Crying While Reading in Public

I need accountability. This is one of the things I know about myself as a student. So when a friend of ours said she was looking for an accountability partner this summer so she would actually work on this book she’s been writing for a number of years, I jumped at the chance at having a writing buddy. 

We met in the library for two hours almost every day this summer. And it’s as fantastic. I got more writing on my dissertation proposal done this summer than I did all of last school year. 

When I met with my advisor a few weeks ago, she said that maybe the reason I’m not moving through this as fast as I would like is because I’m not doing the fun stuff. So she told me to take a break from the writing and spend some time with the books that are the subject of my dissertation. 

My copies are packed, so I checked out Kindle copies of the texts from the library and went to town. I realized that there was a reason that I read these books once, put them down, and didn’t come back to them until now. The first cursory read was so much easier, and I think because I’m skipping most of the narrative and focusing on specific scenes, the read is significantly more emotional. 

That said, I spent much of my dissertation writer’s block (what I call the time in which I’m working on my dissertation) crying behind my arm so my writing buddy couldn’t see. I shouldn’t be embarrassed about having an emotional reaction to my data, but I am. I think that’s also why I’ve been reluctant to work on my dissertation proposal on days when I don’t drive the carpool. 

So it’s to you now: How do you feel about crying while reading in public? Is it something you do openly? Do you hide behind your book (or arm, like in my case)? Or do you avoid it entirely? 


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