Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Set Up

My new computer arrived today and I spent perhaps thirty minutes adjusting the settings and moving over the roughly four gigs of data I had on the old machine that's not music. Thanks to the brilliance of Windows, I'm moving things to the new computer via a 4 gig flash drive. This is a painfully slow process, compounded by the fact that my ITunes settings on the new machine were initially screwed up and while the songs were copied to my library, they were not actually saved to my hard drive. I am less than pleased by this, but since I am the sort of person who needs to follow a project to its immediate end, I'm sitting here copying and pasting and waiting to re-install ITunes.

Once again I feel like a failure in the face of technology. After spending an hour and a half trying to network the two computers together (and failing) and then trying Microsoft's new file migration software over our current wireless network (which is flaky and also failed), I'm just ready to be done with this. Like I said, I'm very much the sort of person who likes to tackle a project and single-mindedly wrestle it into submission. I hate when I know a solution to a problem and yet am unable to put it into play. The worst sort of impotence comes when you realize that, should the circumstances be but slightly different, you could have managed it yourself. I'm less bothered by the idea that I'm incapable of doing something; knowing that just can't do something allows for an excuse, an out. It's the potential that kills me, the wasted posibility.

Part of the problem is that I still tend to rush blindly into thing. I'm impatient and stubborn. My vague comptence allows me a certain fearlessness, a sense of "Psh, I can do this, no problem". Just a tiny scrap of knowledge and I'm running headlong into traffic. This can sometimes be a useful skill. In a field that's as ever changing as mine, I sometimes need to just hold my breath and jump. Sink or swim, but sometimes the solution presents itself. Or I wind up losing about 20 gigs of data I thought I had transferred and instead sit up way too late into the night with the original Star Wars on VHS to keep me company.

This is also the strength of will that allowed me to write multiple final papers in one night (a good skill for a former World Class Procrastinator). I'm less of a procrastinator than I was in school. It's harder to get extensions when you're an adult. My version of procrastination tends to be avoidance. I drag my feet on starting a project because I know I won't enjoy it, or I'm terrified of it turning out wrong (so starting on it last minute will certainly ensure success, right?). When I begin to feel myself shy away from tasks, I do the opposite of what my mind wants. I throw myself at the task, finish it up, and then generally feel magnificently productive.

This has worked for things like talking to customer service representatives, paying bills, and preparing applications for grad school. But will this work in grad school? I'm terrified that with a full time job and part-time school that I'm going to fall back into old habits. I did successfully graduate from two programs despite my dragging feet and perfectionism. Can I risk a third? Will it be different this time around since I'll be working on something more concrete than literature (could there actually be right answers?)? AK is confident that I'll be fine, that I've had good break from school and will be studying so much that I either already know or can immediately apply to my work.

It's all uncertain. And I still have 15 gigs to go, but it's far too late for me. So I'll post this and head to bed.

No comments: