13:03:11Categories: Writing

The narrow-mindedness of finishing a thesis

Leo og Middelhavet

It’s time to start summing up not only the last months where I’ve been conspicuously absent from this blog (again) but also, finally, the whole research project! The only thing left now is to wait for the verdict of the opponents and the ensuing, hopefully, public defence of the thesis. My desk is almost cleared, notes and scribbled scraps of paper are thrown away, books and articles are stuffed back into the shelves, and I’ve made small steps in other academic and bureaucratic directions. I’m therefore no longer among the Parisians, either physically or mentally. (Very soon I’ll be among some suburbanites outside Oslo.)

People have of course told me that wrapping up take longer than one thinks. And I have of course thought that, oh no, not for me. But yes it has taken a little longer than I thought. The stretch of time I’ve spent neglecting almost every other engagement (not familial, however), has consequently become quite long. In fact so long that I’ve problems getting back into doing different things during a day again, not only the predictable thesis-thesis-thesis-visit father-pick up in kindergarten-make dinner-thesis related stuff, or perhaps the occasional newspaper-bed. Now, I need a calendar again, and I must read the emails I get concerning seminars and stuff, and I must remind myself that I’m not only available for sporadic socialising, but it’s also a nice and good thing to do.

I’ve not been very stressed during the final 18 or so months of writing up, but I’ve been extremely narrow-minded. There have only been a handful of activities that succeeded in diverting my attention. The most time-consuming was reading about the 22 July terrorist attack and the sombre universe it sprang from. I’ve hardly read a work of fiction, and hardly seen a film. Now, it’s time to climb out of the cave and see what’s going on. It’s definitely time to look a little wider. And it’s time to reply to inquiries and attend seminars, time to write, and – definitely – time to look for new work, and time to start a new research project and think entirely new thoughts.

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