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Showing posts from July, 2012

Some Weeks are Challenging

I haven't had a good night's sleep in a few weeks, but this week seems to be off to the worst of starts. Midnight passes me by, while I work on projects for school, clients, and myself. I haven't been able to sleep well, despite being exhausted. Anemia is slowing my brain and body. Today I have a dental appointment, my first since moving to PA. I've had some bleeding and receding of the gums, so I'm not going to take any chances. The anemia can be bad enough without more bleeding — and gums shouldn't bleed, anyway. After the dental appointment, it is the last night of summer school. Yeah! I know the students are eager for classes to end so they can enjoy a few weeks of summer. I need a few weeks to work on school-related projects. I have to make some serious progress on a research paper and on at least one or two theoretical papers so I can keep moving ahead. I don't know if I could call it irony, but I need to prove I could succeed as an academic so I

Controlling the Future

One of the common traits between the autistic people and the "gifted" people I meet is a desire to control their futures. These people generally dislike feeling there is no control, no structure to the future. Structure seems to be an important aspect of their lives, even if from the outside some talented people seem disorganized. I like to know what is going to happen a month, six months, or a year from now. Ideally, I'd have a plan for several years into the future. Therefore, it is interesting that I am not alone in this desire. My short-term future seems to be planned, at least through the end of the year. My calendar and to-do list are up-to-date with teaching duties, research projects, freelance projects, and my creative writing. It will be a busy second half to 2012. But, at least I know what is supposed to be accomplished. But, after December, things get all vague and blurry. Because I don't know what is ahead, I get anxious. What will my job be a y

Too Much To Do, Too Little Energy

I have a long, long list of projects in various stages of completion (or incompletion) that I want to finish. More pressing, I have deadlines for work and clients that cannot be ignored, either. Finally, my wife and I have a house to get ready to sell. Work on our new house can wait… it has to wait. The projects that must be done first are those for the courses I'm teaching this summer. I have three or four more lectures to outline, stacks of papers to grade, and then there are two more weeks to teach — including final exams and papers. After summer school ends, I also have to develop an editing course for this fall, before mid-August. There's little "free time" for other tasks at the moment. Like many people, I keep a "to-do list" to help organize myself, but it never seems to shrink. Why is that? Why are my time management skills and whatever plans carefully make insufficient to catch-up with the list? Of course, the first question to ask is if my

Autism Research… Resistance was Futile

I don't want to offer too many details, as they are not yet important, but I am returning to autism-related research projects. For the last few months, I have been considering some questions about autism and I outlined some research concepts. Having thought I'd leave autism research behind when I started my new faculty post — which is focused on professional writing — I don't know why I felt compelled to outline autism research ideas, but I was. Earlier this week, I was informed that I had received grant funding for an autism project related to writing. It was unexpected, to say the least, because it was a project I had only mentioned in broad outlines to faculty and administrators at my university. Still, I believe the project could have important implications for understanding autism, writing, and self-image. So, I'm back to the topic I studied as a doctoral student: autism. Because I have two research concepts outlined, my focus is now on completing those tw