Friday, April 24, 2009

Low blood pressure

I went to the doctor today for various check-ups and to get my repeat prescriptions for my asthma medication (medicine? Does anyone say medicine any more?) and it was only a few days after I ran out, which surely counts as some kind of victory. And I have low blood pressure, which is normal for me. But I was very pleased, because I have been a bit stressed lately, thank you very much. If I was talking it would come out more like this, 'I have been a bit stressed lately, akshually'. I was so cheered up by the low blood pressure that I felt pretty relaxed for the rest of today. 'Ha ha,' I thought to myself (like Piglet), 'ha ha - throw at me what you will, heffalumps of work-related anxiety, I have low blood pressure - you cannot make me steam or stew!'.

But it did get me thinking about the things that make me stressed, anxious and worried. And here they are:
1. writing stuff that has to be referenced
2. referencing stuff
3. letting other people read stuff that I have written and referenced.

So you can see what a happy character I was when I was a research student. Oh natural fit. Being a columnist, on the other hand, was a piece of badly-researched cake. (Bad metaphor, since badly researched cake probably wouldn't taste very nice, and I don't think my columns were particularly dreadful.)

But recently I have been writing stuff at work, and the anxiety friends have been having a wonderful time, clustering together and chatting about all the possible bad outcomes. Deadline-what-deadline has made great friends with But-what-if-it's-all-horribly-horribly-wrong. The like to hang out together at three in the morning, the little scamps.

But yah boo sucks to them, I have low blood pressure. And I spent this afternoon colouring stuff in with highlighters. I never, ever got to do that when I was a postgraduate student. Take that, Dean of Research! (You have to imagine me taking a bit of a Wonder Woman stance at this point, but without the lariat and shorts. Maybe with the bustier though. I like the bustier.)


aztec-rose said...

I sympathize. I should do a before and after phd blood pressure check. Just the pondering about checking, and rechecking the references of this tome could have fatal consequences. But I find the deadline carrot works for me, if only that deadline didn't seem so far off in the distance, and my long distance vision is deteriorating...

Man O'Sand said...

Having the mixed up academic schedule that I do, I have had to pick up some first year subjects this semester which has meant revisiting the academic style of writing. In only 6 months I had forgotten how to structure a sentence so that it doesn't just sound like me having a well informed conversation over a glass of pinot. And in text citations?!? I will never have a career as an academic.

Hank Five said...

Try Zotero, Man 'O

Web-based - word processor friendly referencing for the people! Totally free also.

Man O'Sand said...

It's not the practicalities of doing it, it's the requirement.
Don't they trust me or something?

Penthe said...

A journalist that doesn't like sources, hey?
Give him a job with the Sun-Herald.

Penthe said...

That comment up there that was attributed to me, implying criticism of journalistic ethics?

Not by me, my friend. By someone not using their real name. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

But Mr Sand, I know exactly how you feel. I used to think, why should I hand in essays? Do they think I can't do it or something?

ThirdCat said...

If this were facebook, I'd put one of those little 'likes this' thumbs up...

which is so much easier than substantial comment.

Man O'Sand said...

Well Penthe it's obvious that such a comment could not be attributed to your good self. You possess much more grace that that.

I would assume that the commentator, possibly being a former contributor to News Ltd, even if only on the very edge of the evil empire, would have been well schooled in journalistic ethics.

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