A 2nd year PhD student, a couple thousand mile move, a neurotic cat, and a loyal husband. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Done, mostly (except not really).

The dreaded prelim exam is submitted. Who knows if they'll actually like the set of papers, but it's done now at the very least. And the worst that can happen at this point is a revise, resubmit. So not too high stakes.

On the agenda, 2+ more papers to work on. I still have a ways to go with my InaDWriMo progress, so it's lucky I have so much work to do (or something).I also need to transform all these papers into presentations for seminars. That part is never the hard part for me.

More work, and hopefully actual quality blogging (rather than this boring to do list) coming soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sunday night update

  • 3 papers done
  • 1 paper remains with just some work on lit review to do. I can be done tonight if I can just slam my way through this part.
I'm at 35% of my InaDWriMo goal, which isn't too shabby all in all. I kinda thought my word count would be higher now, but one paper turned out to be a bit shorter than I expected. No biggie. I'm content to not make my word goal as long as I submit the papers that need to get done - and hopefully decent enough to pass. (I'd prefer more than just decent enough to pass, but heck, I'm willing to settle here).

On the bad news front, my grant got rejected. So that's sad. But kinda okay because I have a crazy spring on the schedule anyway and this means one less project for now. And I know it's a good project, so I'll just need to try again. Silly scientists - how can they think that my proposal isn't useful?

And- one week from now I'll be almost home for the fall holiday. I'll probably still be flying and thus tired/cranky/tons o' fun. But almost home. Time to see the family and former mentors and good friends. And time to get away from boring Grad Uni. I could use a break.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

InaDWriMo Update

Not too shabby! Of course, I probably should be at 50% (since we're halfway through), but this is still huge progress for me. Tomorrow will probably be another 2000 words and the completion of the final paper. Then I'll start on two new papers. 20,000 words may be a little high, but I'll feel like I'm successful if I've completed all of these papers, regardless of the final word count.

Hip hip hooray!
more words!

This weekend is going well thus far - which is good since the preliminary exam portfolio is due Monday. the update:

1 paper done and copies printed
1 paper done - needs to be proofread and short conclusion added (>100 words)
1 paper almost complete - needs a short summary of final paper (>100 words)
1 paper half done - needs a bunch of work

so, considering that it's Saturday night, I feel like this is actually a good place. I'll be taking a dinner break, but then working tonight until 11ish. Tomorrow is a full day, and then hopefully Monday am will just be final checking, printing, and packaging before dropping off the piles at the office at 12.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sometimes, this sucks.
like today.

I could use a pep talk, a reminder that I don't suck and that I am capable of doing this. Unfortunately, I probably won't get one. I guess I need to be able to give myself my own talks from time to time. But, it's hard to remind myself of these things.

Oh well, the little word meter is creeping up regularly, so that's a good thing at least. And I have a ridiculous amount of writing to do over the weekend. I accomplished little of my own work yesterday, although I did grade a set of abysmal undergrad exams.

I'm noticing how much harder this year is than last, and the big difference is the husband. Last year at this time, he was unemployed and my own personal assistant. He made dinner and did the laundry and had tons of time to reassure and comfort me. Now, he's started his own graduate program (which is great) and we're both stressed out and tired. I'm not sad that he has found something to make him excited about his day, but it is much harder to do this as a 2 grad student family. (plus the fact that together we take home $20,000 a year - that's certainly depressing). If it's this crazy now, am I totally nuts for thinking we'll try to start a family next year? I'm afraid to wait too much longer (we're in our early 30s already) and I don't really want to try to do this while negotiating the tenure track (plus, I'll be that much older - so it might be harder to get pregnant at that point). But, if it's this nuts when it's the 2 of us and the cat - what about a baby? How do people do this?

Oh well, apparently I just need to bitch a bit. Back to writing... another 400 words today is the goal.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm working on my research paper after having a small panic attack about whether it will be possible to finish it before the deadline. I think I've revised the RQs enough that it is doable with the time left, but that I'll still be able to report something worthwhile. And, as I need to submit this same paper elsewhere in dec, I can still pursue the bigger questions if I have time to complete that data analysis.

I've been completely slacking on my transcription recently, as that's for a project not due immediately. But, I know that this will make me suffer later, as transcription is one of those sucky, time filling things. So much else still to do. I'm imagining I'll bring my headphones on the plane and transcribe during our flights at Thanksgiving. fun times. I hope there's a long enough layover that I can recharge the laptop battery so I can work during both legs of the flight.

Why didn't anyone tell me how much fun all this was? sigh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Phew. Now that the election is over, back to writing. I didn't accomplish much yesterday (what with all the anxiety and nervousness about the election!) but today is going strong. Another few percent of words and I'm also working with data. I've prettied up a paper as well, so I've spent time working that doesn't quite reflect in the word count. Tedious stuff, but important stuff.

Now, to finish fixing my file types so that I can run some stats tomorrow!

And, maybe a few hundred more words tonight as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Well, the word count isn't completely accurate today, but pretty close. I started making changes twice before I wrote down my last word counts, so I had to do some estimation. The next time I have a little free time, I'll do the math from the beginning again and see what it adds up to. I also did a little pruning (of the extraneous add cite, do this notes I tend to leave in my texts) so the word totals went down a little bit.

I sent the issues paper out to get read. It's far from done, but I need a little break from it and I think getting a check now to make sure I'm not completely spinning my wheels is a good idea. There's a cover document that goes with the portfolio, outlining how the papers work together and represent who you are as a grad student. I have about 600 of the 1000-1500 words for that document done. I'm taking a bit of a stand, saying that I know what I want for my dissertation (many of my colleagues don't know this yet), so I'm hoping that is received positively. At the same time, it's an important statement because that decision has tied the rest of the papers together. And, I want to get out of here in less than the 6+ years it's taking my classmates. So, I'm hopeful that knowing my research interest now will prove to move me through the system more fluidly.

I need to start work on the third paper. It's in draft form, but there's still data to analyze. Eek. lots to do for the next two weeks.

Of course, I'll still have more writing to do for the rest of November and InaDiWriMo. I have two other research papers due at the end of the semester, and I'd like to turn at least one of those into something publishable - not later. I've got enough on my plate for now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thus far, the word count is high. I have tons of writing to do, but I feel like I'm in an okay place. I need to take a break from typing, so I'm going to read some articles a bit and relax early tonight (maybe even catch the last SNL before the election). Plus, tomorrow we get an extra hour with the time change. Tomorrow I'll try to complete the draft of the issues paper so I can send it to a friend for review. I started my reflection paper and added information about my disseration plans. I'm not quite sure what that paper is supposed to look like, so although I wrote 300+ words on it today, I'm not sure how many will make it to the final count in the end. But, that's fine I guess because I am writing with a purpose...

After tomorrow, it's time to get the research paper going. I have data analysis to do (although the data is all collected luckily). I think I can, I think I can....
Well, the InaDiWriMo is going okay thus far. I'm making progress with the issues paper. I want to finish a draft this weekend to send off to a friend to review while I start on my research paper. I need to keep the reflection/cover piece in mind as I work on this as well... I don't want to completely leave that to the last minute. words words words.

I don't have much else to do this weekend, work wise, other than to write. And personally, we just need to do some laundry so there's clean underwear in the house (!) and buy groceries so we can eat. Not too bad on the chore front.

Back to writing. I'm at 600-some words thus far today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So far, so good

I spent the last week moaning and groaning about what a miserable student I was. I seem to fall into the procrastination and self-destruction trap fairly easily. But then, Sunday I somehow found my voice and all of a sudden made huge progress.

Today's been good as well. I've written 300 words (too bad they don't count for InaDWriMo 2008!) and I'm checking things off the to-do list. I've got more writing today and then a stack of grading to get through. I should probably also do mundane things like laundry and housekeeping before Husband gets home. He's been back with his family for a funeral, so the house is a disaster.

The day is going well. I might actually be able to do this PhD thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New, anonymous blog

Here's the beginning of the new anonymous blog. It's time, I think, to start writing. Due in 3 weeks: my PhD portfolio. Three papers. High stakes. Due in 6 weeks: 3 research papers. Due in 9 weeks: grant proposal.

Let's get writing.