Anna Koop

January 27, 2011


Filed under: Personal

One of the things that kept me from blogging for a very long time was the fear of being open. I am still trying to keep the cautionary tales in mind: future employers, rabid stalkers, concerned relatives all might someday read these posts. (Sometimes it’s hard to keep this in mind knowing that almost no one sees these posts (hi, Leah!), but nothing every dies on the internet, so what I say here is public even if it’s drifting in the murky backwaters behind the sandbar under some fallen logs).

But I think I want to be the kind of person who is reasonably transparent. If you want to know what I think about certain things, why not? If you don’t like it, well. At least you know where I stand. If you can’t stand to work with someone who believes X—let’s get that out of the way now, shall we? Because I’m not capable of arbitrarily changing my beliefs and it’s poison to pretend.

If a future employer is going to be annoyed that I have hobbies other than what they’re paying me for and that I spend time on blogging which I could spend on Something Else—well, then. Either I have a record that speaks for itself or I don’t. Avoiding things I enjoy and that help me get better at things I love for fear of a hypothetical cranky future employer with an attitude problem and a morality that I am fundamentally opposed to? Maybe not such a good idea.

The random targeting of outspoken bloggers, particularly members of marginalized groups, still gives me pause. I have some very strong opinions, some guaranteed flame-war bait. I haven’t quite decided what to do about those. I think they’ll out eventually, but those posts will likely require drawn-out editing and careful thought. I want to be able to stand by them, even when I change my mind.

Obviously I’m posting now, and eventually I’ll be forwarding my official department page here. I might rearrange things so that the research posts come up by default, but these others ones are still going to be there. Here I am. What you bother to read is up to you.

Not that I’m encouraging family members to join Ravelry, mind. One step at a time. But if you’re on there and want to know what this knitter has to say in a less public place, feel free to PM me.

January 23, 2011

More on hedonism.

Filed under: Thought of the Day

I’m working on believing that “because I want to” is fully adequate justification. It turns out that this is more conducive to being a kind and productive person than relying on “because I should.” Convenient, that.

If I (or those around me) ever think it’s getting out of hand, I’ll *then* work on reigning it in with some do-no-harm or Golden Rule modifier. But since part of what I want is to be light in dark places (besides being warm and fed and happy myself), it’s best left unmodified.

January 20, 2011

The Life I Aspire To

Filed under: Thought of the Day

Is the life where winning the lottery, finding out I had a terminal illness, or being given the opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to for a week wouldn’t change my plans.

Luckily enough, I think such a life is possible. Eudaimonia, indeed.

January 14, 2011

Obvious cat is obvious

Filed under: Thought of the Day

The problem with being a night owl and starting work very late in the morning or early in the afternoon is that it’s late evening when it’s finally done. This is one of those irrefutable constants that still manages to surprise me, along with the saltiness of the ocean and how much faster it is to knit for babies than adults.

January 13, 2011

Mindfulness and Cats

Filed under: Personal

Mickle is helping on my New Year’s resolution to be more mindful by crawling onto my lap as I work and purring madly. When I stop to pet her, she makes cat-bliss-face, and her eyes are the colour of green labradorescence. I am lucky indeed.

January 1, 2011

Begin as you mean to go on

Filed under: Thought of the Day

The only resolution I’m allowing myself this year is to be more mindful—live more in the moment and less in frantic plans for the future.

The edict “Begin as you mean to go on” has been dancing through my mind lately. Although it refers to the future moment, I think it helps to bring my focus to the now—every moment is a new beginning, and it’s in this present moment that I am showing how I mean to live, and what I mean for the future. My intentions are clearest in my present actions, not in schemes about what I should do or will do.

So. Here’s to a year of living in the now.

December 28, 2010

Further thoughts on Racism

Filed under: Thought of the Day

I’m wondering if it goes something like: You can’t deny insult, only the intent to insult. So whether or not a statement is racist depends on the hearer, not the speaker.

Intent matters, of course. But it’s only part of the equation.

December 1, 2010

That’d be “bust” then.

Filed under: Personal

Remember 100k or bust?

I’m pretty happy with the progress I made on my thesis proposal, but I did not meet the 100k goal. Or the complete-draft goal. Or the 50k goal. Oops.

I do have a document that’s shaping up very nicely. Other things intervened and I didn’t push as hard as I could have to get the word-count up. So it goes.

It turns out that free-writing is very useful for clarifying ideas, so I think I will keep alternating that with work on the document itself. What I’m doing is easily delineated by which program I’m using—WriteRoom for free-writing, Scrivener for more careful but still rough writing, and TexShop for actual draft content.

It always sounds so rigid when I describe my various processes. It’s not, really. But I’m glad to go with what works for me, even if it sounds a little crazy to other people.

November 15, 2010

No more foolin’ around

Filed under: Personal

Finely crafted sentences and reams on the implications of every preposition are fun and all, but I think this week is going to about getting the draft in shape, from beginning to end.

Easier to edit than write from scratch, so it’s high time I got an editable draft together. Then others can help me figure out which parts need the Type-A-perfectionism applied.

(NaNo count 15,650. 11k behind NaNo and almost 40k behind original plan. See? A complete draft is in order.)

November 5, 2010

NaNo catch-up

Filed under: Personal

TA duties this past week meant I got off to a slow start on my epic thesis goal. However, today I caught up, clocking in at 6,689. I’m aiming to double that, but I’m thinking using NaNoWriMo guidelines as the minimum won’t hurt.

Tomorrow I try to sort out the TA thing once and for all. Vain hope. But other than that commitment, I’m going to sequester myself until the blasted proposal draft is done. No extra meetings or classes or fascinating lectures. It better be done soon.

© Anna Koop & Joel Koop