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, April 26, 2007

Dr. Christopherson

Well it's done. I have successfully defended my dissertation and with a few minor clerical error revisions I will be done with my dissertation as it stands now. It is quite a feeling to know that you are done after having spent so much time and effort into this one moment. I just about lost it when one of my committee members called me "Dr. Christopherson" for the first time.

The defense itself was sort of fun. A lot of good ideas came out and I am glad to hear that my research would produce such an engaging discussion. I feel that I have a data set that I could mine for a couple of years! But the big step now is to try to get a data set from this research and publish that sometime soon.

I wish that I could say that I feel less stressed out now, but unfortunatly there are other things to worry about now...finishing classes, selling our home, and hopefully buying the home that we have fell in love with in Sioux City. We have made an offer and as of now are still waiting to hear if it had been accepted or not. I actually expect it to be rejected and that we will need to raise our offer before all is settled.

Now the job begins as a new Ph.D. Hopefully I will have some graduation pictures to post on this site so you can see me in my regalia! It should be fun...I'm comptemplating wearing my garb for at least 2 weeks :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Less than a week to go!

Well I have only 4 days left until I defend my dissertation then POOF, I'm done!. I finished preparing my presentation today and gave it to my advisor to look at and see if I left out any major points. Like I had said in an earlier post (I think), I am actually looking forward to this defense. I am excited about this research, even though there are little to no breakthrough findings. But they are interesting nonetheless (as they should be for one's dissertation!).

Along with this major milestone, we have also put our home up on the market as of last week and just tonight we had some people come for a showing. It wasn't until I was basically kicked out of my own house for strangers to walk through when I realized that we are really doing this thing. Really moving. Really selling our home of 5 years. Really going to have to buy a new one! We take off this weekend to look at houses in Sioux City. We have quite a few lined up and will be looking at about a dozen or so ideally. Hopefully we find one or two that we both really like and will not need to travel down again.

One think that I wish only had a week to go though is classes. This semester has been a bit of a unique challenge for me. My online discussion boards have had quite a few hiccups. Mostly with people waiting until the last minute to post. One of my students had a good idea to require a preliminary deadline for their original post a few days before the actual deadline so that people actually have things to discuss and do not have to hang around online into the wee hours on a due date. A good idea that if I decide to do anything like this again, will most likely implement.

But hopefully things will actually begin to slow down a bit as finals week gets closer. Because you are pretty much forced to live about a week or so ahead of your students (ideally) then most of the work is done before finals week. The last thing to do will be final grades, which shouldn't be too difficult (Hopefully).

In my other class I have my students turning in their rough drafts of their papers for me to look over. Hopefully this will help improve their writing and make less work for me when I grade their final papers. But I am nearly finished prepping this class because I have one student who has needed to go through quicker because of a deadline for her program. So I had to prepare all of the worksheets and tests for her way before the rest of the class. So I guess that is a bit of a benefit.

But the semester is nearly finished. I have purchased by cap, gown, and hood, and will be ready to go full steam ahead into this relocating process this summer.