The Productivity Recipe

What you really need to be a super productive academic is to not be a wounded person. Because if you have open wounds, all of your productive energy will seep away through them. 

And once you get the psychological wounds taken care of, then you’ll definitely need a good planner. 

2017 Personal Achievement Report

1. One of the biggest things the year was going back to New Haven for a reunion with my two friends I made in grad school. It was really great to make peace with that part of my life. I’m still on a high from that trip, and it’s been months. 

2. I also reconnected with my former thesis advisor. People suspect I did it for some vaguely defined calculating purposes but that’s crap.  The only benefit I derived from this is peace of mind and psychological well-being.

3. I made new friends here in town, and they are coming over for Christmas. Which is very unusual for me. 

4. I lost 28 lbs of weight but it doesn’t feel like an achievement because the process stalled as soon as the fall semester began. At least, I haven’t regained any of it, but I need to learn to control my diet when I’m teaching. Which is most of the year. I need 30 lbs more to come off according to the diabetician whom I trust because she’s been amazing.

Talking about diabetes, if you are even a bit predisposed, don’t look at the following photo since it might put you into a hyperglycemic shock it’s so sweet:

By the way, I did find a dance school that charges a reasonable amount of $10 per lesson and won’t put us out in the street with a monthly bill that’s higher than my salary.

2017 Productivity Report

2017 was a very productive year for me (thank you, dear Productivity and ThisIsMyEra planners). This is what I have done:

  1. Wrote 3 new articles. Each of them was on a new topic for me (Transition, immigrants and theater/film). I believe that 3 articles a year is perfect because you can do one each semester and one in the summer, which is a stride I find very doable, even while teaching 3 classes per semester.
  2. Finished all of the editing, translation, indexing, copyright clearances, etc. for the book and had it published.
  3. Spoke at 2 conferences. And was accepted to speak at the MLA in January of next year.
  4. Discovered some fantastic writers: Sayeb Taleh, Ramon Saizarbitoria, Eliseo Alberto, Cecilia G. Guilarte, and a novel by Ernestina de Champourcin I had no idea existed.
  5. Discovered some great new theory and criticism by Patricia Ventura, Jim McGuigan, César Rendueles, Mario Ojeda Revah, Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, Joseba Zulaika, Edurne Portela, and Paul Verhaeghe.
  6. Became a lot more active in the service to the profession, writing book reviews, participating in career counseling at a conference, starting to work as a Treasurer for a professional organization.

It’s absolutely not true that having a small child and being a very engaged parent prevents one from being a productive scholar. I just have to plan a lot more efficiently now that I can do no work past 4 pm. As I said before, I had taken a year off research after Klara was born, but thanks to careful planning, nobody will ever guess that from my CV. 

I’m at a weird point right now because I will finish my last article of the year this week, and I still have no idea whatsoever what my next article will be on. I’m not used to this, and I have to start writing that new article on January 15 (I have a conference talk and a review to write before that). This means I have to decide fast. 

The next post will be on personal achievements of the year.

Soviet Rhetoric

“Enough is enough,” proclaimed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a December 6 press conference. “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation. You need to draw a line in the sand and say: None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable.”

Wow. When a person who holds public office says things like these, it’s very disturbing. This is extraordinarily offensive and manipulative. Gillibrand suggests that anybody who does see a difference between assault and harassment considers them to be acceptable. Who voted for this wannabe Komsomol leader?

Soviet-like rhetoric is colonizing the public discourse in this country at a scary speed. All of this sounds so painfully familiar.