Friday, February 06, 2009

Oh my ears and whiskers...

No, I'm not late for anything, but that is the refrain bouncing around inside my head. I have the most outrageous headache. If I had whiskers, they'd be hurtin'.

I take this as a sign that my head is full.

Anyway, despite the pounding (I'm starting to wonder if my left cerebrum is about to invade the right and what I feel are the war drums) I had an epiphany in the shower this morning.

Showers always lead to epiphanies. I would love to stay in the shower until the solutions for every problem I have presented themselves, but I worry that I'd never get out of the shower. The writers block that has prevented me from making any real progress in my dissertation lasted for DAYS. Talk about prune hands! I had the FSO test to study for, which thankfully led to a good excuse from not working on the THING for longer than an hour or so from time to time, but I still felt like I was running head first into a large plate glass window every time I even thought about IT. (Test is tomorrow... no, I am done studying, I'll only freak out if I try to pack anything else in my head. Rest and headache removal are the goals of today.)

So the problem remained. One section of one chapter was just NOT working. I approached the whole dissertation as a series of questions: the who, what, where, when, why, and how. The theory chapter deals specifically with the why, why something happened in a particular way and the rest of the dissertation is supposed to illustrate HOW. Question: Answer. Easy. Then there is the chapter I've been revising that includes the basic whats, wheres, whens and some of the hows, that the reader needs to have in order to get the major HOWS being shown in the rest of the work. But this one section would just not fit. I moved sentences around, wrote a bit of this and a bit of that. Moved it around. Deleted. I had sentences hanging out in a holding patter and paragraphs waiting to leave the gate. I think the section was a lot like Heathrow earlier this week.

And it hit me as I was in the shower, I was asking the wrong question. I was asking how silver functioned in society. Which I'd already answered in the theory chapter and was the basis for building my argument. And here I was asking it again. What the hell? So it's not the answer that is at fault, it is the question... what was I really trying to ask? After drying off and dressing myself, I rushed to the computer. (Water still in ears and no coffee, that's how crazy I've become!) Read what I'd written and realized I was trying to talk about how silver was displayed. In fact, by simply changing the word "function" to "display" in several sentences, suddenly the whole thing started to slide together. Paragraphs and sentences that would not align began to form coherent thought (unlike many of my blog posts).

By golly I think I've solved it!!

I may have also solved this headache thing... while I've been writing, I keep wandering into the kitchen and filching salami from the package. I have also developed this MAD hankering for brie. Salami and brie are very fatty and salty. I am obviously experiencing a lack in salt and fat (this is what happens when your last meal was muesli and yogurt, way too healthy), because every slice of salami I eat, the better my head feels.

At least that is the excuse I'm going to give my husband when he comes home to find me stuffing my face with salami wrapped brie slices, a bowl of popcorn and a coke.


  1. ok that settles it.. as I get ready to propose my dissertation topic, I am going to have to spend a great deal of time standing in the shower, waiting for my inspiration! LOL

    Glad your clouds are parting!

  2. I get all my best ideas in the shower! I often stand there attempting to come up with my monologues for Danish class.

  3. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Showers are full of those happy electrons that make you feel cheerful!

    Glad the headache is going away.


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