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As a father, I have many distractions, many things that can keep me from being productive as a grad student. I don’t know how many times Elliot has interrupted readings, writings, this blog, whatever. Those distractions I can’t help, and really, those distractions are welcomed. He’s the funnest kid in the universe so, you know, bring it. My wife, Emily, says I tend to groan during these interruptions, and she’s probably right, but I DO enjoy when Elliot takes my hand and says, “Slide,” or “Wild Thing,” or “Digar” (Guitar) or “Totoro“.

Other distractions include dishes—I try to avoid these, but this is usually unsuccessful.

Laundry. A must.

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Dog walking. Indie’s very demanding!

Internet surfing.

Sometimes, though I need distractions from school work, from work, from grading papers, from the stress. Usually, that comes in the form of TV or film. Usually, that comes after Elliot is in bed, and I should be working on a paper, or grading, or reading, or writing a blog post, or sending a submission, or cleaning, or organizing, or whatever.

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Our current distraction/obsession is Doctor Who. Though, David Tennant has just left the show (We just finished season 4 on Netflix.), and we’re taking a break before we start up with the new guy. With the exception of Fridays (our Veg-out day), we usually attack Doctor Who at night, an episode or two before bed. (Many times, I write during the show.) But last weekend, our Friday turned into the weekend, and we revisited season 3 of The Office. This by far is the best of the seasons. It was like all the stress from school and work and parenting and cleaning and everything just slammed to a halt. We even let it play with Elliot around. (He usually doesn’t get much TV or movies–an occasional episode of Sesame Street or Hayao Miyazaki movie.) We just chilled out with Indie and Elliot and watched it, revisiting a show we used to be so addicted to and one we still watch in its new incarnation.

It was a great break from a tough week, though Em and I had our work cut out for us this week and ended up having to play catch up in chores and everything else. (Who am I kidding? She had to play catch up… I’m gone too much in the gut of the week to really be able to help.) I feel relaxed and ready to attack the work/school week, as well as any chores that I left behind.

I’m not sure when we’ll get back to Doctor Who, but maybe it’ll be tonight, after I write this blog post.

Anyway, the point is, I let myself get distracted. I have to. I mean, if I didn’t, I’d probably go insane. Part of me still works a little while watching TV or films, but it’s usually enough, so that when I need to really get back to the books/grading, I feel refreshed.