Twelfth Night


I am allowed to work more, but not to displace any of the research or exercise time set out here. My book, whose focus has been wavering between race and the state and which is about the intertwining of these of course, but does not want to look at literature just as another form of state discourse and so on (even Rama does this and much as I like him, I do not want to imitate that), is really about fractured subjectivity and I am sticking to this — and to my planned first sentence. I know one is not supposed to start writing anything at the beginning but in the middle, and that one is to write the beginning last, but I have never felt comfortable with this and nothing good I have ever written was in fact done in that way. I have to have my first sentence come to me and ideally, know my title.

Monday: 25 minutes writing, 2.5 hours reading, grading and preparation for each of three courses for the week, total 8 hours. All of this time is alone. Yoga and maybe art studio time that night.

Tuesday: 25 minutes writing, 1 hour e-mail, 6 hours of class, total 8 hours. Work out with weights that night.

Wednesday: 25 minutes writing, 1 hour research, 3 hours office hours, 3 hours meetings or bureaucacy, total 8 hours. Running and maybe art studio time that night.

Thursday: 25 minutes writing, 1 hour e-mail, 6 hours of class, total 8 hours. Work out with weights that night.

Friday: Research day. Physically go somewhere. Have dinner with friends, or otherwise take the evening off. Take a long walk during this day. Organize it in four blocks: 25 minutes writing (before leaving), 2.5 hours reading and writing, walk, 2.5 hours again, total 5.5 hours.

Saturday: This is mostly a day off but it does have one research block of 2.5 hours, in the afternoon or evening. It is a day for nature. Go to yoga and run on this day.

Sunday: This is also mostly a day off but it has a reflective and planning period, probably in the morning, and e-mail and blogging. It is a day for recreational reading and nature. Get some form of vigorous outdoor exercise on this day.


There is more, but this is my beginner’s list, made short so that I will not be intimidated. In Reeducation I learned not to take care of things like this because I did not deserve it. I do not believe this but I still have a certain habit of self neglect.

Two telephone calls to California: Alice, Kate.
Four here: Patty, Jack, Douggie, Scott, ANITA!!!
Two to Peru: Iris, Noris.
People to track down for general purposes: John, Ralph, Marta, Dalila.
One visit to car repair.
One visit to the office, and one e-mail from there to the outside world: Carlos and Gustavo; another to Cynthia or Joel.
One e-mail within Maringouin: Mickey.
NEH and other summer plans
Touch up paint in the bedroom (perhaps hiring a helper, as the new crack makes things worse).
Finish and mail New Years’ cards or letters: at minimum to Sally, Ken, Becky, Steve, Rebecca, Marilyn, Quinteros and Katrina.
Buy 2013 calendars.
Renew membership in LASA, ILLI, IAS, and maybe more — I am tired of scrimping on this.
Sew on one button.
Follow up on roof.
Mend one seam.
Find that writing group.
Take that dress to be altered.
Finally dye that other dress.
Yoga and Pilates.
Consider going out of town.


These are the things I have decided I would really like and that I am saving for. There are other things I would like including certain furniture and professional clothes and they must be saved for, so in the meantime this is my 2013 shopping list and it is quite enough.

Car detail, now.
Glasses for driving, anytime I get around to it.
Linen towels for the renters, anytime I get around to it.
A manicure for winter, now, and something else like that, e.g. a facial, each season.
Rénergie Éclat and something else like that, e.g. hyaluronic acid or blush (I can see these coming), each season.
Possibly, a third pair of those jeans.




Filed under Resources, What Is A Scholar?

2 responses to “Twelfth Night

  1. So few people are willing to share this level of detail about how their academic lives are organized, how schedules are set, and that helps support the notion that one is expected to have no life outside of academia.

    Thanks for the advice on the first semester of tenure track that you posted on my blog in July. I can’t remember if I already told you this, but much of what you said was very important to how things panned out in the first semester for me (unlike most of the other advice I’ve received!) I am looking forward to morning pages and artist’s dates. Happy 2013!

  2. Z

    I have always been impressed with you and I am SO glad it is going well. I had forgotten those comments and now just found them — gosh, they are good and not part of any advice manual — I think I will post them here!

    I’m going to do the Cameron thing, too — we are going to flourish in 2013, I know it! 🙂

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