Category Archives: procrastination

August 8, 2012, 5:06 pm

The End of Summer Blues: Is It Back To School Already?

“What’s the point of trying to finish my book now!!?!”

It’s getting to be That Time of Year.

That’s right: it’s back to school and whatever isn’t done, isn’t done.  That long lovely summer you were looking forward to in May? Over. Or nearly so. Except for those of you who are still watching ribbon gymnastics and beach volleyball in preparation for your research sabbatical, summer’s ending. What to do, what to do? How to break out of that nasty transition stage where you are just shuffling paper around your desk but unable to to accomplish much — whether it’s your own work or anything remotely connected to starting school — because in a few short weeks the students will descend?

I can’t do anything about the calendar, but let’s try to cheer up with a few Radical solutions to the end of summer blues!  For …

Read More

November 23, 2008, 10:54 pm

Who Says There Are No Jobs? Pish-Tosh!

Do you ever casually look for jobs on-line? I do. Usually when I am supposed to be grading or completing some other tedious task that is the bread-and-butter of my work as a tenured professor. I sometimes even apply for the jobs I find, but I have only been mildly successful at that pursuit, and never in a life-changing way — a nibble here, a nibble there (“Finish your book, stupid,” they write back on a postcard. “Oh yeah, right, I forgot” I say, and paste it in my scrapbook of Futile Acts.) But as I take little breaks from writing letters of recommendation so that many of my favorite students can go to graduate school and also worry about being jobless, I have been checking the listings and see if the economy has affected the market or that American Studies job at the University of Hawaii has opened up yet.

Of course, it’s always 1933 when it comes to jobs in United States history or…

Read More

July 3, 2008, 1:29 pm

In Every Cloud A Silver Lining

I thought today was going to be a crappy day. Not only did I not get the New York TImes for the second day this week, but instead of the Old Grey Lady I received instead a copy of that excrescence otherwise known as our corporate-owned “local” newspaper. Then my car almost got towed (as we have not yet renewed our neighborhood parking sticker) except that I ripped out to the sidewalk, partially dressed, and got it started before it was hooked up to the truck. Then the lawnmower broke, so half the lawn is sticking up at crazy angles and the other half looks like a neat little Marine.

But things are getting better. I have just been notified by Fiona King, of Online University Reviews that the Tenured Radical has been named one of the top 100 blogs written by liberal arts professors.

Since I have just been roaring around the house complaining that I can’t get to work, I’m going to make…

Read More

March 22, 2007, 4:30 pm

Random Thoughts to Fill the Time Before Writing (But Not Too Much Time Or Today Will Be Just LIke Yesterday And No Writing Will Be Done At All)

One of my favorite writing books is Ann LaMott’s “Bird By Bird: Random Thoughts on Writing and Life.” I like it in part because she is so forgiving of the many things we all do to avoid writing that she actually incorporates them into the writing process. For example, cleaning your desk and eating lunch. I also like it because it is clear from reading the book that she procrastinates mightily and yet still publishes a great deal. She doesn’t publish as much as Robert B. Parker or Stephen Ambrose, but she finishes enough books and articles on a regular enough basis that she actually has a lunch to eat from money she earned writing. Of course, part of what allows academics to procrastinate is that we get paid whether we write or not, and I at least am constantly being served lunch at the various meetings I attend. OK, maybe the free lunch stops that you procrastinate right into the…

Read More