The shot below captures the space where I do a good (harsh) bit of reflecting on the day’s work–when I remember to.
The book itself is a little black Moleskine notebook; I picked it up from a friend who was giving away a bag of assorted unused notebooks. (The group inluded a big letter-sized black one that I have mysterious plans for, an assortment of pocket-sized ones like this in red, black, and brown, a pocket-sized one with musical notation lines that I use as a prayer/scripture book, a long painting (?) notebook, and a bright red 5×8 that I am not sure what to do with yet). The one I’m using as a reading list/pre-quals reflection book has unlined paper, so my handwriting is sometimes huge and sometimes tiny (and always henscratch). I like the unlined paper here, as it allows me to be graphically moody. The pages of course include doodles and blacked out pages from when my mind runs that direction; the notebook also has the beginnings of a bend in the front cover from when I stick it in my back pocket to take a walk in the middle of my writing session. It hasn’t bent all the way through yet–I wonder if it will. My preferred reflecting stick is the uni-ball Signo, black, 0.7 ball size. It writes in a script that is tight without being slight, and one that doesn’t smear too badly when my palms get sweaty. Of course, the gel grip helps when I’m squeezing my fingers too tightly in a fit of cognitive dissonance. I take notes on my keyboard, but for some reason feel better when I’m reflecting in pen. I’m sure there’s a blog post in there somewhere (if I haven’t written it already).
I formally began this notebook just before May Seminar this year, and have been sadly uneven in keeping up with it. That’s quite changed as I’ve gotten out of my early summer slump of post-coursework exhaustion (read: watching too much Hercules: the Legendary Journeys on Netflix) and pull myself into rigorous daily reading and writing my way toward exams. Since it’s sometimes writing of a vitriolically personal nature (i.e. I swear at myself a lot), or may treat sensitive information (i.e. I’ll complain about my committee), I will rarely put that text here (though I do transcribe it into a google doc, since my handwriting runs to illegible on most days). Some of the more fruitful theoretical, practical, methodological, and even autobiographical tidbits will of course work their way out in this blog one way or another over the next year-plus.
So sit tight.