Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Slow Progress  §

Things continue to get done. That’s not quite the same as saying that I continue to catch up. I’m not actually getting any nearer to meeting all of my obligations promptly, but as I run around like a maniac, type at the speed of light, and blow into—then back out of—classrooms again at a blinding pace, I leave a trail of completed tasks behind me.

Some things, like responding to all of my email, remain perpetually a week or so behind. Others, like the writing projects I’m meant to be working on in furtherance of my own research and career, are anywhere from one to six months behind at this point and counting, with no progress whatsoever being made.

Weekends are now no less frantic than weekdays, though I continue to imagine them somehow as a relaxing time, and thus pine away for them just before they arrive. When they do arrive, however, I quickly feel as harried or moreso than I do during the week, since during the week virtually all my attention goes to two things, (1) baby and (2) teaching, meaning that during the weekend I have to do (1) research, (2) writing, (3) cleaning, (4) personal and life maintenance, (5) sleeping, (6) grading, (7) reading, and everything else, and I simply don’t get it done. Every weekend begins with a list of the “10 big things” that have to get done during the weekend or something like that, and generally I leave the weekend with a list of the “8 big things” that still have to get done because I only managed to accomplish a couple of them, despite sleeping not a wink on Saturday or Sunday. By the time the next weekend rolls around the list will have grown again to become the “11 big things” that need to be done, and so on.

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Obviously I haven’t managed to put any more time into this new incarnation of the blog, either to finish the content or to continue to build out the style, much less to return it to some place of honor in the link structure of my domain or promote it to anyone in any way or post links to it in all of my “profiles” around the web at places like Facebook.

I still don’t quite know how I’ll relate it to my academic website, what to do with my academic website (it’s in need of serious help) or whether these problems will ever, ever get attended to. Right now things are seriously simply too busy to worry about anything like that. When you’re running on 1-3 hours of sleep every night for six months, you know you shouldn’t be thinking about meta-tasks more than you need to, certainly not marketing-oriented ones.

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A thankful shout-out to my parents, who will never read this so in a way it’s sort of futile, for the MacBook Pro. I’m far too old for gifts like this from my parents; it makes me feel just a little bit ridiculous. But it’s also true that I never would have bought one myself at the prices that they charge for these things.

More importantly, it’s turning out to be true that this is the most productivity-enhancing piece of gear I’ve ever owned and that I seriously underestimated the “it just works” Apple advantage, even as someone previously running OS X (a licensed copy, mind you) on a “hackintosh” machine.

I think I am now firmly and dedicatedly in the Apple camp until further notice. This is easily the best computing device I’ve ever owned and the amount of work that it has already fearlessly carried me through in the space of a single week is ridiculous. It’s also continuing to serve despite having been violated by me in its youth as I pulled it apart for a moment to replace the stock 250GB drive with a 1TB drive that will house every . last . goddam . thing in my data universe, synchronized with the desktop that I continue to maintain and don’t have time to figure out what to do with.

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And now back to preparing for class, thinking about advisors’ needs, listening for baby awakenings, musing in a Valentines-day-y way about love and the future, and all of that other stuff that isn’t getting done while I sit here wasting time typing, even if I do type at well over 110 words per minute on this poor, wondering-what-hit-it MacBook Pro.