Saturday, February 7, 2009

Return Trip to Italy for Dig this Summer is now Confirmed

I just got word I was able to secure my position as a staff member on the excavation in central Italy again. It was good this job came through again because the administration and funding of the site moved to a completely different institution on the east coast. Thankfully, I proved valuable enough last year that the new administration will fund my return and costs in Italy, which I can add to the additional summer funding I already have put in place from my school. I'm trying to horde some of the money from my studio job so I can have a completely kickass summer and decompress my brain again. It should allow me to stay in Italy for about 6 weeks from the beginning of July with a pretty good budget to have a great time and still have plenty of money for the remainder of the summer when I will be able to stay in Oregon until the end of Sept. The arrangement of things this year should be much better than last year for a variety of reasons. The break from my present routine will be of the utmost importance in maintaining sanity. I'd give anything to be in Rome right now, but it is coming soon enough. Now I'm off to a birthday party for a 1 year old girl with some friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Drudgery of Academic Exile

I'm rapidly being drained of all passion and zest for life by my present academic situation. I've pretty much become a vacant entity that processes information throughout he day, relays that information to a few students and faculty, assimilates more information, eats some shoddily prepared food as quickly as possible, returns to small room in apartment, processes necessary interactions on computer, physically works out at a minimal level to keep blood flowing, returns to computer and books, lays down when back is tired and watches short bursts of tv while back stretches out, gets back up and processes info in isolation until 3am, sleeps 4.5 hours, gets up and does it all again in an endless monotony. The only time I have any life is during the holidays or when I travel abroad. I have another year and a half of existing in this hellish cocoon if everything goes smoothly. I'm hoping to break the drudgery if I can get back to Italy, but that is unknown at this point. I fondly miss the prior balance I had in my life in years past when I remember what it was to have a good time and not be thoroughly oppressed by a crushing schedule. I used to be able to have a life and get the necessary work done because the requirements were considerably less. I'm not sure there will be much left of me after all of this if I can't change some things. I am presently trying to secure a new living situation in a different area where I can try to build an actual life, but time is a problem. I advise everyone to never allow your life to become as fragmented as mine where the fundamental components of life are spread over three states in a way that stretches you so thin there is nothing left of you. Nevertheless, I will endure and give the finger to the world until the next phase of my life initiates a new transformation. I will live like a Taoist monk for a year and go with the flow until I shed my skin again in the next phase of my life. The only fundamental truth is that some level of change is inevitable. Thus spoke TIS.