Has anyone else been feeling singularly uninspired recently? It's now far enough into term that everything has settled down into the normal rhythm, but not yet far enough that things like reading week (or as one of my seminar tutors calls it, sleep week) or even the Christmas vacation, are within view. I'm not yet close enough to any of my essay deadlines for that knowledge to spark a massive surge of activity to get the essay done, so I sit in lectures and seminars gnawing over the bones of the subject on a sort of auto-pilot which seems to have evolved to get me through such things without actually having to engage higher brain functions. If pushed some activity will take place, but only a flicker. I sometimes curse the way my brain seems to work – which basically centres around the fact that it seems to function best when I'm right up against the wall being offered a blindfold. Whilst this has certainly served me well in the past, it can be a very scary experience; witness last year when I contrived to leave a 4,500 word essay until the day before it was due in and duly worked from around 3pm until just after midnight virtually non-stop to finish the thing. The result was a 2:1 for the essay (which was very gratifying) and a severe case of panic as the deadline loomed. Cleo the muse, it seems, is in the habit of turning up at the last moment.