Yesterday was last day of the Spring semester (for me, at least), which means that today is the first day of SUMMER. It’s hard to believe another academic year has come and gone; it’s especially hard to believe that it’s been almost a year and a half since I began work on my dissertation. My second chapter has been really difficult–more difficult than my first chapter by far. I’m planning to enter the job market next fall, so this summer needs to be a productive one, dissertation-wise. I’m traveling to Kalamazoo for the ICMS next week (!!!) and London for the NCS Congress in July, but other than that, I am dedicating this summer to work. To that end, I made a list of concrete goals for Summer 2016:
- Finish chapters 2 and 3. My dissertation has three “body” chapters; I plan to have drafts of the final two ready for my advisors by the end of the summer. I’m enrolled in a 3-week intensive writing workshop next month, and I’m not sure if I should use it to finish my second chapter (which I’ve been struggling with since January) or if I should use it to start work on the third. I’m not sure I’m ready to enter the intensive writing phase for the third chapter, honestly. But maybe that’s just an excuse! Any advice is welcome.
- Revise chapter 1 (again). Regardless of what order I write them in, once I’m done with the second and third chapters, I want to return to the first with fresh eyes, and see if any new connections can be made.
- Finish job market materials. This semester I took a class dedicated to preparing job market materials: cover letter, teaching philosophy statement, dissertation abstract, etc. I’ve got strong drafts of each of those documents, and I want to use this summer to make them stronger. I’m a pretty anxious person naturally, and I want to be as prepared as possible for the horrors that undoubtedly await me in the fall.
There you have it: Summer ’16. Let’s go!