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I am well into my SECOND week of no classes :D .


I've got this enormous work load this semester (I am teaching three college classes, none of which I've done before, writing my dissertation and tutoring) . If I don't get a certain amount of work done during the day then I feel like I really can't go to class.


I feel like I'm about to lose my mind.


I'm also very depressed because I was making good progress all this spring and summer I felt like I was actually getting much better, much quicker than I ever have before and here I am not even going once a week.


Sorry, but I just had to wail about it to people who will understand. :crying:

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dido, I totally feel your pain--both the not-getting-to-ballet-class and the not-making-progress-on-the-dissertation.


Just a thought--you might want to try cutting yourself a break and going to ballet class even if you feel you don't "deserve" it--sometimes a change of scene and a bit of a break can be energizing.

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I'll echo koshka and say that you may find you have more energy and work more efficiently if you break for class. Then again I took several years away from dance for my education, so who am I to talk? :P


Seriously, I did stop dancing because my schedule was too erratic to attend class, but I did continue exercising and took an occassional jazz class despite my schedule. It always made me feel better.

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Thanks guys! :P Koshka I read your post right around the time when I have to leave to make it to class on time and I thought, "That's silly, I'm not punishing myself, I just don't have time."


And then I thought: Wait, I am punishing myself, quite literally, and I really need to go to class. So I did! Yay!


I'm sure I'll have to skip more classes than I'd like this semester, and I'm sure I'll go to a lot of classes when I'd really rather lie in bed and sniff, but you're both right. I gotta go.


Plus, all that bus riding is good for reading secondary scholarship. :sleeping:

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Plus, all that bus riding is good for reading secondary scholarship.

...or just thinking or letting things percolate.

I cannot tell you how many times the answer to something I've been stuck has come while I've been on the bus, in the shower, or even in class with the problem relegated to "background" processing.

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I come in a bit late, but I would have given advice similar to Koshka's. For me, the problem of not having gotten enough done during the day has never so far been cured by staying in late and desperately trying to get it done; it has been cured time and again by getting away from the work and coming back refreshed the next day.


I think maybe the best thing my PhD studies have given me so far is the realization that when I have too much to do, or am stuck with the work, or stuck in procrastinating, sitting extra time at the computer / in the library does not help, but if anything makes it worse.

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I have to agree with everyone else who's posted. I found that doing at least 2-3 classes a week kept me sane while I did my PhD, and I was teaching in my research subject as well. I found doing something so different from my academic work (I'm a literature scholar & theatre historian) was great. I also enjoyed being taught rather than teaching - I only had to take responsibility for myself, not worry about 40 undergraduates!



But I've been punishing myself in the same way lately as I'm finishing off writing a big book, and NOT going to class or the gym if I don't get enough done. A month ago I realised this was silly, and didn't add up, and I went back to the gym and whatever dance classes I can find. And I feel so much better (except here I am posting when I should be writing!).


Good luck with the dissertation


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I have a couple of quick, mostly repetetive comments to add:


1) Learning is a process, and often nonlinear. Grad school taught me

that I can read n articles for m minutes every day, but the creative,

intellectual part of my mind works on its own time and in its own time.


2) Fun is both necessary and sufficient, sometimes :P




3) Nothing relieves day-to-day stress like exercise. Or, failing that,

an electric guitar and a Marshall stack :sleeping:

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When I was writing my thesis I found that I had to allow enough fun/social activities to keep myself sane. Generally I always went to dance class on Friday night, as it was my treat at the end of the week, and it left me feeling refreshed so that I could write over the weekend.


Keep yourself sane, and don't do what I did. In a six week period, I got married, my husband was transferred interstate by the army, I finished up my research job, packed up all our stuff, finished writing my PhD thesis and moved interstate. And then got rather sick as a result of having pushed myself to my physical and mental limit. Don't try this!!!!!


Keep on dancing if that is what you need to do!

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Guest beckster

I agree with what has been said so far. I carried on with ballet when I was writing my PhD thesis and it helped to keep me sane. Thursdays were the one day when I made the effort to finish everything up by 5pm so I could have the evening off to go to class. If I had time I would go on other days, but giving myself that one day made all the difference.

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I definitely agree with going to class as regularly as possible - knowing you have to leave work at a certain time makes you work more efficiently, and ballet is good for back problems from sitting at the computer or library table too long. You will probably unavoidably have to miss classes during the last push on a PhD though. I had a last push last spring and my mantra for times when I couldn't go to class was, "You can go to all the classes you want after you've handed in." And then I didn't make the deadline (it was not entirely my fault - there are these things called supervisors and they can be as flaky as students) so I have another last push ahead of me. Joy. And I have a full teaching load and two side jobs. And we've just started pointe.

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Man, all those sentences starting "When I WAS writing my dissertation" make me really really jealous.


But, like everybody else I've decided I'm definitely being a clunch about this. I started thinking about it as well and decided that I'm just asking way too much of myself. The three classes alone are a full load what with all the grading and preparation. If I can salvage three days from that to work on actually writing then anything I can come up with this semester is all to the good.


Part of the problem I think was facing the fact that I can't go to 5 or 6 classes a week (even at a very demanding job this summer I mananged 4 or 5) and I think I unconsciously was being very spoiled about it, "All right if I can't go to as many classes as I want, I ain't gonna go at all! So there!"


Anyway, it was an inspiration to read how all of you managed to balance this specific task (and I LOVE that no one has told me to just ditch the ballet for now!) with their own comittment to dance.


Thank you all.

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Guest prokofiev



I just had to ask since no one else did: "Dido's Lament" - was your post title meant to invoke Henry Purcell? :blushing:


If so, just remember that when you're "laid in earth" you won't wish you'd spent more time in the stacks! Don't punish yourself, and strive for balance.


When I was in grad school, I found all the intellectual challenges wonderfully stimulating for my head, but I needed a good ballet class to keep my body humming, too.


Clears the cobwebs... and always made the creative juices flow a little better when it came to writing.


Also, my students noticed I was significantly less cranky about grading when I was dacing regularly.... :D



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:D Since you ask, prokofiev, 1) I picked dido for the heroine of Joan Aiken's Wolves of Willoughbey Chase books (Black Hearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Cookoo Tree, etc, etc; if you haven't read them in your youth run run run to go get them!) NOT the Queen of Carthage.




2) We used to sing the Come Away Fellow Sailors dealy from Dido and Aeneas in choir at school (I went to St. John's and chorus is mandatory, even though I can't sing) and I really loved it, so I was thinking of it at the time. It seemed appropriately melodramatic.


I hadn't thought of the benefit to the students, but you're so right. The next day I felt no desire (ok, almost no desire) to shout, and the quizzes seemed higher than usual!

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Going to class has definitely improved my mood, I noticed a significant decrease in my road rage, speeding and emotional overeating. Next week there's no class so I'm really looking forward to starting again the week after. I even asked my boss if I could change my work schedule so I could make class every week. Thankfully one of my workmates was willing to swop shifts with me so I could finish earlier and go to ballet.


Good luck with the workload and dissertation, I hope you manage to fit in ballet, the benefits should be worth it.

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