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17.9.01

I never would have thought writing these fellowship proposals would be so hard. Even the personal statement, which should be easy. I just have to talk about why I'm interested in archaeology. I do best when I'm telling stories, but I have so many stories to pack in. I have to make them so pithy, and the connections have to be made so defined, that it takes away the naturalness of it. I'm writing maybe a sentence every ten minutes. And the quality isn't proportionately better for all the time I'm putting into it. I finished one of four and sent it off to the people writing my letters of recommendation, as well as to Judy Fischer in Career Services, expecting them to rip it apart. Everyone but Prof. Kerber just said "yeah, that sounds good." Where's Brad Heath? He was Executive Editor of The Maroon-News my freshman year and Editor-in-Chief the next year. Not too many people liked him very much as a person (I didn't have a problem with him, but I've learned I put up with people a lot better than most), but he was a great editor. He used to completely deconstruct my commentary every week, maing me nearly rewrite it. I feared Thursday nights because I knew Brad would read my latest bit of nonsense. I credit him with any commentary writing skill I may show. My writing is twenty times better now for having been put through the Brad Heath wringer (by which I mean my earliest commentaries really really sucked). That's the kind of editor I need now.

I need to get these things done. I'm a week behind the deadline I set myself. But I can't seem to put anything down that really means anything, that isn't unneccessarily vague or that doesn't descend into cliche. So I take too many breaks, to check email and look at blogs. Every day I tell myself I'm going to buckle down and stop wasting time like this, so that I can get my work done and have honest-to-goodness free time. But it just doesn't happen.

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