Monday, December 5, 2011

Wrapping up the Semester

It's that time of the semester, where I'm in a perpetual state of "just about finished" before the break. I have three class sessions and two assignments left before I am done with Fall 2011. I finished my paper for paleoclimate seminar that is due tomorrow... the other project is for PiBBS and is really poorly defined. This is lack of instruction has made it annoying and difficult to do, and I just don't feel compelled to do it since the instructor didn't take the effort to assign a clear project. I will, of course, do something just to get through this.

It's also that time of the year where it's really hard for me to find the motivation to get through the last bit of the semester. For one thing, it's starting to get colder, and it would just be so easy to stay in bed in the morning. Fluffy blankets and pajamas sound much better than getting on a dirty city bus to go sit in my office. I'm also usually fried by the end of November. This fall has been very busy with submitting fellowship proposals, developing my dissertation research, and taking classes.

Felisa is gone this week to a conference in New Zealand. It's really bad timing. We have a book chapter due NOW, and we haven't even put together a first draft. I'm getting nervous, but there's really only so much I can do. While she's gone I'll continue to write and edit my part, and I'm also trying to figure out a conceptual diagram to include in the chapter. If I have that finished for when she gets back I'll feel confident that I've done all I can.

As I wrap up this semester, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do when I get back from winter break. What are my goals for the spring? By mid January I hope to have a manuscript submitted, so I'll be dealing with the fallout from that project. In all likelihood the paper won't get accepted right away, and so I'll be spending time editing the paper for resubmission at other journals. Not all journals use the same format, some are REALLY different, so the amount of effort will depend on where we send it and what the reviewer comments say.

My committee expects that I will give a department talk on my master's research some time in the spring, so I want to get some preliminary data on some of my research. It will be easier to talk about future research directions if I can make a little headway on some projects between now and then. The projects that will involve going to museum collections or doing field work will obviously not be something I can talk too much about, but I have some data from databases I can play with in the mean time.

I'm really eager to get home to Connecticut. I miss everyone so much, and it's always too long between visits. I'm excited that we're getting a tree this year, we haven't had one in 4 years. I get anxious when I don't see my family for long stints, especially with my grandmother not doing so great. I think if I manage to not get sick this year, it's going to be a really nice Christmas. Last year was awful, I picked up a stomach flu right after the holiday and Matt and I were sick for most of the break.

The big thing I am looking forward to when I get back in January is the kitty Matt and I adopted. He will finally be coming home with us. We went to PetCo last week and we found such a wonderful cat, we adopted him even though the timing isn't right. Luckily, his foster mommy is willing to keep him until we get back from break, so he can stay comfortable at her house. He's so sweet and handsome!

1 comment:

  1. Almost there!

    We had the same situation when we adopted our kittens. Annie found one online and then met her and fell in love, but we couldn't adopt her for another couple weeks. Long story short, the foster mom was really nice and we sweetened the deal by adopting Umi's sister as well.

    While it appears that my time in academia is coming to a close this school year, I am still curious how academics co-write journal articles and books. Sure, I have group assignments with multiple people and invariably what happens is that each person writes a prescribed section, then one person is the editor/conclusion writer. Sometimes the editing is done by a committee. Either way, it doesn't seem like that method is doable for doctoral students and professors given their time constraints as well as (extremely) fragmented schedules.

    Good luck with the rest of this!