I know I’ve written about this here before, seeing as this blog is *supposed* to be about motherhood and academia.
I rarely get sustained, uninterrupted time to work. Yesterday at a meeting with my exam chair, he says (after reading the katrillionth draft of my exam proposal) “It’s like every sentence is a thesis statement.”
Probably because everytime I sit down, I get to eek about one sentence out, so I’d better make it a good one. 🙂 The good chair, in his infinite and kind wisdom, gave me the rest of our meeting to sit quietly and revise–without ever having to get up a to wipe a heinie, pour someone a bowl of cereal, break up a fight, or otherwise fend off small hands grabbing at my arms while I typed.
I’m not sure how long I sat there. It didn’t seem like long, but I can’t begin to describe how valuable it was. And the value was not simply in the fact that once I was finished with the revision he deemed it ready to go to the graduate committee. The value was in an important lesson, one that I should have learned earlier that day when it took me from 9am until 2pm to write ONE assignment sheet:
I *can NOT* get any real decent work done at home. This is a lesson that I don’t think we working moms take very kindly to–which might be the reason I’ve been here working for nearly 4 years now and it’s only REALLY occurring to me right now. I don’t think it’s a welcome lesson because it undermines what we (or what I, anyway) take great pride in: the ability to juggle the two most important and competing components of our lives. It makes me see clearly those trips to McDondald’s, me with a backpack full of books, for what they really were: me reading a sentence, then opening a ketchup packet. Reading a sentence, then rescuing someone from the top of the slide. Reading a sentence, then wiping up a spilled drink. Etc, etc, ad nauseum. Or I’m writing, and it’s, of course, the same. Fragmented. Lurching. Painfully slow.