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.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Coming out of the weeds...

It is now just the third week of school and for the most part I have felt in the weeds since the start of classes. Everything seemed to happen all at once and NEEDED to GET DONE. Completing lecture notes, updating online notes, finishing my hyperlinked glossary, Job packets, literature review revisions, etc., etc. I now am finally feeling like I can breath a bit.

I have most of my lecutre notes for class done now, just a few chapters to finish and for the most part they are only sections of chapters. I've also been keeping up with composing test questions and constructing my exams for my class.

I have also finished getting the first wave of job packages out. The next wave is coming through and I will probably work on these next week, depending on the deadlines for the jobs.

Finally, I have also completed the heafty job of revising my literature review. This involved some reading of new articles that my reviewer suggested, only one of which I really felt fit my manuscript's theme. It also involved major overhauls of organization and simple elimination of several pages. My paper is now 14 pages shorter than the original version.

All I have left now is to write up my cover letter to the editor outlining my changes and how I addressed (or why I didn't address) the reviewer's comments. I should have that done today.

All in all now I should be able to really focus on my dissertation and at least get the results written up so I can start to organize my discussion. Finally, getting done what really needs to get done!

I have spoken to my advisor about my possibly December graduation and he stated that if I do end up moving I should try my best to make a clean break. I have thought about writing the rest of my dissertation off site, but he made the good observation that being off site can often result in a loss of motivation and focus on one's dissertation writing. I agree with him and for now will push to meet the deadlines for a December graduation. However, I will know, hopefully in a week, whether or not that will actually be a necessity.


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