I recently spent an unprecedented 5 days offline. And I liked it. In fact, since my return to the web, I’ve only forced myself to log on so to read my online students’ drafts and check email. I find I can focus on my dissertation much better this way, even though those days off produced more editing than new pages… but I will say that those few days back in the Big Easy reminded me how important my research is. “Katrina” or “the storm” is literally uttered every minute and you know we’re all still in a process of healing or dealing with something related to the levee breaches, even on our good days.
My trip last weekend was mainly to see family and friends [and the dentist–look ma, no cavities!] but also included a stop at the Alternative Media Expo where I got to act “researchy” when I saw some of my fellow NOLA bloggers, Leigh and Loki. 😉 That event was very cool and again reminded me of how unique our city and blogging community really is–we all want to spread the word our way and when we get together it’s always a party!
I am going back to NOLA in April for the national Conference on College Composition and Communication, although I wish I could stay an extra few days to be at the 10th anniversary of V-Day and its Superlove event in the Superdome. Go here for more info.
I haven’t blogged or even felt guilty about not blogging in weeks. As you can tell from my previous posts, I’ve become intrigued with Twitter; however, I haven’t really been updating that timeline either. When I’m anxious like this, I don’t spend much time online. Also, my parents came in town and I’m still juggling the job search and writing the dissertation. Needless to say, this state of flux is driving me crazy.
Not being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras again this year, not wanting to be in Tampa anymore EVER, not knowing where I will be living after July, not feeling like a good teacher lately b/c of how focused I am on the dissertation–it all stresses me out and that leads to tears. I think I’ve cried more in the 2007-2008 academic year than ever before! My husband and parents have been great and supportive, and I know things will be resolved pretty soon, but I tend to get upset more on the weekends because that’s when I realize how homesick I am for The Big Easy.
As a result, I’m starting to read more about place attachment because I feel the need to find something academic to defend my love for New Orleans. Considering my dissertation is focused on NOLA bloggers, it’s a topic that I’m passionate about, but more and more I’m having to defend my ideas to people who just don’t get why such online endeavors are important, people who would probably tell me to “get over Katrina” if they could. Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but it’s a vibe I’ve been getting for some time now, which is another reason why I’m driven to finish my dissertation. I am confident that my look at trauma studies and citizen journalism will contribute to the growing field of Katrina scholarship, and that’s no crying matter.