Sunday, November 26, 2006


Nemesis seems to have more meanings than I realized. Because I truly haven't many and prefer to forget hostilities with people, I have chosen to deal with the meaning: a source of downfall or ruin. Three nemeses(pl) come immediately to mind: grading research papers, keeping "stuff," and procrastinating.

Undoubtedly one of the happiest part of my recent retirement is that I will never again have to grade another research paper!!!!!!!!! Once or twice a year for the last 30 years I have lost the better part of eight weeks of my life reading and correcting 105, give or take 15, research papers or required parts(outline, intro, bib cards, works cited lists) of them. I dreaded them more and more as the years went along and the quality diminished and the plagiarism increased. Now, NEVER AGAIN!

My other two nemeses are still challenges I am far from mastering. Ha! I am still FAR from even getting a grip on either of them. And the procrastination exacerbates the "stuff" keeping to the extreme. Possibly some of my problem with saving everything comes naturally from being raised by my mother, God love her, who was one of a family of ll children raised during the Great Depression. But I am one of those people who firmly believes that within 2 months of getting rid of something that is still useful, I WILL need that very item and will waste time and money going out to buy another, less-well-made version of that same tool, utensil, whatever. But I am now in the late middle stages of losing my house in my junk. It is becoming a case of "I don't even know how to start," so the procrastination takes over and I think of all the easier things I need to do more or could complete in a nice short time. Then I convince myself that those completable tasks are a much better use of my time. Procrastination also takes on the persona of Guilt and won't let me do things I'd love to do, like read the stacks of wonderful, highly-recommended books I have all over the house----more of the stuff adding to the clutter---or spend more time writing, UNTIL I have really made a dent in recovering the house. It is a vicious circle, an endless frustration, a "Catch 22."

I think this particular writing is probably the poorest piece of writing I have posted because it goes nowhere and has no resolution or even conclusion. But perhaps its one successful aspect is that it certainly illustrates the definition I chose of nemesis: a source of downfall or ruin. Haven't yet figured out how to deal with these arch-enemies; can't even write about them effectively.


Blogger paris parfait said...

I can identify with the procrastination/being overwhelmed by tasks and therefore putting them off. My cave (wine cellar) is overflowing w/ furniture, luggage, etc. and even though I recently took everything out of it and organised it, I now have more stuff to be added - which again requires taking everything out of the cave. Meanwhile, the apartment is bursting at the seams to the point I am now willing to part with some of my favourite pieces - just to have space! My friend and I are going to put some things on eBay France in the hope that at the very least I can get a china cupboard out of a narrow hallway. (But then where will all that china go?) Sigh. So don't feel too bad - I think a lot of people suffer from having too much stuff and not enough space.

I was also struck by your comment about the decline in the quality of research papers and increase in plagirism, etc. Do you think it's because today's students spend more time on the internet than at the library?

3:51 AM  
Blogger Jone said...

How wonderful to be retired and not have to grade research papers. I don't envy the the cleaning out, went through that as parents passed on and left household to us to rid of.
I can relate to procrastinations and acculmulation of "stuff".

5:17 PM  

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