Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The Repetitional Imperative The emails I've received this week about where I stand vis-à-vis my program and the job market forced me to acknowledge an uncomfortable truth about blogging under your own name: You're not nearly so important as you think you are. The assumption that everyone knows everything about you is pure hubris. Some people know some little something, but those people can be counted on one hand. Most people only know you as someone who writes what they read when stranded hikers and basketball brawls bore them to the bottom of the world. They know naught of your hopes, dreams, or life-and-death struggles with cancer. So it behooves you to repeat yourself every once in a while. Or write an "About Me" page which includes all this information. Thing is, preemptive pity parties strike most people as more than a little crass, so repetition it is: I won't hit the market this year. Before I started this blog, I lost a year I should've been working to feeling like shit. You see, I spent about seven months barely able to stop puking long enough to sleep. I slept-walked whilst dehydrated through a quarter and a half before I went to the doctor and discovered I had cancer. But as I'd been taught to keep my pain to myself and not make excuses, I kept it to myself, didn't make excuses and continued to teach. A sane person—by which I mean, a Jew without a Puritanical work ethic—would've taken a leave of absence. But I didn't. So in addition to the seven months I lost to feeling the effects of the tumor, I spent another six feeling the effects of its cure. I should've spent all of them working. (Not that I didn't work, mind you, I just didn't work well.) So after losing that year and some-odd months, I'd reestablished my writing routine and was looking forward to finishing my dissertation ... ... when I got hit by a car. The next seven months, I struggled to continue my researches. I would've done better were it not for that nagging feeling of impending vomit. And now it is today. So there you have it. I would be on the market this year were it not for a truly extraordinary string of bad luck. Now that I've fulfilled the repetitional imperative, I beg of you to come back. Repetition may be necessary, but it sure ain't pretty. If only there were some way I could guarantee you came back ... NEXT: BAKHTINIAN DIALOGISM, GIRL TALK AND INAPPROPRIATE EXPLOSIONS!

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