Why is it again that…?

That is one big problem when you are overworked. At some point, the meaning of the choices, the efforts, the strategies you make, simply vanishes. Usually, blogging keeps me rooted somehow. I knew I would regret not taking the time to blog for over a week. Well, it is too late now: I have reached the “Why is it again…?” point.

On the positive side, I have done some actual work. I have transcribed a great deal of the “Akte die Promotionen betreffend” and am finishing writing an article in which I show – with not so much effort, since the material has been giving (offering would be more accurate)  me everything I needed – how Boeckh developed two strategies, one of the level of the Philological Faculty, the other on the level of the University – one based on making his Philological Seminar the strong arm of said Faculty, the other based on making all Faculties equally strong. Even if the two strategies could incidentally collide, they both were all in all aiming at giving him more power, which he achieved by spotting and exploiting institutional niches. Considering he was about my age when he did all that, I must say I am in deep awe.

On the half-half side, I have done a big deal of the tedious copyediting I was supposed to do. But I am not done, not even closely. I will have to spend about two more months copyediting. The sheer idea of it makes my eyes burn.

Also on the half-half side, the application writing. Why is it that I promise myself not to write any more application in a close future and end up writing one every other month? What is more, very few of them worked out well in the past year. This is one thing at which I completely lose orientation. Why, why do I put my hopes, my dreams, my energy in that type of writing which above all forms of writing I ever experienced is one of the most excruciating? I know that these applications won’t give me a permanent position. I know that writing the application costs tons of time and in case I would actually get the grant, it would cost me even more time. I have stopped nursing the illusion that it is good for my CV to have one successful grant at the top of each of my fingers. So, why?

I ironically suggested this afternoon that I should try to make the sum of my grant applications pass as an habilitation. It is what they already are in a sense, since phrasing all these research questions forces me to go one step further in my own reflexion for each and every application. But there are, one would think, other ways to do so. Like reading books and getting new ideas by reading. But I should rather not think of that, because it won’t happen to me in months.

On the frankly negative side, I have had zero time for my digital edition, and received several e-mails pointing at transcription mistakes. Which is good, because I can implement the corrections quickly. But also painful because I had rather not have people spot that kind of mistakes before I do. Why is it again that I am always torn between seeing big things and having so little time to make them really good? – Em, yes, I remember. It is because I write grant applications all the time.



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