South Park Self


Ah, the start of term. When lovesome students return in their droves from their dubious personal lives, bringing with them the collected germs of the earth's twelve quarters. Germs! exotic and teeming and ready to leap onto the unsuspecting and hapless forms of those of us luckless staff who are breathed on routinely by students and do not, in fact, possess any immunities to these exciting foreign strains. Half the faculty office is down with 'flu or whatever, including me, who was forced by a particular sod of a virus to lay extremely low all weekend, cancelling at short notice a theatre booking and two dinner dates. My hapless form is, alas, particularly hapless and is beset by various chronic complaints who lay low, like a rake in the grass, waiting to whump me upside the head with fatigue and/or glandular wossnames the second my guard is down. I have spent the last three and a half days pale, spaced, dizzy, nauseous and vaguely resenting the complete bastard who crept in sometime on Friday night and stuffed my throat and the bits under my chin with red-hot prickly burrs. Because, ow. I am back at work today, still pale and ick and very grumpy, but functional for most practical purposes, if they're slow practical purposes and not too demanding. The first student who gives me shit, I'm going to burst into tears and go home.

My state of mind has also been materially improved by the lovely email from the editor of the book to which I contributed 6000 reluctant and angst-filled words on African fairy-tale film. Despite the damned thing arriving in her inbox two months late and permeated with simulation, imposter syndrome and self-doubt, she has responded enthusiastically and with words like "excellent" and "wonderful" and "fascinating", which is particularly good for my lurgified self-esteem. She has also supplied a meticulous edit of the whole thing, with particular attention to eradicating the bits of my deathless prose most given to circumlocution and hesitation, and has materially improved the whole by about three thousand percent. Seriously, this part-time academia thing is very eroding to the linguistic wossnames: reading her edits, I cringe at my own tendency to over-elaboration and waffle. It's worst in the first couple of pages; after that, I settle into something that's mostly more sure and streamlined. I need to write more, clearly. And I need to write more clearly. Memo to self, kick the three and a half papers currently orbiting my brain in conceptual form OUT, and get them onto paper, and then beat them until they're acceptable and send them out into the world. I need the validation, and the practice.

It was a lovely feeling, though, lugging nine tomes on African film and oral literature back up to the library this morning and joyously dumping them. I felt, for once, like a Legit African Critic with the correct street cred, but it was lovely to get the hell rid of the pile.

My subject line is today's XKCD, which I loved, and which I have joyously bastardised. XKCD's apparently on a roll at the moment.
Get completely well soon!

Congrats on the intellectual validation. I'd send you an owl, if I had one.

Edited at 2014-08-05 10:16 am (UTC)