Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shuttered Away

So I'm down to my last paper for the semester - a four thousand word behemoth that threatens to split the floor of my room and swallow everything in sight. It wouldn't be so bad if there was a specific thing that I wanted to argue for; the problem is that there are just all these unstructured ideas floating inside my head, content in their jelly-like state, bloop bloop bloop. This is not a good thing, particularly since the paper is due on Friday, the 20th, and I have not written a single word. As Nathan says, "It's all about the mood." He should talk. He's a genius on a pogo stick; we mere mortals fret and sigh and panic 'til kingdom come. We are not cool when it comes to school deadlines. We flail and throw our hands in the air and pray for divine intervention - our lecturer suddenly going blind (he can't read our papers) or all the electrical fixtures at AS5 exploding (he can't read our papers) or the sudden, inexplicable inability of people to use written language (he can't read our papers).

This is what I get for procrastinating. Okay, I wasn't procrastinating when I started on this project - it just transformed and morphed and now it's this baby monster on ink and paper and refuses to grow up and become a mature monster that can at least stand on its own two feet. Oh no. It's right there, sucking on its thumb, crying because the milk ran out. And I'm sleepy and I've decided to lock myself in the flat from today (Saturday) until next week (Thursday) just to force myself to write this goddamn thing. Unfortunately, I'm still reading up on a lot of ideas - the interplay of word/image, the ethnography of autobiographical texts, Derrida (because all our lecturers love Derrida to bits and pieces, even though he's a bitch to contend with) - just to get a proper grasp of the material itself, and maybe begin talking about what I really want to talk about.

When I talked to the lecturer about this paper, he reminded me to always ask, "What is at stake?" I am perfectly familiar with the question; it is something creative writing people (whether by training or by genius) are constantly grappling with - in our stories, in our poems, in our narratives. It is up there with the Questions of the Universe, including "Who am I?", "Where did I come from?", and "Should I cut my hair?" Unfortunately, aside from a few scribbled lines on my notebook during one class where I wasn't paying attention to the speaker, what is at stake at the moment is 60% of my grade AND my rapidly deteriorating sanity. Sigh.

Oh well. Back to the mountain I go.

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