I made the mistake of having a long nap today, so I will now bug my readers with a multitude of posts.
My relationship with the love of my life started as a long-distance one. I had to undertake long and painful Greyhound journeys from Canada to the US to be with him. He couldn't travel to see me at all because of visa restrictions. That entire year when I was making very long and painful trips to see him and then go back was the year when I was writing my doctoral dissertation. (I'll tell the whole story of our relationship one day because its is very educational. :-)
Once, when I submitted a portion of my doctoral dissertation to my adviser, she wrote the following in response:
"Clarissa, what happened on page 86 of your dissertation? Before that page, your writing was passionate, intelligent and exciting. In the middle of page 86, it suddenly became plodding, repetitive and boring. Why did this dramatic change happen?"
My adviser was (and is) a brilliant scholar who knew what she was talking about. Page 86 coincided with the moment when I left the guy I liked and traveled back home.
As I'm preparing to become a commuting academic yet again, I remembered this story. This memory was brought to my mind by a post on the blog of Jonathan Mayhew who somehow managed to maintain a beautiful commuting relationship with his wife (who is one of the most highly respected and feared academics in our field) and stay extremely productive.