The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summers are hard

Summer has now officially begun for me. By officially I mean that I have decided myself that I will stop goofing off so much and actually get some work done. Over the past few years in Grad school, summers have usually been a bit of a reprise from school (as summer usually are for students). I have done quite a bit of work during the summers, but this usually consists of putting the finishing touch on my Thesis, or doing some reading for dissertation and thesis proposals. Work, but not reallyy difficult, "I have to think and really make sense of stuff" sort of work. Well, this summer is different. I am working on interpreting my results from my dissertation research and I am already begninning to get a headache from it.

My dissertation is a relatively comprehensive and applied study of study habits and goal orientation. Basically a big fat mess. For starters I am interested in something that is a hypothetical construct (motivation) and that makes things difficult to really understand and interpret. I am also working with applied data, not neatly controlled laboratory data. That makes interpretation diffucult becuase of all of the possible variables at play.

I have not really had to do this much thinking on my own during a summer and this is difficult for a few reasons. 1) it's summer and I want to play outside. 2) I do not have a set schedule and I therefore tend to sleep in, go shopping, read fun books, and other stuff. 3) There doesn't seem to be any hard deadlines and it is hard to be motivated to get stuff done when deadlines are so far away (like in November).

So I find it hard to get motivated to really do work. I do other stuff. But nonetheless, I need to keep truckin' and get a little bit done every day. Right now everything seems so big I don't really know where to start. What I need to do is make a plan of attack.


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