Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Like Twitter, But...

1. I don't like the jerks who use offensive, derogatory terms (like the C-word) to refer to women and think that they're funny. Reading their Tweets makes me wish I could tell a professional wrestler that those losers flirted with his girlfriend.

2. I don't like the people who follow and then immediately unfollow when I don't follow back or retweet them. That tells me that they're not interested in reading my Tweets; they just want more followers. I'd like more followers too, but for me, Twitter is about writing and reading interesting Tweets.

3. I don't like the photos that make me think that people are advertising some kind of semi-nudist colony. The phrase "less is more" does not apply to clothing, at least not in my opinion. I don't think the fact that I don't want to see people pose with hardly any clothes on makes me a prude, unless the person posing is Channing Tatum.

4. I don't like the Tweets that have nothing but links in them; occasionally I'll include a link, but not in every single Tweet. Links always make me wary. I'm afraid they'll come with a virus or somehow find a way to access my webcam and then will be able to tape videos of me throwing M&Ms at my TV every time the Duggars or the Sister Wives come on (am I the only one who finds them really annoying and conceited?).

5. I don't like it when some people post thirty retweets in a row (I'm not exaggerating). I retweet a lot of people, but I still include my own Tweets. Like I said, part of the point of Twitter is writing interesting Tweets.

6. I don't like reading the same inspirational quotes again and again, though I will admit to a few "reruns" of my own. If those people can't figure out what to Tweet, they should just take a break from Tweeting; that's what I do.

7. I followed several of those Twitter feeds that have inspirational quotes at first, but sometimes it's hard to be inspired by them after a day that included getting screamed at by drivers who get mad because their all-important texting sessions were interrupted by pedestrians and having my dissertation criticized (again!) by my advisor.

I really do like Twitter, and I'd like to keep Tweeting for now. But sometimes it does get on my nerves, which is when I know it's time to log off.

What about you? Is there anything that bugs you about Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other social networking sites?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Don't Know What to Write

I haven't blogged or Tweeted much lately because I haven't really had anything to write about. Partly it's because I've been preoccupied with teaching. Although I love teaching, it still infuriates me that some students don't think it's necessary to come to class every day, turn in their work on time, or look up from their cell phones during class. It bothers me even more when I get nasty e-mails from students who demand to know why they didn't get A's (even when they didn't do the bare minimum) and then try to pressure me to give them grades they didn't earn. Sometimes I focus so much on stuff like this that it makes me forget about everything else.

I've also been so wrapped up in my dissertation that I haven't had time to do things that I normally like to do: visit museums, exercise, read books without footnotes in them, write fiction in cafes, and write down witty one-liners about people who annoy me, like the girls at the gym who apparently never got the memo that underwear is not the new gym shorts.

Getting my PhD is important to me, but sometimes I wish I never went to grad school. I spent so much time working and studying that now, when I look back on my twenties, I feel like I didn't really let myself enjoy them. I lost more than one friend, who couldn't understand that my workday didn't end at five o'clock or why I had to work long hours on the weekend. The last time I traveled overseas was thirteen years ago, when I was twenty. I hardly went anywhere, except from Point A (school) to Point B (home) to Point C (my other part-time jobs) to Point Starbucks.

I sometimes think that if I had never gone to grad school and worked a 9-5 job instead, maybe I could have had a life. A life that doesn't revolve around work. A life that doesn't require me to work two or three jobs just to pay the bills and buy groceries. A life where comma splices don't make smoke come out of my ears.

I accomplished my goal, which was to become a teacher. I taught at different schools around the city; I became a good teacher; I learned more from my students than I did from anyone else. But teaching and grad school took up so much of my time that I sacrificed almost everything else that mattered to me.

Thinking about all of these things made me so stressed out that when I sat down in front of my computer, I couldn't think of what to write. I missed writing, but all my regrets and problems formed a block in my head that was almost impossible to break down.

Now that summer is coming up, I'll finally have more time to write (although I'll still be teaching and working on my dissertation). I finally realized that I have to make time to write regularly, especially because then I'll be much less likely to start sobbing over incorrect punctuation.

I also realized that I need to take a vacation, because I really have been working too hard. I've been debating on whether or not I should take a short trip to New York (I'd like to stay longer, but I can't afford more than a few days). It's expensive, and I should save my money, especially because my graduate funding is running out. I have a separate savings account for that trip, but I feel guilty about spending it. But I also don't want to wake up one day in my forties and feel like I never let myself enjoy my thirties.

What about you? Have you suffered from writer's block lately? How did you deal with it? Do you ever have regrets about experiences that you missed out on?