okay for an educated person.
Alas, for a person who has a book to finish and whatnot, good enough idea to let some interests drop. Ha! I said. Back to not reading or learning anything about the Middle Ages, and back to not reading Dostoyevsky. Easy!
With newfound sense of purpose, I went forward, having unburdened my intellectual life in the same vein as one of those decluttering books tell you to unburden the surfaces of your house so that you might live a truly fulfilled life just like the spreads that House Beautiful promise you, if only you have no books or pets, and exemplary taste in curtains.
But then there was a really cool documentary on the other night about Empress Matilda (1100), and I checked out The Devils from the Library, and I’ve been reading away on it.
I am the worst scholar in the world, except for Don Sutherland’s character in Animal House. He’s worse.