Sunday, August 08, 2010

It's been nearly a year

I moved from my (posssibly greatest ever) job of abstracting articles from periodicals like The Economist and CQ Weekly--and hey, let's not forget Russian Social Science Review--to writing marketing copy almost a year ago. During that year, I have slipped back into my old ways of essentially not really picking up much about the world beyond what I hear on Radio 4 or see on The Daily Show.

Apart from the three years I spent doing that job (which is the longest I've ever spent doing the same job), I've never been a reader of newspapers or magazines, nor much of a consumer of world events. But I enjoyed knowing things about the world, about who was in charge, what countries were in political turmoil, whose elections were going to be close and whose were more or less fixed. I liked spending five or six hours a day just reading and learning about politics and protest movements, world events and medical developments, sociological theory and environmental catastrophes. It made my brain work in a way that it has only ever done before when I was studying, because I wasn't just reading magazine articles, I was reading the academic journals as well.

Now that I don't get to read that stuff for work any more, I just don't read it, in the same way that if I stopped going to Motivation in two weeks when my 20 weeks is up, I know I would put back on all the weight I've lost. You can't just unlearn in a short time the habits it took you a lifetime to pick up. It takes application and work.

It came as a shock to me recently to discover that Álvaro Uribe is no longer president of Colombia. How can that be? (I actually know how that can be. See above.) I have no idea how things are going to go in the midterm elections in the U.S. this year. It feels a bit weird.

I miss that job. I don't learn anything new in this job.

I miss Álvaro.


mylescorcoran said...

I seem to have slipped into a period of reading too little, flopping into bed at night too tired to read, and zonked in front TV or web instead of reading in the evenings.

It does make me feel less stimulated, and I miss that too.

Queenie said...

Apparently Colombia is the new backpacking destination now that it is safe. Maybe we should go visit him if you miss him that much!!!

But I hear you on the periodicals. I think I might give up literary fiction for the winter and just read periodicals and catch up.

Or I could just ask Ian!!

Prenderghast said...

You're welcome to come browse my database anytime!

ian said...

Colombia - safe for tourists, not so safe for trade unionists. I do not particularly miss Alvaro.