No post yesterday because I had class (my big presentation) and work at the shop. Lots to talk about. Watch this space.
It's 12:30 and I'm about two-thirds of the way through my paper. Luckily, I'm on the part where I tie together the ninty-plus articles I found in the territorial-era Phoenix newspapers. It's pretty smooth sailing, but there's just so much to cover. I'm tempted to reign in the scope of the paper and finish it up but I won't.
At this point, it's at 18 pages and I am still not done with the negative press coverage of the Indians. That leaves the neutral coverage, which should be quick because there's very little of it, and the positive coverage, which forms the crux of my argument and can't be rushed through. After that comes the conclusion where I integrate everything written prior. In other words, I'm going to exceed the recommended length of 20 pages handily. Unfortunately, the deadline of today by noon means that my revision of this first draft is unlikely.
That means that my presentation on Tuesday will be analyzed as if it were mostly finished when it is in fact a considerable work in progress. I know that the presentation will involve me having my ass handed to me, but no one ever said that life as a contrarian would be easy.
I'm in the throes of a major paper due on Monday. You know the kind: twenty pages, original research, boring topic. I say throes because writing is an agonizing task for me. I am a much better editor than I am a writer because I have such a hard time writing anything lengthy. I can edit perfectly well and that makes writing the ordeal that it is: editing while writing.
This paper is going very differently. I finally thought of a viable topic in mid-November, spent the next two weeks or so researching like a fiend, and have been writing for about two weeks. Considering I work full-time and own a small retail business that I also work at, I think I'm making pretty splendid progress. I've written about 12 pages now and I've edited very little. I've been including things that I thought might not be relevant, but figured that I could always cut them out in the end.
The subject is pretty dry—my working title thus far is Perceptions of Indians in the Territorial-Era Phoenix Press—but it could be a lot worse. The topic of Indians in the Southwest is one of those subjects that are important but thoroughly uninteresting to me. I am interested primarily in the business development and settlement of the Southwest. The fact that Indians had to be vanquished and shuttled onto reservations is unfortunate and historically important, but it's really ancillary to my specialization. Plus, the broken treaties and massacres perpetrated by the federal government are a blemish on the American record—much like slavery, a subject that doesn't interest me for exactly the same reasons.
Well, back to the paper. Eventually, it'll end up posted on this site.