My physical presence

Last night I was talking to my mom, and she, like most everyone I know, wants me to tell her about my dissertation, about how it is going.

Dissertations are funny things. They are almost impossible to talk about. Ármann Jakobsson told me once (actually more than once) that he never even spoke to his twin brother about his dissertation, even though they were working on similar subjects at about the same time. Dissertations just are highly personal things, and they do not benefit from "group think." Dissertations are a chance for an individual to say exactly what they themselves think about a subject they have been studying for a very long time, and even though there may be moments when the thoughts do not come on paper, there is never the moment when you want someone else to do the thinking for you. In fact, when I talk to people these days, I want to talk to them about anything other than my dissertation; I speak to people as a way to get a break from the constant conversations my dissertation and I are having, in the back of my head, in my sleep, and as I sit in front of my computer.

But still I did manage to tell my friend Johanna today at lunch a little bit about it, about how I need now look through the manuscripts and am hoping I can get a desk at Arnastofnun. She completely understood, so that was nice.  


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