Friday, October 11, 2013


Clawing my way back to where I should be. Two nights in a row of twelve-hour sleep were highly beneficial: I sat down this afternoon and wrote comments on a dozen student assignments without it seeming like an intolerable effort of will. My inability to do even a single one on Wednesday morning really just told me that I was down to the absolute dregs! That's less than a quarter of the total number I need to comment on for Monday, but it's a good start, and I read a dissertation draft that I've been remiss with - still need to type up comments, but it is a relief to be finally making headway.

(The allergy doctor yesterday clucked with disapproval at the sound of my cough, and took out her stethoscope; she tells me what I knew already, that my lungs are "full up," bronchitis not asthma, and that the only treatment for viral bronchitis is to take an expectorant - Mucinex! - and drink lots of water. I was hoping to exercise today, but it didn't really make sense - tomorrow I will have a stab at something easy and see how it goes. Painful psychological deprivation - all I want is to be running and/or doing hot yoga!)

Seeing Betrayal tomorrow afternoon with a former professor of mine who has an extra ticket. Did finish and send that Bookforum review yesterday, though I am awaiting its return with trepidation as I suspect it is in need of considerable fixing-up!

Starting Tom Jones on Monday, which is fun (I find it easiest when teaching to dig in on a longish book and then just proceed through it in chunks - it requires much less attention than starting a new text or author almost every lecture); and Sentimental Journey on Tuesday, also very good fun to teach. A dissertation defense Wednesday morning early, and then B. arrives Wednesday evening for a 10-day visit!

I am possibly slightly in denial about the fact that the season of letters of recommendation is hard upon us - I have four I think I need to do this weekend, with others looming. Need to start doing daily meditation again - I got out of the habit in August, as I was doing so many training hours & it has some of the same benefits, but really it is very worthwhile, I need to get it back in the mix.

Light reading around the edges: Sara Ryan's amazing graphic novel Bad Houses; Arnaldur Indridason's Black Skies, which gave me a terrible pang of missing my friend Maxine Clarke, who loved these books and all their ilk; and Alex Marwood, The Wicked Girls (some wild implausibilities, but really very good, very gripping, very much the kind of novel I like to read). Close to the end of Pelecanos's latest, The Double; will finish it in bed now and hope for an early night.

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