Yesterday, I ran into a coworker, Curtis, who was bemoaning the loss of a crucial few paragraphs of writing to our somewhat less-than-current Rolfs' Office computers. Attempting to save (or some such action), he got an error message, and the software was unable to recover his writing. Beside himself, Curtis was almost unable to write. I sympathize with this feeling. Often, I'll plan a day based on one or two actions which will carry forward the rest of the day's actions. But, if I am unable to complete the first actions, I'm mentally lost.
This fact reminded me of part of Catharine Beecher's 1841 Domestic Economy. In this advice book, she encourages housekeepers to be systematic; then, she admonishes them to be adaptable as well. In the chapter "American Housekeepers," she observes, "A woman, who attempts to carry out any plans of system, order, and economy, and who has her feelings and habits conformed to certain rules, is constantly liable to have her plans crossed, and her tastes violated, by the inexperience or inattention of those about her. And no housekeeper, whatever are her habits, can escape the frequent recurrence of negligence or mistake, which interferes with other plans" (282). While Beecher advises that the proper housewife ignore her feelings and display, instead, happiness and efficiency, I think that, with academic housekeeping, it is just as useful to record frustrations in order to surmount them. That said, here are my recent academic (and housekeeping) frustrations:
1. UPS delivery of Amazon books. How the hell did I ask for UPS delivery!?! I'm never systematically home. Since I got my second failed delivery notice, I'm going to be hunting down the UPS hub sometime in the near future.
2. My advisor. Out sick. Again. WTF!?! What have I done to have the anger of God continually rained down on me on this front? Sabbatical. Fractured wrist. Hellish take at exams. (And now) food poisoning. Honestly, y'all.
3. E-bay refunding of money for upholstery fabric (ok, ok this is "housekeeping" in an "academic" setting). I won a bid for good, heavy, cheap upholstery. Waited. Waited. Finally, the seller refunds my money, explaining that some family person got sick again. My condolences, but—ya know—note to seller: don't do business if you can't do business.
Ok, good. Frustration out: calmness in. Just like Curtis, I guess I'll have to start somewhere else.