Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Academic Pain

Why is it that I can be so friggin' articulate when I'm thinking aloud in my room, only to find myself rendered wordless and intellectually impotent when I sit down to write? I'm sitting here with a "paper" "due" tomorrow... all in quotes because it's not so much a paper as "any available writing," and it's not so much due as "my professor would like to see it." Not that she hasn't seen any -- she has -- and not that I haven't been writing -- I have. It's just that I'm at an awkward stage in my termly work where the only ideas I have are half-formed ones, and that doesn't make for a very satisfactory writing sample.

For instance, I've got three papers in the works right now -- one on Maya Deren, one on the connection between technology and independent film, and one on Dogme 95 -- but as of today none of them are farther along than paper-larvae, waiting to be filled out with documentable facts and subsequent nuanced insight. Papers that will later be 20- or 30-page monsters are currently just three-page collections of loosely-assembled notes. (Don't give me a hard time, I've been at the mercy of the interlibrary loan system.)

But still, by tomorrow evening I gotta turn out at least five pages of something roughly coherent. So what should I do? Go home, crack the books, and scramble for insight? Or stay here and stare at this computer screen until my eyes bleed or I reach five pages, whichever comes first? Jesus, it's only five pages... I should be able to do that without breaking a sweat. Why can't academic papers accomodate hyperlinks?

Leave your brilliant advice in comments.
4:16 PM ::
Amy :: permalink