Okay, so much for posting something every week as per my original intentions. That didn’t last long, did it? In my defense, I’ve been plagued by a grotty cold and a series of migraines, in between which I’ve been trying to keep a handle on what I need to be doing rather than bothering to think about a blog entry to write.
When I think about it, I should have expected the migraines—they tend to plague me when I’m doing something upon which I’ve placed a high level of importance. I’ve written previously that my teaching career put me under great pressure at times and that I’d hoped I’d be able to manage my stress levels better when working under my own steam but so far I don’t seem to have been highly successful.
I think the reason for this is that my project, as I look at it now, seems so enormous and I feel like I’m getting nowhere. And Time continues to dribble away whether I feel good about it or not. I know the old adage that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. But I’d like to add to that the thoughts of Andy Hunt (whose blog is really about programming but this post is relevant here, and anywhere really) who suggests that this idea may not be sustainable and really we should be asking why we need to eat an elephant in the first place.
So, why am I doing this?
- I guess the first reason comes down to personal challenge and fulfillment. I never thought I could study for a PhD in the past but my experience of writing an honours thesis seemed to convince me otherwise. I was always a fairly good student but I never thought of myself as particularly ‘clever’, I got good marks by working hard (I’m hoping the same will get me through this).
- The second reason is that when I am through it, I’ll be able to lecture—the thought of which fills me with dread at the moment the way teaching high school never did but I still think it’s something I’d like to do.
- Finally, but most importantly, I want to know. I want to know how food preparation and the stories that go with it contribute to a culture; I want to know how collections of short stories might highlight similarities and differences between cultural groups; I want to know how honouring and valuing ‘women’s work’ can make a difference to their place within a society; I just want to know… lots of stuff really.
Anyway, once you know why & you’re sure you really must eat an elephant, Andy suggests: “…you're going to need a lot of friends. Or a lot of Tupperware.” So, here I am again, blogging & reaching out to my friends.