Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just How Boring Can It Get?

I work in a dull field. I like it. But let's be real: it's dull.

Last summer, I joined a group of wonderful people for a month of study about immigration history. It was intense, and at times I think we all overheated. Too much humidity (Washington, D.C. in July!), too much running around, too much to read/think about, too many days of listening, discussing, and researching.

Proof? My notes from a brief trip to New York (discovered while packing my office). The main notes track the analysis of our speaker. But in the margins you can see how fatigued I was. I noted, for one thing, how many of our little crew fell asleep (9, out of about 25, including one of the conveners). I noted the incidence of the word "uh" in a 5 minute period (65 times!).

So it turns out that I have the manners of an undergraduate. When I get tired, I get cranky. And my cranky self takes some very naughty notes.

1 comment:

chris bray said...


A few weeks ago, cleaning out piles of papers from a desk area that had turned into a Superfund site, I found a program from a Civil War conference. And there were notes scribbled into the margins -- in, I hasten to add, two different sets of handwriting.

Some were notes about how brilliant and interesting the speakers were.

Others said things like, "Bloooows!" And "Sux so hard!!!!!!" And "This dude can totally just eat it." And, like, "Nice bowlcut, dude."

So it's apparently an old habit.