Cabin in the Woods

I used to think that needing a cabin in the woods to do any serious writing was over-dramatic and a little elitist. I’m thinking of people who have a summer cottage or any separate dwelling that they can go to for weeks at a time to tune out the world and just focus on writing.

I still think it’s elitist. I mean, how many people can really afford a second place to live? Or in this case, a second residence to just have on call for when you want a little solitude? I imagine most people are lucky if they even have a separate room where they can lock the door and be alone for a while and that doesn’t really, fully separate you mentally from the day-to-day because you can always be interrupted.

I feel like a person needs some space to be creative. A place to truly relax and let their mind run wild, where there are no pets, family, routines, or chores insistently tugging at the edges of one’s consciousness.

My wife was pretty good about giving me space when she saw I was trying to complete writing assignments, but I sometimes wonder how I managed to get through college with such good grades on the papers I turned in.

The next time we move, I’d like to try to find a place with an extra room. Or, if it’s outside of New York City, a place with a garage or shed that I can convert into a study. That way, when I have time, it’s easier to focus.

Make the Historiography Madness Stop

I’m so not feeling this paper anymore. It’s interesting but it’s not that interesting that I want to write about it. I guess that’s what I get for picking a topic I thought would be easy rather than fascinating. It’s about Japanese colonialism in Korea and Japanese-Korean relations.

The notes in the picture are ones I wrote while reading Mark Caprio’s Japanese Assimilation Policies 1910-1945. So ready for it to be done.

Please, Put Crappy Writing Here

Please, put crappy writing here.

This sign, above this trashcan, is located in the Compton-Goethals hall at City College of New York.  I’m not sure who put it up, but it’s a good reminder that if you’re not going to write well, you shouldn’t even bother to turn your paper in.  With the end of the semester upon us, and many papers due, this sign has a lot more meaning than usual.  I’m doing pretty good.  I only have one more to write and then I can completely focus on studying for finals.

My wife tells me all the time that I write well.  I figure she’s biased, but I did always get good grades on writing assignments in high school and in the college level courses I took online.  Now that I’m physically attending classes, I thought maybe the ‘truth’ about my writing ability would come out.  I guess I just underestimate myself, because the papers I turn in always come back with good grades.

I’ll try to not let my ego blow up too big, but I’ve even had people come to me for help with their papers, and after guiding them through revisions I’ve been thanked profusely.  I was even told I should be a teacher.  That’s kind of funny, because another guy at the school mistook me for a teacher.  That could just be because I’m older than most students and have a beard though.  Ha!  If you’re wondering, I was in the Army for nearly a decade and now I’m using the Post 9/11 GI Bill to complete my tertiary education.  That bill is a godsend.  I’m really enjoying the whole college experience, and it’s only possible because of that bill.

Anyhow, summer’s coming.  I thought about taking a break, but I just don’t think I want one, so I signed up for summer courses.  For the first session, I’m just going  to fill a graduation requirement, Speech Foundations.  I hear it’s a fun and worthwhile class, though.  For the second session I’m going to take World Civilizations: Pre-History to 1500 AD.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to wind up majoring in History, so that should help me out.  I haven’t officially matriculated yet, so I don’t know exactly what the degree requirements are.  I’ll find out when Fall semester starts.