Monday, April 9, 2012

Peer Review Take Two and Spring Fever

I've been staring at my screen all afternoon, knowing full well that I'm not getting anything done, and that the review for this paper is due. Tomorrow.

I remember times when I was productive. Like a couple weeks ago, I was sitting at home feeling blue so I went to my friend Natalie's apartment and magically spat out my presentation for lab group in no time. Or last semester, when I worked furiously for two weeks on a grant submission for the EPA. Or back when I was an undergrad and I would get my second wind at around 11pm, and then spend 3+ hours in the computer lab working on my senior thesis.

No such luck this week.

It's not that I don't want to do this peer review. I do. I believe strongly in the peer review process, and it is actually a really interesting paper I'm going over. Its just been an emotionally exhausting couple of months, and I never really fully checked back in (mentally) after winter break. You read that correctly... winter break... as in January. It's April. And I have a million other things on my mind other than school/work.

I have a really hard time working when my mind is other places. My brain doesn't shut off, and I am one of those people that will ruminate over the same thing over and over and over again until it is resolved either in reality or in my head. I've never been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, but lately I sure have been feeling like I'm afflicted.

At any rate, I've read the paper that I'm reviewing in excruciating detail, and I've made lots of annotations to the PDF directly. Now it's a matter of writing out my comments for the editor and the author. That is going to be the thing that will require a lot of activation energy on my part. The Word document is open on my desktop. The major bullet points for the things I want to address are typed. I just need to do it.

But all I really want to do right now is go lay on some grass somewhere, watch clouds float by, and think about what I'm doing with my life.


  1. One of my favorite things about my grassy spots are that I can think about everything BUT what I'm doing with my life. Clouds (especially these New Mexico ones!) are great for pushing me out of head.

    You're a great writer.

  2. Thanks anonymous commenter! And yes, New Mexico skies and their clouds are amazing. This whole state is beautiful, I might consider staying for a good long while.