Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 29: (Metaphorically) Out to Dinner with Derrida

Thought of the day: There is great irony in the fact that I feel I have least to offer in the way of amusing others when I'm at my most thoughtful, productive time of the semester. (This is when I've moved past the "slightly crazy but in an amusing stage" into the "truly focused on nothing but the writing I have to do" stage. I have not quite yet reached this latter stage this term, but feel it approaching.)

This doesn't mean that I have nothing to offer, I think, to others, during these times--just that such a large proportion of my attention is funneled into articulating some of what I'm learning in written form before I can articulate it orally to others once again.

It's interesting, I think, that I still catch myself viewing this attention to communicating in written form as a lesser form of communication than conversation with others, at moments like these.

Then again, it's more that when I'm busy being my most productive/creative, that creativity isn't always balanced between the different parts of my life, but put into primarily one kind of outlet. The same problem happens in a different form when all of my time is spent communicating face-to-face and I have no opportunity for written communication.

And these papers I'm writing ARE conversations: they're conversations with everything I've been reading. The fact that I feel myself narrowing in on the items I'm responding to, in order to prepare my written responses, is a reduction of ambient noise much like focusing in on what one's dinner companion is saying rather than listening to what's going on at the table next to yours at the restaurant (while in another circumstance you and your dinner companion might decide to go over and join in).

So yeah, I'm not trying to ignore all of you other bloggers out there at the next table right now by not mentioning you or linking to you in my posts. It's just that I'm mostly paying attention to the scholarly dinner companions whose words I've been reading, and figuring out how to respond to what they've been telling me for several months (in term paper form)....

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