Monday, September 07, 2009

Progress With Work begets Playing With String

Ah, September. I love September. The weather is cooler, but not too cool. I don't need a jacket yet, but I don't want to lay around all day under a fan and sweat. Summer really is my least productive time of year. I turn into a sweaty, useless lump. This is not helped by our air conditioner being dead - not a huge deal, really, expect for that one week. But still. Hot and sticky = cranky me.

My Big D proposal draft was turned in on August 15. On August 20, I received the following email from CM1. I thought it was worth posting here verbatim, because it is both hilarious (to me) and touching:
I raced through the thesis proposal these last two days because I won't be back again for a couple of weeks. It sounds good to me. It is repetitive and method-obsessed but readable and as sensible (surely) as anything else in the literature on register. All my comments in the attached pages are editorial, not substantive. I will have to study your results more closely eventually but for now the document seems to me to be clearly acceptable as the basis for a thesis proposal. No problem. (Organizing it in PowerPoint will undoubtedly make it more svelte.) I am well pleased. And happy, of course, to see you emerge from a long battle in such good shape. Nice going.

In person, he also told me that he had wanted to check before he left that it was "sane" (it was, which made him happy), and that he was pleased that I was once again "as comprehensible as you've ever been."

I thanked him, and told him it was possibly the first time I'd ever received an email using the word "svelte." To that end, I believe CM1 has now earned himself an official Blog Name. He is henceforth Sir C for his amazing ability to interweave Compliments and Constructive Criticism in the most Concise and Creative ways. Also, this is the first time I've felt complimented by someone telling me I was Comprehensible.

A little back story: Sir C is very well aware of my battle with depression over the last several years, and has been unwavering in his support for me to talk about it openly, admit and come to terms with it, and never consider it something shameful or to be hidden. This attitude is something I appreciate more than I can say, especially coming from a field like academia, where it seems every grad student goes through a bout of depression at some point, and there is still a certain amount of stigma attached to "taking some time off" for that reason. Sir C has also, in the nine years over which he's read my work, never been particularly comfortable with my writing style, something we've discussed many times. "Method-obsessed" is absolutely, 100% true, and everyone who knows me knows that I am, indeed method-obsessed. Part of my purpose in the Big D is to improve on methodology. His comment is his way of saying he recognizes that and it's fine, but I also need to work a little more substantive theory in there yet before it's done - and he is correct, as always.

In the meantime, the fall term starts tomorrow, and I start teaching again on Thursday. It's the same class I taught in January, so at least my prep time is minimal. I expect to hear from Lady S (that's S for Supervisor, since we're revisiting the blog-name thing) and CM2 (Committee Member 2, as yet blog-nameless) soon, and then maybe this thing can move forward. I've taken the last couple weeks off, except for a few rounds of The Administrative Paperwork Dance, which is a neverending production in academia.

But! The important things! There has been progress on things which involve Playing With String!

One blanket, star and moon charted by me, the overall design and layout cribbed from another pattern.

And a picture of the back, because I'm weird that way:

It will not be backed at the recipient's request.

Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with and hand it off to its intended this week. With that finished, I returned to the Double-Knit Not-A-Toque of Doom:

DH thinks it should be high enough now, so I'll start decreasing in a couple more rows.

No major screw-ups for the last couple inches. Crap, I just jinxed it, didn't I?

Finally, I have a warped loom, and I'm not afraid to use it:

A full-width dummy warp for the colour samples for the Coppergate textile (wabengewebe pattern) yardage, which I'll be weaving possibly eternity.

I've been wandering around in a daze today, convinced that there's something I'm supposed to be doing that I'm forgetting. I've come to the realization that, in fact, I'm extremely well aware of everything that I have to get done this week - including several things for tomorrow - and the fact that I don't feel like doing them is what's causing me to be such a space cadet.

And on that note, I'm going to soak in the tub.