I'm standing here at the free computer in the Xoom Juice on Speedway having the latest version of my personal-is-professional crisis. I'm tired of feeling battered by people I know and people I don't know because what I do best is to write dense interpretations of dense interpretations. On the other hand, I had the very positive experience this morning of talking to one of the staff members in my department -- someone who is bright, curious, but not at all "academic" -- about the music we played for the Bean in utero and as a baby and then being able to print out a copy of my "Music For Babies" piece from Bad Subjects for her to read without having to worry that it would make me look ridiculous or perversely difficult to her. When I returned to her office thirty minutes later, she had it open on her desk. Were I to have given her my response to the theoretical tracts I'm reading right now, however, I doubt whether she would have ever begun to read it. The thing is, I really need to read difficult theory in order to have productive thoughts that I can, under the right circumstances, turn into something accessible to people outside the academy. Unfortunately, however, I usually lack the time to take that last step these days. So I'm caught up in a whirlwind of self-doubt that saps my confidence. I want out, but I don't know how to escape the centripetal force that holds me in its thrall.