Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lacking Enthusiasm

I feel a bit out of sorts. My ear hurts - the right one insists upon aching intermittently for no reason I can ascertain. My data and graphs remain stubbornly incomprehensible and I remain mildly but persistently…icky.

I decided it would make a lovely photo as I looked toward the altar at worship this morning. I haven’t been to church in some time, but Friend indicated she would like to attend, so we found seats in the sanctuary just before 10 this morning. At that distance and angle, one of the two candles was in line with the pot of purple springtime flowers. The tiny flame atop the white taper held in a shiny silver candlestick barely flickered, instead bringing forth a steady glimmer while sunshine poured through the windows.

I would frame it like so, I thought, then shifted my view slightly to the right. This would allow the pastel set of stained glass windows to appear and they complimented the color and texture of the flowers beautifully. Communion wafers and juice waited in silver trays that reflected the sun in various angles. I stared for a moment, thinking it was beautiful, and tried again to tune into lessons of wisdom and patience and beauty and consequences and blah, blah, blah.

I was grossly impatient through most of the service, feeling distant and sulky. I tried several times - took deep breaths and attempted to focus during the hymns. I wrapped my fingers around Lottie’s hand when she greeted me.

“I’m Katie,” I replied to her introduction. “And yes, we’ve been here before. But we don’t often sit this far forward.” I smiled at her warm welcome to this section of chairs, offered a gentle squeeze to her hand and a brief prayer for her happiness then returned to my own seat. I focused on the small voice behind me as a child recited the Lord’s Prayer with us. I snapped to attention to add my thoughts to the congregation’s when Friend’s mother was mentioned. I sang as though I meant it for a couple of verses, but overall the prayers seemed too lengthy, the sermon too dry, the scriptures too numerous.

“I knew it,” I said when Friend and I settled in the car. The clock told me it was nearing 11:20 so we had stayed longer than normal. My attitude though could be blamed on no one but me. It was bright and sunny outside - I found it too hot. We stopped for lunch and one of the boneless wings we shared wasn’t cooked. Friend had taken it and we did finish our meal in spite of the grossness she set aside, but that’s the image that lingers in my mind. Sad, pink chicken lurking behind breading and sauce. I tried to nap but couldn’t really rest. I continue to stare at my results, hoping that clarity will arrive in some triumphant flourish, but insight eludes me.

“What do you want to do with steak?” Friend asked a little while ago.

“I don’t care,” I replied. When she continued to look inquisitive, I continued to look unimpressed. I don’t care. I repeated it and mouthed it and shrugged when she walked to the kitchen, muttering something about how I would complain if I didn’t like how it turned out. I can’t see that happening, honestly. I simply don’t care. (Though it was very good - I just wasn't overly excited about dinner as a concept.)

I have a campus visit coming up - for the post-doc I do not want. PrettyAccent is young, which - as Advisor and most of my committee members were also young - makes me a little nervous. She collaborates heavily with her husband, another big red flag for me. I can see where I would play roles in various studies, but have few, if any, of my own. I don’t particularly need more middle-author papers. This institution isn’t ideal for what I’d like to do. I’m not overly impressed with her publication record - she has various impressive papers, but is listed near the middle of most author lists.

“So why are you going to interview for a job you don’t want?” Friend asked and I shrugged. Impressions can be wrong. Perhaps she’s incredibly brilliant and I’d be eternally grateful to have worked for her. I don’t mind meeting people and talking about projects. Perhaps I know something that can be helpful to them even if I decide to turn down the offer of employment. Or I could work there for a year, learn something, be productive and revisit the job search then. No reason not to go, but I do wish I could muster some sort of enthusiasm for the process.

Or any process, really.


Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

I've been in an inexplicable bad mood myself for what seems like forever. Here's hoping we both feel better soon.

Amanda said...

I hope that things come together on the research front soon. It must be that time of year (or there's something widespread in the water) because I've been in an icky mood myself recently. Hopefully, it'll pass soon.

Anonymous said...

i hope things have improved...thinking about you.

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