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Finding an egg in my beer!

August 21, 2014

Childcare and fall teaching prep have kept me from making any progress on chapter two for the past two weeks. As a result, I’ve spent most of today getting re-acquainted with what I’ve already written of chapter two. Initially, I thought today would be an exercise in frustration and wasted time, knowing that I was going to spend the day reading and editing only to drift away from it for another week and have to get reacquainted with it all over again. So far, though, it has actually been tremendously productive. I’ve discovered that time and distance has allowed me to be a bette editor of my own work. I’m seeing things now that don’t make as much sense to me as they did when I wrote them, and digressions that aren’t quite as relevant to the “bigger picture” as they once were. My draft is much more focused as a result. I’m hoping I can maintain my groove from here, although the imminent start of the teaching semester will make this difficult. At least I’ve learned today that taking time apart from my work  (here I imagine Ross Geller yelling “We were on a break!” to the New York City skyline – am I dating myself?) can sometimes have its perks. Maybe I won’t write anything new today, but here’s one positive: instead of thinking in terms of two weeks of lost work, I’m now thinking in terms of fresh new perspectives, more vibrant language, and stronger connections between primary sources. In short, today’s rerun has already produced a better, more meaningful, revived chapter two – and the day isn’t over yet!

N.B.: The title of this post comes from I’m an avid user of this site; sometimes it leads me to weird and wonderful colloquialisms I’ve never encountered before. Apparently, “An egg in one’s beer” is a synonym for a perk or benefit, referring to material or worldly pleasures of some kind. This post is an attempt to think positively about an unwelcome lull in dissertation progress and search for a potential benefit – or, a search for “an egg in my beer,” if is to be trusted. It’s probably not a perfect fit, but it’s amusing to me nonetheless.


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