A few weeks have passed since my last update, but the time feels infinitely longer. Strangely, time seems to drag when I’m busy – but not in a painful way. It’s just that I’m so deeply engaged that by the end of each day I feel like 2 or 3 have passed. Weekdays anyway. It seems more and more that weekends are spent doing essentially nothing, snuggling with Skyspook and the kitties on the couch, watching Star Trek Enterprise on Hulu and playing games on my laptop.
After assisting with a research study the past few months, I’ve been urged to lead my own investigation. The bulk of the last few weeks I’ve spent revising my hypotheses and agonizing over the design, but despite my anxieties, everything has fallen into place. Meanwhile, I’m enrolled in 22 credit hours this semester, and the course load is fairly robust. I do my work dutifully, and it’s high quality to my best estimation but more something I am doing as a matter of course. The things that were difficult last semester are considerably less so now. I guess I’ve developed handy cognitive shortcuts and good routine practices: Default proactiveness (proactivity?), efficient time management, self-confidence, pushing past frustration, consulting independent resources when confounded or perplexed by the subject matter, etc.
I am changing and probably for the better, but it’s disorienting sometimes. I often feel alone in my own mind, lonely – even surrounded by people.
Duckworth and Seligman identified “grit” as a key academic readiness construct, as a sub-set of Conscientiousness (of Factor Five Personality Model fame!). Apparently grit “represents attitudes towards long-term goals, including the consistency of goals over time and the degree of perseverance in pursuing these goals.”
May grit be my savior.