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ringing in the new year right

maura @ 6:31 pm

I am sick, blargh. In general I’m more annoying than some sick folks, but less annoying than others, I think. I’ve spent the day moving from the sofa to the table, blowing my nose, drinking water and tea, and reading. When I’m not sick it always seems like being sick could be sort of okay, restful, even? But of course it’s not. My head hurts, my nose is running, and my body aches. This is a giant drag even despite a good book and the lap-warming efforts of one of our cats. Blargh.

I shouldn’t complain, really. I don’t get sick often, usually only once or twice each year. I’m very lucky to have paid sick days. January is a pretty common time for me to get sick — thinking back, this is the 3rd January in a row that I’ve had a cold bad enough to stay home from work. It makes sense that in the cold weather, worn down after the end of the busy semester and holidays, it’d be easy to pick up some kind of crud, especially with everyone else in the city coughing and sneezing.

January’s a good time to be sick in many ways. Things are slower at work, there are only a few classes and many folks take vacation, so it’s quieter. A good time to get things done before the semester starts, to catch up. So while I’m not missing too much by being home today, I do feel the pull of losing time to being sick, with only 3 weeks left to get some biggish tasks — both with and without hard deadlines — out of the way before the semester begins and everything speeds up again.

I’ve been trying to write more consistently this year as well, jumping into using the hashtag #write2018 with other library and academic folks on twitter. Some are doing 25 minutes/day; I’ve been aiming for just something every day, sometimes more and sometimes less, even on the weekends. It’s going to be a bit less today, I fear. Hoping that I’m feeling and writing better tomorrow.

les tags: ,

and the circus in my head

maura @ 1:06 pm

I’ve done pretty well w/writing this week, despite coming down with a cold on Wednesday. Word count’s at a respectable 4003 this morning not including this post and whatever else I manage to write today. We’re all sick now, Gus with a fever, so leaving the house probably isn’t going to happen. Right now Gus (who is crazed for cephalopods) convinced us to let him watch a truly stinky straight to netflix-watch-instantly movie about a giant shark + octopus starring Debbie Gibson. O internets, whatever did we do before you existed?

I’m working on an article about using games in my library instruction sessions so I decided to use some of those gamey tricks on myself to help keep me motivated. I’m recording my word count in a spreadsheet — watch my score rise! — and printed out a calendar sheet so I can add checkmarks to the days I get a chunk of writing done. So far it’s helping, though maybe not as spectacularly as I’d like. I find myself resisting the urge to categorize my writing: bloggy, academic, research-related, work-related, etc. I think that’s ultimately dangerous though — I have a tendency to hold research-related writing up as the most valuable thing I could be doing at any point, and I’m not certain that’s a good thing.

One thing this writing hasn’t done yet is make it any easier to write the literature review for this article. Oh literature reviews, how I hate to write you, with your endless struggles of synthesis. Sometimes I wish I could just present a list of everything I read: here’s some good research on the effectiveness of games-based learning, here are examples of games used in library and information literacy instruction, etc. I keep trying to remember how valuable a good literature review can be, but that’s cold comfort when I’m deep in the trenches of paraphrasing and summarizing, sigh.

You probably noticed that I haven’t stuck to my “what’s my current earworm?” writing prompt. For about the past week and a half it’s been “Bright Yellow Gun” by Throwing Muses. Over vacation I finally read “Rat Girl,” Kristin Hersh’s memoir of the year Throwing Muses got signed to 4AD, she was diagnosed as bipolar and also got pregnant with her first kid. As expected it was fun to read about the early history of the band, but the descriptions of her bipolar experiences were fascinating. As someone who wishes I needed less sleep it was interesting to read about how it feels to not need much sleep at all.

This earworm is much less mysterious than the last: there were lyrics sprinkled throughout, so that’s why the song’s been stuck in my head.

les tags: , ,