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Journal Entries
Note: Background images in December 2002 and January 2003 journal entries are selected from Frances Ku's collection of her original watercolours.

Bon Journal

Piled higher and deeper

We all have our category C's, the things that we don't want to do and leave to the last. That's why our desks get piled up with bills, magazines, leaflets, and other documents we can't be bothered to pay attention to right away. After awhile, the pile gets too mountainous, too daunting to tackle. And we procrastinate even more.

Someone once said to me that a PhD stands for "piled higher and deeper." While I was anxiously trying to get to the end, I didn't know what it meant. Sure, there were lots of stuff to read, and my desk got piled with "stuff." But I only learned the true meaning of a PhD and the legacy it left to me years later.

I am now a victim of the "piled higher and deeper" syndrome. It's an attitude problem. Doing a PhD nurtured a comprehensive, exhaustive, and risk averse approach to everything. You collect it, keep it in case you might need to refer to it, and you keep collecting. You become reluctant to throw anything away in case you might need it. So you never really "deal" with it.

Imagine taking this approach to everything else in your life. You become a collector of sorts without really becoming a connoisseur, because your time is spent collecting and not appreciating what you've collected.

Today, I finally could not avoid the dreaded task of filing. As I took out my binders, hole puncher, and transparent pockets to put the various documents away, I couldn't help noticing how much stuff I've got. Even without actively acquiring the materials, they come to me, as if by magic. If I don't organise and put them away and out of sight, I will continue to feel a sense of dread - the dread of digging through the pile that's high and deep.

12 January 2003 Sunday

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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.