Scattered…

…I am quite scattered as the schedule, and finally (!) the season continues to warm up.  And again, grateful for this time ‘off’, which isn’t, really: I never suspected that simply dealing with eight different exhibitions and a few publications (particularly with zero applications in the mix) would be so convoluted and time consuming.  There are so many balls in the air right now!  But another exhibition is nailed down; only three more to go…

asp1

I know how we got from this…

There are other things I’ve been doing all along this winter that I haven’t mentioned, too; I’ve written 17 letters of recommendation since the first of the year.  That number is way, way down from the past, as I do not write for academic jobs / appointments anymore, telling each person who asks this simple truth: I no longer have letterhead, and academics are only impressed by other academics; therefore, if I write for you, it could harm your chances, no matter how high my praise.  It’s an unpaid, and rather ridiculous business all round, this reference-requirement glut; and sadder still, it’s something tedious we’ve all just come to accept.  I periodically still need to request them myself, and have written them for esteemed colleagues whose reputations should negate any need for reassurance.  (Back in the academic days, more than once I ended an already tremendous semester workload by writing references for every. single. grad in my department – all for the same, in-house grant). Yet I rarely see this situation addressed, and certainly never as eloquently as Ann Beattie did this weekend. Amen, amen, amen. (And if you’re someone I’ve written for, do not despair: I am not criticizing you, but simply railing against the system here: WHY are we not exclusively judged on the quality of our work? Or even the CV?)

Asp2

…to this, and it seemed to take FOREVER.

Another recent revelation came from an unlikely source: puppy class. We were asked to track one 24-hour period in our pups’ lives in a written document, to bring to class tonight.  Now that training has begun in earnest, along with regular puppy care, pack walks and maintenance, mine was three pages long.  Good Goddess, it’s a wonder I’ve gotten anything else at all done, and no wonder at all that I’m feeling scattered.

aC1

I am still utterly astounded at how we went from this…

But we’re moving slowly forward on all counts, and the exhibitions are sort-of comparable to schooling an adolescent pup: Chance will learn something, perform well for three days and forget everything on the fourth. I’ve learned, too: particularly to be careful what I praise him for.  One night as I worked intently on some exhibtion-writing while he and Lupe played, I didn’t notice that their water had run dry. He picked up the big stainless steel bowl, carried it to me, dropped it at my feet, then sat back with tilted head, looking hopeful. Pretty smart! Of course I laughed, praised him, got up and half-filled it, and put it back in its place. He drank a wee bit, then decided to show me what a ‘good boy!’ he could be, and tried to bring it to me again.  Mop-up time…

BigBoy

 …to this, which seemed to happen overnight, and isn’t done yet.

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4 thoughts on “Scattered…

  1. i knew i’d slap myself if i wrote to you *before* reading your latest post! sorry for adding to the pile of work. i hope it all melts away soon but i have a feeling we both know better than to hope for that. but i love that you were still able to squeeze in writing about the new boy!

    • Oh, Aimee, I put the disclaimer in parentheses into the blog just for you. ^^ Well, a couple other people, too, but I do know that you read here pretty regularly. It’s just the timing of Ann Beattie’s article, no more – and the fact that I agree with her wholeheartedly about how ridiculously out of proportion this all has gotten.

    • Velma, training this pup IS like training a horse, it reminds me of that all the time: repetition, repetition, repetition and he has to be worked about 3 times daily, too. A horse, in fact, might be easier (sigh).

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