A little Scottish summer rain; and Do I really need to do the first thing first?

by Anna Blanch on July 26, 2010

It’s a Scottish summer’s evening and it’s raining. But that’s about par for the course.* Living in a place where summer is most certainly a relative term, i’ve learned to make the most of any hint of sun and warmth. When i walked out to the kitchen this morning I found my roommate C. sitting in the sunshine in the hallway with the front door open. This kind of sun-seeking behaviour is what we resort to living in a place where we all get rather excited when the mercury tops 16 or 17 degrees celsius. 

What else has today brought? It’s brought a realisation that this time next week i’ll be in Paris having already spent my first day studying french and exploring the city. It’s brough shortbread and rose garden earl gray tea (which is seriously good). It brought a much need connection to home and a long conversation with my mother and grandmother. It’s brought a little anxiety that I might not get these four conference papers completely written before I leave!

Which brings me to the realisation, the admission, that I have a little neurosis. I like to do the first thing first. Not necessary the most important or pressing. But the first. I’ve spent a few weeks now wrangling the first (chronologically) of these conference papers into shape moving from a 50 page article to 20 to 12 and now, after today’s substantial structural changes, somehow, back up to 17. It threatens to burst the banks. But this little wobbly toddler of a paper has been completely deconstructed and reconstructed and could end up being incredibly significant for my doctoral project as a whole. Truth be told, it’s larger significance is why i’ve spent so much energy on it. It really begins to elucidate my methodological approach to critical practice as a scholar in the field of literature and theology. That’s all a bit jargony, isn’t it? 

Basically, I need to learn how to move better from one task to another. To not think so chronologically, but try to think more thematically or in terms of what is really important. I wonder if i’m like this in the rest of my life or just in this curious work deadline related area?

* when i wrote this It didn’t even cross my mind that I live in St Andrews, the home of golf. I realised as I was proof-reading (I do that you know, proofreading…although I’m sure sometimes you can’t even tell!)

Image: Anna Blanch 2010
Anna M Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, University of St Andrews. She is writing her doctoral thesis on E.Nesbit.

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  • pbenjay

    Hi Anna,
    I don't want to distract you from your writing. However I do want you to know how much I appreciate your participation in the Six Word Memoirs. Yours is posted this week in my blog !

  • pbenjay

    Oops here's the link.

  • http://suzrocks.com/blog SuzRocks

    Scotland- Paris! I would never get any schooling done if I lived there! I'm going to think real hard and ask my mom about the kids books thing- while I remember some of them, I have forgotten a lot!

  • http://beyondmeasuring.blogspot.com Rebecca

    You are so fortunate to be able to travel and getting a bigger view of the world while you study! I wish you the best of luck as you continue to plow ahead with your paper writing. And I like to do first things first in the way you described as well. I think you can change it… if you want to. 🙂

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. Sorry it took me a few days to respond. I have had feverish children! 🙁
    My recent post Mr Fantastic is on board!

  • http://www.tatterscoops.com Maureen

    Always thinks Scotland is so beautiful and always dream of visiting one day 😀 Good luck with your paper.

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