Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting Back in High Gear

During the past 3 weeks, I have experienced a hiatus from my dissertation based on poor planning and bad luck.  The poor planning consisted of not bringing two important texts with me while visiting my in-laws.  I incorrectly thought that I would be too busy to be distracted by my dissertation.  Although this was true for the first 5 days, it wasn't so for the remaining 9, so I stewed in regret for a while. 

This regret was replaced by the misfortune of my laptop computer dying on me.  Fortunately for me, all my dissertation work was backed up on a flash drive and in the cloud.  If I were religious, I would say it was a god's way of telling me not to work on my dissertation during these past 3 weeks.  This god was not too far off from my advisor's message to take a little break.  I did not know she possessed magic powers.

My family summer vacations ended this past weekend, and suddenly I was thrust into scheduling meetings.  These meetings signify my workload for this semester.  My most urgent meetings are in regard to my new graduate assistantship.  I can't say too much more about this since I haven't attended the first meeting yet.  However, it is a half-time assistantship, which is 20 hours a week, and I plan on spending 10 of those 20 hours in the new office, wherever that is.

I am also scheduling meetings to discuss my research proposal with my co-chairs.  I've received from great feedback already, but I'm waiting for some more before I start planning my revisions and outlines for later chapters.  I have 6 credit hours dedicated to my dissertation, which is the equivalent to 2 courses.  At this point, I have no idea how this will work, but I'd like to envision 3 credit hours on writing and revising the research proposal, and the other 3 credit hours on the research proposal committee meeting(s) and the IRB application.

Other meetings are in regard to my future employment, which can start as early as May 2013.  My funding at the College of Education expires as late as August 2013, and full-time positions for the next academic year have already been posted.  At this point, all these jobs are either full-time tenure-track professor positions or they are program director/administrator positions at university ESL programs.  I will be meeting with several people to discuss my job application strategies since I have never applied to jobs of that caliber before.  It can be a bit intimidating.

Lastly, I am taking only one class this semester.  This class is taught by one of my dissertation committee members and satisfies the last requirement for my cognate area.  This class appears to help strengthen my position of the need for some sociocultural anthropology in second language teacher education.  More on this later, perhaps.

So to sum up what this semester seems to look like:
  • An average of 20 hours/week dedicated to my graduate assistantship
  • 6 credit hours dedicated to my dissertation
  • 3 credit hours of my sociocultural anthropology seminar
  • Job search and applications (which many people consider a full-time job)
I'm excited about all four, but the excitement for each is very different.  I'm sure that this blog will demonstrate these differences and the changes among them throughout the semester.

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