Mar 21, 2009

Pollen and Procrastination

London has provided a bounty of new experiences for me in the past six months. My newest adventures include allergies, apparently to tree pollen. I find this a bit exciting, but maybe that's just a poor interpretation of breathlessness. I had allergies when we moved from the Atlanta area to Bartow County when I was thirteen, but that's the only time. Now I have full on hayfever, which is really weird.

How can I possibly be allergic to trees? Is this nature giving me a hard time for those years that I drove a car? A solid 'fuck you, human' from mother earth? I doubt it. But it's fun to think about. Biologically speaking, I guess these pollens are new for me. As I bike, entirely emotionless tears flow down my cheeks, add in my perplexed grin and I bet I look like a freak and a half.

By dwelling hayfever I have found a new means of procrastination. The exam for my course is a 4,000 word essay, the question for which I received yesterday. It's due next Friday and I have done a lot of research but haven't started writing. It's too sunny to stay inside and write all day. Instead I've walked the schnauzers a whole lot. They're moving to Milano tomorrow so it's been a good excuse. I've sneezed a lot. I've made lots of food from skipped vegetables. I've written a draft proposal for my disseration (not due until April 28th, of course). I've stared out the window at the cats. And I've ridden my bike all over the place!

I have to imagine that if I did actually shop, that I'd have a whole new means of procrastination. Blowing off essays for a trip to the shops could feel so good if you didn't care about consumption, I'm thinking. Of course, the bill for procrastination of that sort might be haunting.

Soon I'm going to focus, put down 4,000 mediocre words on the advantages and disadvantages of landscape scale and protected area approaches to nature conservation. I'm going to weave in all those ethical tangents that I've been dying to express in this course. I'm going to critique capitalism in conservation while relying on ecosystem services to make my point about landscape scale conservation. How I'm going to make all of that relevant to the question ... not sure. I have some planning to do before I write. Luckily I think most of the heavy reading is complete!

Now it's me and loads of scrap paper from the UCL print stations for some brainstorming and outlining.
Here goes.

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