Can’t focus

2005
09.19

So I’m sick now. Sinus pressure everywhere. Had to take the day off work today, even though the editing list is still over 200. I also had to withdraw from a class today for the first time ever. Cannot concentrate for the life of me. The first day of school was the day Katrina hit–I am so far behind and more and more distracted everyday with trying to keep track of all my friends and their emotional well-beings. That’s more important to me than editing reports and grading papers.

My parents are leaving me tomorrow for our house in Picayune, MS where they plan on re-starting. And once they can get back to NOLA to assess the damage, they will go. I wish I could be there with them, because it won’t be pretty, and I’d hate for them to see all of that alone. With another storm coming, there is a chance more water will flood the city after it’s just been drained. It seems none of those pumping stations have worked well for years…It’s just too much to deal with. I want to run away and hide, but I know I can’t.

Going to try and write that article for Joyce. Wish me luck and if anyone has any tips for how to focus in times of disaster, feel free to share. At least I can dedicate some of my research to the sites created in response to the Hurricane as well as how the media has handled things (See this from Jeff Jarvis on the latter.)
Also Jim wrote about some of those spaces, whic he refers to as “emerging responsibility,” and CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on Craig Newmark yesterday.

No Responses to “Can’t focus”

  1. Docta Seals ;) says:

    > and if anyone has any tips for how to focus
    > in times of disaster, feel free to share.

    This does not compare (because my crisis was not as personal), but your comment reminded me of September 2001. I was knee-deep in studying for my comprehansive exams at the time. After the attacks, I could only work for 10 minutes at a time before literally throwing the book across the room and shouting, “Who the hell CARES about the petty troubles of the life of Ernest Hemingway!” I’d watch the news for ten minutes, and then say to myself, “Okay, I’ve still gotta take my comps….” Eventually, I embraced this pattern, studying for ten minutes and breaking for ten minutes. It worked.

    Hang in there. We love you.

    ~Marc

  2. PhDaisy says:

    Thanks Marc. I have my ups and downs. Actually writing a bit tonight and the goal is to have it over with by Sunday so the editors can review it and I can start all over again! :)

  3. Bridget says:

    In a similar fashion, the basic attention-deficit method seems to work. Again, I don’t think any of us really KNOW how to deal…but letting go in short bits, and then letting that sense of duty take over in short bits, repeat as necessary…

    Plus, having a shoulder to cry on (or a receptive telephone-ear or computer monitor) is indeed a blessing.

    While tending to your friends’ needs, take care of your own (even if taking care of yourself merely involves emotional meltdown of sorts).

    Can you escape into your dance – even if it just involves listening to your favorite music you danced to? Yes, I’m the queen of escapism. I’ve dealt with many a personal tragedy by running to a practice room and playing the flute. In fact, I’ll be thinking of you and another friend remotely affected while playing my flute during a prayer service tomorrow morning at 7:15.

    Also…whenever you feel you can just turn your brain off (something the academically-inclined like to do from time to time), contact your local friends. We’ll take you out and just let you vent. We’re here to listen. Use us. It’s less of a risk for carpal-tunnel syndrome than blogging.

    Ditto to what Marc said – we love you and you’ve been in our thoughts constantly!

    Bridget (whose parents moved from my childhood home yesterday because they don’t want to deal with hurricanes anymore — and their two storms that hit were piddly compared to Katrina)

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