Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not a well person

Before I succumbed completely to whatever virus or bacterium it is that currently has me in its icky clutches, Stephanie from Humanities Researcher and I went out to the University of Western Sydney's Bankstown Campus last Friday as guests of Professor Ivor Indyk's Writing and Society Research Group to talk about blogging and writing and literary criticism. Judith Ridge, who was there, has written about it here at Misrule (found via Matilda).

Stephanie and I are old friends and regular readers of each other's blogs, so it was a different sort of occasion from the usual more formal academic presentation -- something I don't think, after ten years away from the academy, that I could convincingly do any more in any case. (Though it does appear to me that in terms of intellectual influences and fashions, of new habits and modes of theory and critique, time has stood still while beleaguered academics everywhere instead spend their time being forced to do endless, pointless administration, sit on committees, find new ways of raising funds, and get dragged down by the never-ending nightmare of the compulsory ARC grants application cycle as by a giant squid, so perhaps I could.)

Giving a joint presentation with a dear friend is something I recommend highly, and I think it's probably fun for one's listeners as well; it adds an extra (and extra-benign) dimension of performance dynamic and a light blanket of warmth to what can otherwise be quite a challenging situation.

But the session was further complicated for me by the intermittent spinning around of the seminar room as I attempted to deliver my spiel and respond to questions. I'd been flat out meeting deadlines, having assorted dramas and doing various bits of organisation before I left for Sydney and I figured the week of early-warning momentary room spins was just the effects of tiredness and stress, but alas, it wasn't.

Apart from a lifelong predisposition to motion sickness that sees me permanently stocked up on medication for it wherever I go, and a very good thing that has often turned out to be (or not; at least one regular reader of this blog will not have forgotten the unfortunate flight over the Swiss Alps to Florence in 1993), I very rarely catch anything infectious or indeed get sick at all, so the opportunities for pathographyblogging here at Pavlov's Cat have always been thin on the ground.

The last two weeks, however, have been quite something. If you see an infection approaching that appears to include a virulent sore throat, head cold, chest cold, headache and apparent middle/inner ear thingy involving attacks of vertigo lasting, at their height, up to five or six hours and involving violently nauseatingly spinning rooms, and that seems to go on and on and on and bloody on with ever-new and more charming symptoms, tell it you don't want it and to please go away.

Especially if you are alone in a hotel room in a city not your own.

Alternatively, you could try very hard not to get so run down that not even your normally very resistant immune system can repel this little charmer. At least, having checked in with my GP, I'm now at the entertaining stage where I can feel the bug and the drugs fighting it out in my bloodstream.


Tessa Needham said...

Hi Kerryn,

I was saddened to hear from Kathleen yesterday that you're not well. We kept thinking back to Friday and wondering if you were already coming down with it then. I'm so sorry that you had to cut your trip short, as I thought your seminar was great, and was looking forward to hearing to talk again at tonight's forum.

The podcast from Friday came out great, once I've edited it I'll let you know how you can get a copy of it. I'm also attempting to record tonight's session, so that should become available for you as well.

I hope you feel better very soon, and at least take the opportunity for some well-deserved rest!


lucy tartan said...

Yuk and sympathy. Is it glandular Pav? Cats are quite helpful when one is sick.

Philip said...

Sending wellness vibes;
your work inspires me.

Misrule said...

Hi Kerryn,

Thanks for linking to my blog post--and I am so sorry you are unwell.

The link to your article on "The Craft of Reviewing" on your sidebar is not working--I'd love to read it!


Judith (Misrule)

fifi said...

I sympathise with you.. at least you can get to a doctor though. Getting antibiotics abroad for my own personal infestation has been like hnting the holy grail. I caught something just before i left Sydney and am just getting over it 12 days later. And I never get sick either.
I know that spinning feeling..I thought it was jet lag???

Anyway I hope you return to do another presentation, I would LOVE to come next time and will make sure I do.

Hope you feel better soon.

Kathleen said...

Poor PC, there's nothing worse than getting sick when you're not at home. We really appreciated the gig you did do for us, spinning rooms notwithstanding.

I'm still mulling over some of the issues it raised - particularly that idea of feedback. I'd be interested to hear, from both Humanities Researcher and yourself, to what extent the feedback loop on your blogs actually impacts on the "personal taste" dimension of blogs - those concerned with books, reading, ideas, that is. I'm looking forward to crossing over now to read Judith's take on the seminar. (Thanks for your contributions on Friday too, Judith!)

Glad to hear you're nicely drugged up, though, and I completely agree with Lucy. There's nothing like a cat when you're not feeling well. Their superiority is somehow reassuring - at least someone's in control of themselves and their body, even if you're not.

Mindy said...

Go drugs! Hope you are feeling better soon.

The Devil Drink said...

"Go drugs!"
Amen to that, Mindy, the more the better. Do you see Ben Cousins flu-ridden or sniffling?
I mean, more than normal?

elsewhere said...

One of my students has been very ill with a virus she's had for over six weeks. There does seem to be something going round (she's from the central coast of NSW).

Hope you get well soon -- being sick can throw every out so much, esp I imagine if you're freelancing.

Pavlov's Cat said...

T'anks, all. I am still, not to put too fine a point on it, crook, but on the bright side, at least I have stopped falling over and being sick. Yes, the cats have been good; I crash on the sofa and within five minutes I have one cat on either side of me, guarding me like Chinese Temple Lions.

Fifi, how dreadful -- being ill overseas would be Much Worse. NB everyone should go over to Fifi's at once and have a look at her fabulous pictures of Russia.

Word verification: 'kkoak', which frankly I think is a bit eerily close to home.

genevieve said...

Three cheers for no longer falling over. Sounds like you did a sterling job even whilst unbalanced though. So to speak:)
Hope full recovery is imminent.