May: The Month for Planning, Logistics, and Organization

May seems to be a good month for a lot of basic things like organizing myself, planning things, and figuring out logistics. On June 1st I head east for a three-week seminar that you’ll hear more about in the coming weeks. I’m not talking about it right now solely because I’m not allowing myself to focus on it personally. (I”m terribly excited about what I jokingly refer to as “summer camp for nerds”, but if I start thinking about it too much, none of my other work will get done.)

With  just about three weeks left in this month, then, I feel like I have a nice, full plate of things that Must Be Done and things I’d Like to Get Done. Then I can leave for three weeks and return to settle in for dissertation-finishing and job-searching this summer and fall. At the moment, however, even much of my logistics, organization, and planning are on hold for GRADING. It is that time of the semester, after all.

Last week I finished off another dissertation chapters (the third of the semester!), which allowed me to cordon off most of this week for student meetings. In 4 days, I met with more than 30 students – just over half the class, actually. I heard some fascinating ideas, met some wonderful students (as grader, our interactions have been few this semester), and – more importantly, helped a lot of students start to work through their ideas productively, I think.

All this listening and email-answering will culminate in the submission of almost 60 papers by 4:30 this afternoon. And then I grade. After I grade, I finalize an encyclopedia entry, work on the filled-to-the-brim May sessions of Using Technology to Support Your Research workshops for grad students, draft my teaching philosophy statement, and meet with people re: career search planning efforts. …and that’s just next week. Things will slow a bit after that, but I still hope to end the month with a lot of things completed. In particular:

  • Two completed long encyclopedia entries
  • Four completed short encyclopedia entries
  • A redesigned and updated CV
  • A solid working draft of my job search materials (which I can then work on in more detail later this summer)
  • A read-through of dissertation chapters 1-5 to figure out what needs to be fixed and what I have.
  • An updated version of this blog site, including more professional materials, some slight redesign, and other related things like that (which haven’t happened because of other writing projects and class, etc.)
  • Updated organization systems for all things dissertation, oral history, and job search.
  • And of course, a little time for fun. Like guilty pleasure movies I probably shouldn’t name for fear of ruining my reputation.
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