anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

Work and Life

The craziness of last week up to this Monday has somewhat died down, but the problem is, it shouldn't have died down. I am hopelessly stuck on the judicial review paper for the conference; I literally spent two hours on it today re-writing what I wrote the last time I looked at it, and I'm not even sure if it was important. I basically attempted to refine my argument that the reasonable classification test does not provide a convincing reason to hold that section 377A is constitutional (or not unconstitutional) by trying to show how the two limbs are inherently flawed. I even attempted to argue that limb (b) - that there is a rational relation between the differentia prescribed by the impugned statute and the purpose of the said statute - is almost tautological because the coverage of the statute is dictated by the classification of the statute itself. I read this argument in an old article in the Yale Law Journal and I thought it made a lot of sense. If the classification is gay men, then of course the object of the law covers only gay men, and it follows that there is a rational connection between the differentia and the object. It is therefore tautological to even have a limb (b) because limb (b) adds nothing to the inquiry. It is a triviality, in fact, in the same way that the 'intelligible differentia' in limb (a) is a triviality: it is so obvious that the classification of 'men who have sex with other men' makes sense at the most basic level that it is trivial. Therefore, taken as a whole, the reasonable classification test is really a triviality.

I have not yet pushed the argument that far. I'm not sure if I should. In any case, I was having massive problems connecting that point to the next point about how there should be a test of legitimacy and felt rather relieved when it was 5pm and time to go for the editors' training for the journal.

I really ought not to write substantively about work when I blog. My original point before I got sidetracked was that I am paradoxically feeling more stressed out now that I'm not working as intensely as I did last week than when I was working intensely last week. I'm going for formal dinner tomorrow so I have to leave the library at 6pm at the latest; Pieter is coming to Cambridge on Saturday and I'm going for a conference on Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew from 2.30 to 6pm at Fitzwilliam college later in the day; and Barry wants to hang out on Sunday. OH MY GOD. I really want to finish the first draft of this bloody conference paper by the end of the week and I'm not sure how I'm going to pull that off if I'm not going to be able to sit in the library for hours on end. It just does not work for me if I'm only there for like, three hours, expecting to have to leave in a few hours for some event or other.

On the bright side, my meeting with my supervisors yesterday went really well. It was so much better than I'd expected. I was genuinely dreading it because I was so embarrassed by the crap that I sent them which I literally finished a few minutes before the deadline. I didn't even read it over before I sent it out. When I forced myself to look at it before the meeting, I was pleasantly surprised that the only obvious mistake that I spotted was a typo in Bilahari Kausikan's name in a footnote. During the meeting, they said that I made good progress and that whatever I sent them was an improvement from the previous time; more importantly, they agreed with my hunch on the direction in which I want to take my research. Great!

The down side is, I don't think I will start working on my PhD again until Monday. Maybe I shouldn't have signed up for formal dinner or the LKY conference...no, dammit, I will do these things, AND I will finish my paper, AND I will work on my PhD. Why should I have to choose? I want to do everything and I will do everything.

*

On another note, Dominic asked me out for drinks on Monday night. I said okay and we met on Tuesday. Apparently, he made a concerted effort not to be late this time, as he was waiting for me as I stomped towards the porter's lodge, all hassled and annoyed with myself for being a minute late. (I blame my watch for this. It's about 30-40 seconds behind the standard time.) I blamed it on my shoes. He joked that he strategically said to meet at 8.35pm so that he wouldn't be late like he was the last time.

We went to a pub around the corner from the college. It was nice. I laughed, there were a few awkward moments, we gossiped about people we know (though there aren't that many of them), he told me that he used to write (in German, of course) but not so much anymore, he described his university days in Heidelberg as 'lame', he told me about some retarded series of videos on YouTube called 'Gap Yah' that parodies posh British kids who take gap years to do Really Meaningful Things, he also told me about Goethe's version of Faust and how it's more subtle and nuanced and basically more interesting than Marlowe's Dr Faustus, he listens to Bach and Wagner and Schubert and Rihanna and bashfully admitted to listening to Britney sometimes when I said that I listen to Britney... He's very cultured and he's quite in tune with ideas and notions of romance from 19th century Germany.

He's also very nice. I had a nice time. But I'm not sure if there was a spark. I'm also not sure if it would be different if G weren't somewhat still in the picture, however peripherally and 'kind of but not really'.

I woke up the next day kind of moody. I went to bed a bit moody as well. I don't know what it was. It obviously wasn't Dominic because he was great. I just - I can't disentangle these knotted emotions and mixed feelings inside me and it drives me crazy. I can't see them clearly and discretely, distill them into concrete issues that I will then deal with in a logically coherent manner. I feel this ominous foreboding and a heaviness in my heart when I think about G. I'm using my new phone now after finally swapping my SIM card for a smaller one and I have not texted G to tell him that I've changed my number. Somehow, I am almost afraid to have dealings with him. It is so uncertain and volatile, and it - he - affects me so deeply that I would rather run away from it for now.

I am almost quite certain that there is little reason for me to feel this way now. He said that he missed me too. Why should I almost be freaking out over...honestly, I don't even know what. Fucking je ne sais quoi. I suppose I am expecting disappointment, and in a bid to avoid it, I am avoiding him altogether. But I don't feel as if I can properly talk about any of this with him, not while he's in Berkeley and I'm in Cambridge. I don't want to burden him with my emotional shit because it is simultaneously unproductive and not his business. I told him that I was okay on the night of my confessing to missing him - and it's generally not untrue. I am okay. I'm not crying every day or whatever (though I did do this on Monday night when I was reading the things I wrote in Bali), I'm not distracted from working, I'm still living my life the way I should live it.

But still, I think about him all the fucking time. The moment I switch off work mode, when I'm walking home, I think about him. That is really not the point of taking these walks to and from the law faculty. The point is to think about intellectual shit, not soppy emotional junk. Yet, can I help it? If I could turn off my feelings, I would; and I don't mean my feelings for G specifically, just feelings in general.

At the same time, I think I'm quite happy to be a relatively well-adjusted individual, even if that comes at the expense of either my never being able to fully realise my intellectual potential, or my limited intellectual capacity (it's a choice between the two, I think). But this is another thought for another day; I can't be bothered right now.

I will probably get in touch with G at some point so that I can sort out my travel plans in December/January. I really have no idea if he will go through with what he said a week ago or so about coordinating this vague plan to meet. I think if I don't push him, nothing will happen. This was also the way it was in Singapore; he'd suggest doing these fun things together but he'd never make any concrete plans. I made all the concrete plans. It's exasperating, albeit sometimes in an amusing way, how the theoretical approach he takes to his work apparently extends to his life, too.

*

There is some pressure on my right eye when I shut it. I think I've been wearing my contacts for way too long. Tomorrow is going to be a long day of contacts-wearing too: laundry/gym, then library, then formal dinner, and perhaps Halloween bop (bop = Cambridge term for cheesy bad parties, according to Dominic) after the dinner, but I'm not sure if I want to be surrounded by undergrads in costumes getting drunk, so we'll see if a better plan comes along.

*

A concluding random thought: at the PhD research training seminar last week or two weeks ago, the convenor said, 'The PhD is part of life.'

That was exactly what G told me when I sought an SOS from him after my first deflating meeting with my supervisors.

I just wanted to say that for no particular reason.
Tags: cambridge, dominic, g, guys, human rights, phd, singapore, work
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