You don’t need to be Bruce Springsteen to be nothing but tired (whaddup, ancient song reference!). When I think about all the uni work I have to do I freeze. I mean, the inevitable deadline stress will, in all likeliness, kick my brain into gear just in time, because I work better under stress even if I feel like dying. Works every time. It’s kind of worrisome.
Then there’s the topic of supervisor and how everyone freezes in terror likewise when confronted with a topic that isn’t Shakespeare, isn’t British culture, and isn’t applied linguistics. Sorry, people who are much farther ahead in academia than me, I ain’t doing boring topics. Had enough of those as a lowly undergrad. And as a lowly grad, too, to be honest. But we’re not going into that.
I don’t understand how a single person can feel so stressed out when there’s objectively speaking not so much to do. I mean, there’s uni work, and then there’s chores, with a minuscule sprinkling of actual work in between. So… how is that stressing me out? I mean, I’m definitely not getting enough sleep. That’s one thing. And I dunno, I mean, academic writing on literature is at least a half-creative task (mostly because bullshit takes time to come up with) and you can’t rush creative shit. Half creative because you have to stick to a certain register, jargon, and layout, but you also can’t write the same style sentence fifteen times in a row. And you can’t start sentences with ‘and’, not even if it would make everything easier. You can’t just line up quotes, which is basically all you do anyway, but still you can’t. You can’t just not quote, because this isn’t the 1700s anymore, you can’t just have original thought if not at least two other people had the same thought within the last 15 years (otherwise the source is too old, which by implication means your thought is too old). You can’t just say there’s this thing, and this thing, and this thing and because of all the things there is that thing. You suddenly find yourself writing items such as ‘therefore’ and ‘furthermore’ and ‘moreover’ and ‘theretofore’ (I’m not even kidding, and I swear that’s not even a real word.) It’s all patently unnecessary, says I, long-term lover of terribly long words as long as I have spell-check, and we’re bullshitting each other in amicable agreement.
That’s a lot of hating on academic writing. I usually like that shit. But there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing (again with the things, there’s too many things). Why couldn’t I have been a milkmaid? Oh right, because I’m allergic to cows and milk and hay and nature in general. Also, that’s not a proper job title anymore. I wonder if they call it lactic specialist now. If they can call a janitor ‘surface technician’ it’s not that big of a step.
No, really. ‘Oberflächentechniker’. It’s a thing. It’s the thing about German, you can make anything sound super serious. In English you have to work a little for it, throw in some Latin. Like I once advised my mom to call herself not a housewife but a self-taught, self-employed domestic management specialist.
Academic writing is a lot like this. Take a concept, throw some fancy sounding words at it. That’s all there is to it, really. It’s surprisingly difficult. I better get back to doing the thing, then.
It’s like the things never end.