I have become a Poinsettia Whisperer. I will be the first to admit some skepticism about my own behavior sometimes, and have had to--in the past--reign in the extra cup of crazy that got thrown into my coffee on some days. So, I had my reservations about taking on another job during the Diss stage even as my little legs carried me straight to it on Day 1. It's a "McJob," in my opinion, and I don't mean that in any derogatory sense. It's just that I go into the greenhouse, I am told what to do and how to do it, I go home. All skills needed are acquired and then left at the greenhouse. Clean and simple. Me likey.....
Anyway, although I've been enjoying my Saranac Pumpkin Ales and getting crafty with pumpkin bowls (see post 10/13), the 7000 poinsettia plants at the greenhouse kindly remind me that the holidays are a-comin.' Yes, 7000 is the figure. No typos here. And holy candy canes are they temperamental little suckers (well, some are giant little suckers).
This relates to my Dissertation in several important ways (wow....that sentence sounded like it came OUT OF my Dissertation....see? The circle of academic life at its finest). I cannot sit in The Chair five out of five days while my son is at school and try to write all day. I am a sprinter more than a marathon runner, for sure. Those hours need to have some breaks and changes in them. The greenhouse job has forced me to be efficient. I have two full days to write, and three squished days to get all hell done (plus other jobs and Momertator duties). I am committed to writing/editing/reading/whatevering my Diss EVERYDAY and so far that IS WORKING. Which is unbelievable. I can write a page after this post, turn it to blue (see "seeing Red" post from June)for sure, and still make it to 7-eleven to grap a 20 oz. "Autumn Blend" cup o' joe for the day. Totally.
The greenhouse is gigantic...several different rooms, hothouses, the whole thing. Filled with perky, thriving and green poinsettia plants of various sizes and breeds. They are growing like mad, and each--as far as a I can tell--has developed its own way of using/abusing the water I pour into the pot. Some soak it up immediately and want more. Others lazily work their way through the water/fertilizer cocktail and wait patiently for me to check on them a few days down the road. Others droop immediately, lethargic like a snake after a good meal. Crazy little suckers.
As I walk through the greenhouses, hose in hand, I have to check EVERY PLANT individually for water treatment. For real. I am prone to talking to myself anyway (only child syndrome, for sure), and now I talk to them.
I'm talking to them about my Dissertation. In fact, I'm writing sentences FOR my Diss while gently swaying through the rows and rows and rows. I'm verbally revising things, asking myself (and the curious poinsettias) questions and working through the answers. Out loud. But quietly. Between the fans, the heater, the water, etc. I don't think any other workers can actually hear me, but one greenhouse veteran did ask me at lunch whether I had headphones on. I can only assume it's because he saw me chatting away merrily with my poinsettias. Without thinking, I responded, "No, why?" He followed with a slightly bemused look and a small nod.
I am the poinsettia whisperer. And I'm writing and watering like my life depends on it. Well, maybe that's too overdramatic....I mean, I can always change my Diss deadline, but my thousands of poinsettias have to be ready in one month. Time to get to work!