Summer’s End, Essay’s End…

Totally personal update. I imagine many casual readers won’t be interested. If you are, well, there’s a link, and you’re free to click it.


When I finish a story, I usually feel good. When I finish an academic paper–which I should add is something I haven’t done in years–usually I just feel the way a geriatric patient feels after a serious bowel movement…

…relieved, grateful to have survived, but not particularly gratified.

But anyway, except for a couple of tiny quotes I need to hunt down, some formatting issues, and editing it down to cut a half a page, I’m pretty much done with that academic paper on Korean SF films and cultural barriers problematizing the Koreanization of the SF genre. I figure a few hours’ work tomorrow is all I’ll need to put in.

And it’s painful for me to recognize that the deadline for this paper is also the end of summer. School starts again on Monday, and I got a lot less done this summer than I planned. I bombed the Clarion West write-a-thon, sending out only one story and getting one of two collaborations going (and even that, we failed to finish). In retrospect, I probably should have gone with my first instinct and bowed out this year, because I just had a lot on my plate. In addition to which, the sudden attack of tendinitis in one of my Achilles’ tendons put a real damper on my lofty plans of daily hiking.

The last hesitation I have is that because of plans which ultimately fell through–I was supposed to be visiting Japan this September, but it won’t be happening for reasons I discussed here–I didn’t end up traveling this summer. I don’t know if I actually saved more money, or made more money this summer because of that, but as the semester looms just a day and a half away, I feel an aching foreboding that I’m going to wish I had gone on a short trip somewhere.

But the past is the past, and there’s little one can do about it. On the positive side, I don’t feel as exhausted as I sometimes do after traveling and returning just in time for the semester to begin. That’s good. And I don’t really have any night classes this semester, which is good, since maybe I’ll be able to get an exercise routine going, and start sleeping earlier. (I’ll need to, since my classes start at 9:00am four days a week… groan.) Since my tendon is still bugging me, I’m thinking that this exercise is going to involve swimming, though if I can work some weights into it (without straining that tendon) I’ll go for a little of that, too. I guess it’s time to dig out my swimming stuff.

6 thoughts on “Summer’s End, Essay’s End…

  1. Oi!

    What do you mean “failed to finish”? I’m still willing to work on it if you have time…

    (or, if you don’t, I can take over and credit you as second author assuming eventual publication)

  2. (LOL I mean failed to finish in time for the Write-a-Thon! I still intended to get “Fovea” done, man! No worries… and sorry I’ve been a while doing anything on it. This paper…)

  3. Ah! you finished your paper on the Host! (I meant to comment after reading that post–tres brill and insightful) but that was my “feel ashamed of being a lurker” day. Quite smart, especially on the mob/demonstration-sellout friend and social climbing aspect.

    Hope the paper goes over well.

  4. Frog Lew,

    Actually, the paper I finished only discussed The Host for the span of about a half a page. I’m thinking next month I’ll do up a paper all about The Host, perhaps within the context of what I think I figured out about a pretty interesting political dichotomy between two politica/philosophical stances in Korean SF films (see an upcoming post). The paper I completed actually deals with a whole bunch of ’em, from The Resurrection of the Little Match Girl all the way to The Host, in the context of whether there are specific cultural elements that pose special problems to the Koreanization of the SF genre.

    (In other words, whether, how, and why cultural factors play a role in how SF gets received in a given society. Since most of the discussion I could dig up simply implies that it’s a function of industrialization, and SF’s relatively limited popularity here suggests that cannot be the only factor.)

    I’m glad you enjoyed the posts, and I’ll be sure to post here once the paper on The Host ever ends up being published, since I have a really near framework that casts everything (including the traitorous social climber buddy) into a new perspective…

    As for the paper I did write, it’ll be available for download sometime soon, and I’ll post a link when it is… I’m sure I’ll get disemboweled at the presentation, though. I am pretty blunt and vaguely partisan in spots. (My “talk” version of the paper might smooth that a bit, but not much.)

    Oh, and you should never feel ashamed of being a lurker! Bloggers never mind a visitor speaking up for the first time. Sane ones, anyway. :)

  5. When I finish a story, I usually feel good. When I finish an academic paper . . . . usually I just feel the way a geriatric patient feels after a serious bowel movement…

    Why? Is it the choreishness of constructing arguments? Or is it that you prefer to make your arguments in a different way and about life in general? Because every story is arguing for something, even something small. Or have I got it wrong? Tell me.

  6. Hmm, I find academic writing harrowing to begin with, but when I imagine the audience I’ll be delivering this paper to — a number of members of which will likely be hostile to my premises, if they take them seriously enough to show up — then choreishness becomes torturous.

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