Warning: Email Sabbatical is Imminent .. and other random thoughts
On Monday, I will fly to Berkeley to begin the dissertation filing process. (Don’t you dare congratulate me until I get this puppy signed and accepted.) On Wednesday, I ship my beloved feline to her kitty spa. On Thursday, the movers arrive. (And good god is this place a wreck from my festering; plus, not one box is packed.) On Friday, we drive out. This translates to:
For those who are unaware of my approach to vacation… I believe that email eradicates any benefits gained from taking a vacation by collecting mold and spitting it back out at you the moment you return. As such, I’ve trained my beloved INBOX to reject all email during vacation. I give it a little help in the form of a .procmail file that sends everything directly to /dev/null. The effect is very simple. You cannot put anything in my queue while I’m away (however lovingly you intend it) and I come home to a clean INBOX. Don’t worry… if you forget, you’ll get a nice note from my INBOX telling you to shove off, respect danah’s deeply needed vacation time, and try again after January 19.
It’s sick, twisted, and counter to the always-on culture that we live in. But gosh darnit, it feels mighty fine to come home fret-free. And this will be especially important for this trip because, starting January 19, I will begin my new job at MSR – w00t!
For those curious to where I’m going… the first 10 days will be spent driving cross-country so that G can see “real America.” I will spend the holiday with my fam before heading to Costa Rica for 2.5 weeks of adventuring. If you happen to have good knowledge of kitsch Americana along the 10, please do share! I love big balls of twine, 100′ grasshoppers, and stores dedicated to the unique, obscure, and downright weird.
There’s good news in all of this… in a very short period of time, years of weight will be lifted from my shoulders and that pesky “Dissertation in Progress: Do Not Disturb” sign will be lifted from my blog. I will be less bitchy, more interested in leaving my house, and much more likely to blog. Plus, I’ll actually start attending events again. (SXSW, anyone?!?!)
I’ve learned something very interesting in this process though… You know how when you were in college you kept wondering how your professors got so WEIRD? They all seemed to have their own unique brand of quirk, a penchant for collecting something random, and a twitch that made it clear that interacting with humans was not quite their speed. They don’t tell you this when you start your PhD, but this is a product of academification. It is caused by long years of jumping through hoops, complete isolation/alienation, and the pressure to be brilliant. It’s post-traumatic academic disorder.
So please be kind when you see me… I haven’t grown spots, but sunlight is scary and my collection of YA ARCs is growing out of control. And I cannot remember what it’s like to leave my PJs. And somehow I grew hair. Like lots of it. I look like a girl! EEK!