On passing of time

by ninashiel

So the mostly-arbitrary human reckoning of time that is the calendar – Gregorian, in this case – has brought about another year. The human mind responds to rituals well, so such an extent than even the changing of the number of the year, with no astronomical or any other measurable background, creates a ‘magical’ atmosphere of change and new possibilities. In actual fact, nothing about the situation in which I am at my desk in my office on 10 January 2012 blogging and planning the spring is different from me sitting at my desk in my office in early December doing work. (The only difference is really that currently I am resisting watching Netflix all day. They went live in Ireland yesterday. I rewatched Fargo. It was great.) Admittedly, I do feel less tired and consequently more prepared to make plans and to prepare to take on what the next six months has to offer. Perhaps it is the rest that makes the difference in people’s minds.

Last week was largely spent at my first progress review to my esteemed and greatly appreciated funders. It’s inavoidably strange to do one after only three months, and to experience the sensation of a milestone so early. The instinct, I think, is to kneejerk with ‘But I haven’t done much at all!’ but in no actual reality could even my perfectionist brain claim that. I have done loads. The difference between this time around and last time when I was doing large scale research (at what eventually became a research Masters) is vast. I could write an entire post, or several, about it. The pace, the intensity, the confidence – there’s so much more of each of those present now. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to quiet down, either.

I am in the middle of a few ‘side projects’ at the moment: editing and preparing my own and other people’s papers for various publications and conferences. This is slightly annoying in the sense that all the time spent on those is out of the time I could spend on my own research, but such is the manner of things. My own biggest event to look forward to in the next while will be the ACLA 2012 meeting at Brown University, at which I will be presenting my first grown-up conference paper. Thankfully I will be travelling there with my supervisor, so I’ll feel a bit less intimidated by it all! Expect, in any case, to hear plenty of wittering about it here.