Note #135: Time flies (2021.1.31)
It’s hard to believe that January is already at an end. It has been a pretty busy month, with a lot to do over the semester break. Now at February’s doorstep, this would normally be the time of year where I would have a couple of weeks left before having to gear up for the spring semester. However, I have a sabbatical semester coming up, which means that I will be gearing up for a semester of research rather than a semester of teaching. I did have plans to do this research abroad, but obviously the pandemic put an end to that. I will be staying in Korea, but I will be trying to make myself scarce around school so that I can actually get some work done.
I would like to be slightly less scarce around here, though. I haven’t felt very motivated to write for much of this month, but I have some ideas in the works that will hopefully see the light of day in February. The first item in my list is a reflection on the new Pixar film, Soul, which HJ saw last week and really enjoyed. I also recently wrote a short review for a book that caused me to think once more about an issue that has been rolling around in the back of my head for a while now. I don’t know how deep that will be, so it may end up being just another note, but it is something I have been wanting to write about for a while. Also, some time back HJ and I watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, and these days I am reading the book on which it is based; when I finish that, I think I might like to write a review of both the series and the book, maybe something similar to what I did with Ready Player One.
I know I don’t often give sneak previews of upcoming attractions, but I thought I would lay out what I am hoping to write in the coming month. I do have my reasons for generally not giving previews. For one, if I say that I am going to write something and then don’t end up writing it, I end up feeling like I’ve failed. It’s not a catastrophic failure, of course, but it still doesn’t feel good. And there is also something I read a long time ago about how talking about things you want to do can actually make you less motivated to do them. The idea is that you still get a sense of achievement in advance just from talking about doing something, thus robbing yourself of that motivation to do it. It sounds logical, but to be honest I have no idea if that has any effect on me or not; I’ve not run any clinical trials to measure my motivation in different situations. I also wonder if the motivation to avoid failing to do what I’ve said I will do makes up for any motivation I might lose by talking about doing something. Behavioral psychology is a very complicated thing, though, so I’m not going to pretend to have any insights, even about my own behavior.
That will be it for today, I think. I hope that wherever you might be you are staying safe and sane.