Friday, July 25, 2008

The Green Light: Let the Chaos Begin

During a long meeting with my advisor yesterday, she gave me the official Green Light to pursue an opportunity for publishing a section of a dissertation chapter (the piece I presented at the England conference). This was both good and bad news. On one hand, she finally said "Yes, you should go for this!" It feels like I've been waiting forever to hear her say this, because she's consistently encouraged me to stay focused on writing and researching for the diss, rather than let myself get distracted with the business of writing, revising, and submitting for publication (even though I've had work solicited early in the process). This is also welcome news because it coincides with the choice of a writing sample. If I'm revising this work for submission to a journal, then it only makes sense to use it as my writing sample and thus kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.

On the other hand, this is the least polished chunk of writing in my diss right now. I revised it sufficiently for conference presentation, but a conference paper is 10 pages max, which means I need to significantly expand this section. Not just expand, but frame and contextualize it within the space of what comes before and after it in the longer project. Basically, A LOT of work is still needed. Also discussed was the quite full plate I've prepared for myself this fall: teaching, revising diss chapters, organizing symposium for working group, and steering committee work for a national conference we're bringing to campus, and...oh yeah, going on the job market. Knowing how much I love and need my timelines, plans, and schedules, my advisor simply wanted to give me the standard "We'll-do-our-best-to-stick-to-the-plan-but-be-prepared-for-the-plan-get-adjusted schtick." So maybe next May won't be the graduation date; maybe August is more reasonable, and I'm okay with that. I'm entering my fifth year, so I'm still on track...

Anywho, I have a writing sample to revise and job materials to develop, but I'd feel much better if I could get a draft of my final body chapter finished before the end of August and the beginning of my life being sucked away for the fall. I'm having a hard time determining what the reasonable expectations are that I should have for myself. I'm notorious for putting twice as much stuff on my to-do list as is humanly possible to accomplish, and I don't want to make myself any crazier than usual...bleh. No real point here, just trying to figure things out before passing Go.

1 comment:

Lisa Dunick said...

I feel your pain. I really, really feel your pain.