Friday, May 07, 2004

So much for burning out
Four things happened since yesterday:
Most important - following a link from Dennis' blog I read the NYC times article about Mary Ann Buckles. She dropped everything and quit academia after her PhD on the game Adventure. That dissertation was the first work I read on text-based games, and I sat down and plunged into the MUDs myself afterwards. I was sure she had to be a highly paid tenured professor at some fancy, progressive University by now. Why does it make me feel better that she isn't? Because it legitimises my own occasional academic overload. The only role models visible to me from this vantage point are the ones who finished their PhDs and went on to become powerwielding professors way above me in the hierarchy. Mary Ann Buckles shows me that it is possible to turn the back on all of it and do something else. Perhaps my secret shameful dream of being a nail designer isn't a sign of failure after all, just a sign that this is a rough field and if you feel battered it is because you ARE battered, not a trick of your (failing) mind. The article lines up neatly next to the goodbye of the Invisible Adjunct and confirms that yes, this really IS a rat race.

Did the last of the how-did-I-ever-get-into-doing-this lectures on organisational theory. I guess I am the most competent person the department has on organisation theory. That doesn't say much about my level of competency, really. Lucky it is at a very basic level, or the students would have been better off just reading the book. Why did I do it? I didn't find anybody who both spoke Norwegian, knew the field and were willing to do the lecture, not for money or for threats or promises of payment of other kinds. Or actually I did, but the email never reached me, and I didn't know until four days ago. The irony, the irony.

Booked the flight for my vacation. Guess where? New York in July. Sounds horrible, really, but I am not familiar with the combination heat/metropol, so it will be a different experience. And so nice to get back to the cool clean quiet fjords afterwards. So if you know of interesting events around NYC between 9th and 28th of July, I'd love to know! Nick and Noah have both already pointed me towards the Ars Electronica exhibition.

I read my own blogposts. Not as much gloom and doom as I feared. Looks like I have managed to keep most of it out of the blogspace. Good. Internal super-editor still working.

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