Thursday, November 03, 2011

She's Crafty

She's crafty - she's gets around
She's crafty - she's always down
She's crafty - she's got a gripe
She's crafty - and she's just my type
She's crafty.....
   --The Beastie Boys

I have become crafty, albeit not in the way the Beastie Boys describe and whose song haunts my brain.  

I have been knitting up a storm lately.  And then, in a fit of over-ambitiousness, I bought a sewing machine and made Gryffindor robes for the kids so that they could be Harry, Hermione and Ron.   

And I did it with a minimal amount of stress and anxiety!  Actually, sewing is a lot of fun and a lot quicker than knitting.  

I have also discovered that there are an enormous number of my over-educated women friends of a certain age are also quite crafty.  For me, I feel like knitting, sewing and gardening are incredibly similar to the work I do normally---conducting research projects and writing them up into papers.  No, seriously.

I have a great deal of ownership over my research and writing (like my crafts).  And I hope it doesn't surprise any of you out there in blogland, but just like my craft projects, my research and writing always have "areas for improvement" the next go round.  (And not to be too defensive, but THAT'S NOT JUST A PROBLEM OF MY RESEARCH; ALL RESEARCH AND WRITING HAS ROOM FOR GROWTH.  ahem, ahem, cough, cough).

In any case, these knitting, sewing and gardening (and soon chickens and a koi pond) help me in my research.  Research and writing projects can take YEARS from inception to completion.  I think I would become incredibly discouraged if I couldn't point to something that is easier and quicker to produce.  So I go out and weed a bed and it's done and then, I can go write three pages of a draft.  I can knit a cap and rerun for the zillionth time a confirmatory factor analysis and a structural equation model.  I can sew up some robes and then work on that theory paper.

I know not every faculty member feels this way, but I find it very engaging and interesting.  Plus, we get some clothing and food, eh?  Not such a bad thing.  

It's better than making myself all worked up over what is a normal part of my job.  

I LOVE that pumpkin.