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Sep. 11th, 2014 | 07:04 am

When I am asked to submit professional work, I try to do so on time, even if I'm feeling ambivalent about the results. I figure, if someone has invited me to submit work, I should do so in a manner that won't mess up their plans, which may in turn affect other people, etc.

Why do I bother?

On August 9 I received a request to write liner notes for a recording. An important editor and archivist from Paris recommended me for the job, and the record company contact copied her into his request to me. I was told that the notes would be needed in early September, that they didn't have much $$ to pay (no amount specified), and that recordings of the works would be sent to me early the following week. So, on top of my preparations for my residency in Utah later this month, I set about researching the pieces and listening to the recordings that I have (the promised new ones never arrived). In the interim, my husband and I went away on our 3-day vacation (the only one we have taken together in the last 4 years), then my father came to visit, meetings preparatory to the start of the academic year started to happen, the academic year started, Misty became ill and died, and I still got the fucking notes done by September 9. I sent them in. So far, no acknowledgement.

Why do I fucking bother?

Fortunately, I planned ahead and started preparations for the residency in Utah earlier in the summer. Now I'm resuming preparations for that. Along the way, I was told that the originally stated amount for the honorarium had been reduced by 20%. Maybe I should reduce my preparations by 20%.

I also wrote a proposal for a conference that is to take place in Berlin in December and submitted it ahead of the deadline, which was also in August. The promised date for notification was September 10. It is now 1 p.m. on the 11th in Berlin, and so far no notification. What the fuck, people?

Why do I bother?

Well, I have plenty to do today to get ready to go away next week. I also have an appointment to meet with a therapist this afternoon. One of the "gifts" of the unfortunate situation with Misty is that I began to feel less guilty about taking breaks from work in order to seek support for myself. I just can't find the energy to maintain "enthusiasm" for professional situations that are as unrewarding as these.


Peace,

KH

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Comments {3}

mysticactive

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from: mysticactive
date: Sep. 11th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
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what do you mean by going for your residency in utah? do you mean you will be a visiting scholar somewhere there?

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Khalid Hussain

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from: khalid_hussain
date: Sep. 11th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I will be a visiting scholar there next week. When I was asked if I would give permission for one of my recordings to be featured in an exhibition at the university art gallery, I expressed the wish to see the exhibit. That led to an invitation to perform there and to present some of my research. I am grateful for the opportunity to do that. The preparation, however, is a lot of work and the honorarium is smaller than was originally stated.

I think that what bugs me most of all is that I manage to trudge through and meet my commitments despite multiple losses and disappointments in my life over the past several years, and I end up feeling strained, exploited, and undersupported as a result. I also question the desperate clamoring for attention and recognition that characterize so much of academia.

Edited at 2014-09-11 07:58 pm (UTC)

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mysticactive

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from: mysticactive
date: Sep. 19th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
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ohhh teh desperate clamoring for attention and recognition. ouch. that sounds familiar and I can see both me and my colleagues in that. I guess there is no way out of it, basically, as long as one stays in teh system?

Living ina culture in which the message is oftent hat its best not to take responsibility, I notice that other foreigners often ignore this and end up not fitting in in Turkey and resenting that they do more than others. I know it might sound cynical, but I wonder if its maybe not better just to do less? I wonder if that might not be what many of your colleagues are doing?

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