Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A disappointing day for Ozzie

There are times that this old bear is very thankful that he cannot go grey. Overseeing two dissertations simultaneously is extremely stressful. I am extremely pleased with progress Harriet is making. Despite teaching two courses for the first time this semester (and my input into the syllabi has been minor), I am confident that Harriet will submit by March 14th.

Ozzie is another matter. I thought he was on pace to breeze past the finish line, but he misses deadline after deadline. My approach to mentoring is very hands off. I offer guidance when it is sought out and otherwise try to read my books and ignore disasters I see on the horizon. Ergo, I have a great deal of difficulty keeping Ozzie on task. The past few days have been a comedy of errors.

Sunday was lost to the Superbowl; not a bad excuse in itself and Ozzie managed to write productively in short bursts, but the day was not as productive as it should have been.

Monday was fairly unremarkable, but Ozzie couldn't quite get settled into a writing mode. I believe Ozzie said he could not find his "groove." I am truly befuddled by this mindset; grooves are for LPs, just sit down and start typing.

On Tuesday Ozzie developed a crushing sinus headache and couldn't concentrate.

Today (Wednesday) Ozzie decided to forestall any potential sinus headaches by taking Benadryl. Of course, Benadryl is diphenhydramine, which competes with free histamines to bind to the H-1 receptors on cells and thereby prevent inflammation and allergic reactions. It also depresses the central nervous system in many people, causing drowsiness and decreased reaction time. Apparently, Ozzie is one of these people and he spent the morning unsuccessfully fighting off the urge to sleep and the afternoon crashed out in his office in a most unceremonious fashion. Needless to say, there were no paragraphs of great insight written today.

Sigh. Quite frankly, today's episode is disheartening. Unable to write a dissertation because he drugged himself. Pathetic. The series of events sound like a scene from a bad slapstick comedy by Jerry Lewis or Rowan Atkinson, not the birth of a competent scholar. I'm getting too old for this.


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