Friday, June 5, 2009

1,000 Ways to Not Write A Dissertation: Part 9

It's been a busy week here in Weegieland. The nice weather has made me not the most productive dissertationing grad student, and as a result, I am nowhere near my goal of 10,000 by tomorrow morning. In fairness, there are a lot of distractions here that maybe had I gone and instead holed myself up in a cottage in the Hebrides for the summer to write, I wouldn't have. In my fictional Hebridean cottage, I wouldn't be spending my time at pub quizzes, meeting friends for coffee, doing a small pub hop on a random weeknight, having fantastic lunches at Mother India (oh, my kingdom for their corriander chutney right now), and doing long, leisurely workouts at the gym. In my fictional Hebridean cottage, I'd be alone and working. I'd probably be hovering somewhere near 50,000 words at this point, almost certain to break through 100,000 by the end of the summer.

Except I don't stay in a fictional Hebridean cottage. I stay in Glasgow's West End. And so as a result, I have only 1,700 words written. There is a chance I'll be cursing having a social life when August rolls or around. I'm not here in Scotland to play and I must keep reminding myself that this is not a year-long vacation. It's a Master's. It's serious business.

So I swear I'm going to get right (write!) on that dissertation. Or I will as soon as I get back from my trip. I head out tomorrow morning for Heathrow, where I'm meeting up with my dad who's flying in from Dulles (Terminal 1, what what?) and then we're driving up to Yorkshire. I'm flying south to drive north, but it all makes sense in my head. Three days in Yorkshire, two in Cheltenham, and then back to Glasgow.

With a bajillion things to do today before I leave though, my day did not start well. It started with an almost-heart attack. My alarm went off, I looked at my phone, and saw that date was June 6th, 2009. At 9am.

June 6th, 6:30am, I'm supposed to be on a Heathrow-bound flight. Not in my bed, in my pajamas.

For the first time in my life, I actually thought I'd become That Person who slept through their flight or booked their flight on the wrong day or just got their flight all wrong, and my entire life goal (other than literary success, a fabulous apartment in Paris, and Chris Pine on my arm) is to never, ever be That Person. A million things were running through my head, like imagining my dad sitting at arrivals at Heathrow, cursing my existence for being so stupid. Or how was I going to come up with the money for a last-minute (literally) plane ticket to get down to London today. But as it turns out, my MacBook and iTouch both calmed me down, told me to breathe, and assured me the date was indeed still just June 5th. It was just my stupid phone that was stupidly wrong somehow. Damn you, Sony Ericsson. Damn you.

Once my heartrate (slowly) got back to normal and the adrenaline stopped making me feel like I was going to fall over, me and my coffee became a rational person again and checked in for the flight, got an optimal seat, and made sure to call the taxi ahead of time for ridiculous early tomorrow morning.

In February, the the ridiculously early BD001 to London is great. First flight out of the day and it takes off in darkness. But somewhere over the Midlands, the sun starts to come up and there's nothing like the sunrise at 35,000 feet. Now though, it's June. And here in Scotland at least, there's still light in the sky at 11pm, with sunrise just after 4am. So this will be nothing more than a normal daylight flight. Which is slightly less romantic.

But romantic flight or not, I am excited for this trip. My dad and I haven't been in Yorkshire (or the UK) together since 1991, and other than quick trips to Ohio, haven't gone on a vacation just the two of us since we hit up the Isle of Skye when I was eight years old. This five day northern swing is a long time overdue. It's going to be great. Standby for pictures.


At June 7, 2009 at 5:58 AM , Blogger Scotsman said...

I suspect even in a Hebridean cottage you would find distractions. I'm sure in most Hebridean islands there would be at least one pub in which you could enjoy the hospitality of. Unless of course it was Sunday.


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