The easiest way to explain the unfortunate lack of content at PBS over the last three months is by way of my usual analogy wherein my brain is represented by a complex and not entierly efficient collection of offices and workshops. Starting around late May, the workers in the cognitive resources branch decided they could no-longer maintain the usual level of productivity—working conditions had deteriorated thanks to a steady increase in exterior noise and stress—and so they took action. There was no wildcat strike but there was a very clear decision to work-to-rule, meaning that they would do what was strictly required of them, as per their various job profiles, but no more. The blog was one of those ‘additional duties, as determined by the office foreman’ and it was left to sit out the period of stress. Otherwise, work progressed as planned with two more conferences since K-zoo, packing of the room for storage over the break, and other tasks no less vital despite their lack of glamour.
However, I am now back in Canada, installed before the trestle table of white pine my father made, surrounded on three sides by my books (and some of Z’s) with my 19 year old cat to keep me company. The little office workers, and their support staff are a little more relaxed now, although they remain indifferent about non-essential duties.
There are no crisis, there are no missed deadlines, all is (officially) well. That means I have convinced them to give some time to superfluous writing. I count it a great success that I have not fallen into any of the more unfortunate grad-student clichés in that all the important stuff is done, my supervisor is happy with me and I with him. But, I have not been as productive as I would like and I am slow in recovering my former enthusiasm for… anything.
I am working on that.