Not an Origin Story

Welcome to my new blog, 16 Points!

This space picks up where "Dissertating is a Verb" (fedukovich.blogspot.com) left off. The two blogs have a few things in common: adventuring, movement, theorizing the everyday.Since I'm not dissertating anymore, it didn't feel right to continue chronicling my experiences as a new Assistant Professor at NC State in that space. "Dissertating" helped me fathom the experience of writing a book. I hope "16 Points" helps me balance the work/life thing that we read so much about as new TT faculty.

Something I've become increasingly interested in is the Life of the Body. We attend, in academics, to the Life of the Mind. My mindwork is often solitary and static: lots of sitting and typing and reading.

As I slogged through one bad week of diss writing last summer, I realized that I outlined chapters while I ran. At the time, I was trail running between 10 and 25 miles a week. The distance isn't any grand achievement, but the terrain was gnarly, often wet, and featured dramatic elevation changes. (Tennessee is pretty high on my trail-running list, right behind West Virginia, in terms of difficulty.)

During my hour or two on the trail, I'd switch between wondering if my lungs would collapse and strategizing my next writing day. This mind/body connection isn't new or even that particularly interesting, but it did strike me that the talk about keeping our bodies healthy (in grad school, particularly) falls away in favor of mind-care. To be a productive scholar, I had to be physically active. Beyond the activity, I needed immersive sensory input that allowed me to problem solve. I ran (though not usually on the paved trails), paddled (flat and moving water, usually fresh), mountain biked, and hiked. By honoring and remembering the world outside my office, I was able to produce more in it.

My plans for this webspace cover a great deal of ground (already with the travel metaphors):

1. Detail and review local (Raleigh, NC)  and not-so-local adventures. My definition of adventure is very broad.
2. Clear space for dialogue on new academic projects. Vet these projects with anyone willing to read and respond.
3. Act as a drop-off point for interesting links.
4. Coordinate with other adventurers.

The blog's title refers to the 16-point compass. While I've always been able to focus on a path, I like the idea of striking out without a plan, but with some solid tools to guide me.


Laura said...

As I slogged through one bad week of diss writing last summer, I realized that I outlined chapters while I ran.

Inneresting. When I get into a good rhythm while swimming laps, I find my mind goes blank. And that is what I most valued about my swimming routine during grad school.

Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

Casie Fedukovich said...

Hey Laura! I remember your swimming meditation. It always made me wish I could swim. :)