There’s a million things to be
I spent the afternoon locked in my office talking to myself.
I haven’t snapped, not yet anyway. But I still need to practice talks before I give them. I always thought I would grow out of it, would be able to relax and just talk.
Monday, my alma mater is flying me back to Chicago and putting me up at a hotel for two days so I can talk to graduate students about toy-making. The last time the University flew me in, I was living in Boston and had just been accepted to graduate school. They’ve sent me an itinerary and arranged for people to get me from point A to point B on a campus I once knew like the back of my hand. My first talk, with students from my own department, is in a building that didn’t exist when I was there. The hotel I’m staying in didn’t exist when I was there. Time marches on, but I don’t feel that different.
My second talk, to students from several university divisions, is as part of a panel. I am the only untenured faculty on the panel. I’m not sure how I got there (although I have some suspicions). I’m the only one not employed by the university. I’m both outsider and insider and it’s feeling a little weird.
But I’m also getting to see some old friends I haven’t seen in person in far too long. I’ll be near the lake, which has its advantages. And I’m going to meet with my dissertation advisor. Because nothing makes you feel guilty like talking to people about your illustrious academic career and having to confess you’re a total slacker.
Consequently, I will be writing and unwriting this weekend, trying to anticipate what people want to know about working in a toy factory and making toys and then second guessing myself. I should, really, be working on the talk I have to give next month, which is much more complicated. It’s good to procrastinate with tasks that appear to be useful.
It’s better to procrastinate with a guitar.