Nov. 12th, 2009 02:35 pm
rhyll: (Default)
I'm trying to get my thesis done by next Tuesday at the latest, or at least have the full, edits-made draft to SupervisorFace by then. The edits that I have left to do are all fairly minor, although it's still taking a lot of energy to get through them. It feels strange, the way it's gone from spending years as a pile of jumbled thoughts to, over the last few months, something more like an actual book.

I'm hoping that after this week, I will be a saner person, and a better friend. I'm hoping I'll have the time to do so many of things I've been putting off. I'm not sure that will actually be the case: I'll still be teaching at least a few hours a week, and will probably be getting on with book proposals and job applications reasonably soon.

I'm too tired to be excited, just now, but I'm really looking forward to submitting.
rhyll: (Default)
* Finish writing Conclusion, revise Chapter One, do minor revisions on other chapters. Give whole lot of it to SupervisorFace by 17th November. SUBMIT once he's read it through. Examiners have been told: last week of November.
* Write up job application by 23rd November. This is for a job I would actually be delighted to get, working with the NTEU!
* Mark 300 exams. (This weekend? Is that even possible?)
* Finish Net Unit marking (by the end of today?)
* Do lesson preparation for Net Unit.
* Do Greek homework.

I am totally handling all of this. I am a bit exhausted, but I am Gettings Things Done and feeling more or less cheerful about it. Luckily I am being helped: Jason had dinner (and junky movies) waiting when I got home after Greek on Monday night, and Nathalie not only cooked me dinner when I finally finished work yesterday evening (at 8!) but also did the cleaning for the rent inspection. SupervisorFace has been a champ with the reading and commenting, and has been very reassuring.

When I finally get through this, I am going to spend at least a couple of days resting before I get on with job hunting. It's going to be awesome.
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Did you know that I went to Sydney? Probably! Because I talk about everything, all the time. So, here is some of my news about going to Sydney, and coming back, and yesterday:

* I went to Newcastle! I felt very intrepid, because I caught buses to the airport on Friday morning, and then a plane to Sydney, and then trains to Newcastle, where I got picked up by a friend. If there had been some bicycling in there as well I would have felt Most Adventurous Ever.
* Newcastle has a great urban renewal project going on, Renew Newcastle. I am a bit jealous that I'm missing the project's This Is Not Art festival, but I did get to at least get a tour of the little galleries and craft-spaces. I particularly like the upcycling space, where people had been putting together hand-sewn journals with more skill and pizzazz than my usual misshapen efforts. I also rather like the exhibition of "art concerning dinosaurs". I am jealous that I missed out on going to Totoro's Tea House.
* I went to a conference! Some of it was painful, with all the academic jargon and egos. But there was definitely enough exciting work that I felt all excited about research again, and about Learning New Things. I met one of my examiners, and managed not to spill a drink all over her, and I gave a talk to a tiny audience (I was in the last session of the last day), and I ate lots of snacks. I'm going to put up some links and stuff on my grownup blog.
* People! Sometimes, I meet people and think that they are lovely, but then sort of expect never to see them again. And then I see them again, and feel a little disoriented and also delighted by it. In this category, I caught up with a couple of friends in Newcastle, both of whom are lovely, and a conference-friend from last year. There was also a posse of Perth people, including one of my Think Tank ladies, and lots of strangers to talk to. I like talking to strangers!
* Yesterday was pretty exhausting. Everything has felt so rushed for so very long, and the conference most definitely did not give me a break from that, fun as it was. Luckily, I have mostly managed to maintain momentum - I'm sure that's all that got me through yesterday. I had a heap of teaching to do, plus marking, plus lesson preparation, plus had to go to the Real Food Forum and be all grownup for Bluestocking. I'm glad I went, because it was fascinating (in a scary kind of way). I'm going to try to blog about it over the next few days.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this, but I feel like I've been getting lots done. Unfortunately, I suspect that's because I've been very busy with teaching...I love teaching, and it gives me short-term, achievable goals, and involved actually interacting with people. When I'm working on my thesis, on the other hand, I often feel a bit isolated, and feel like I'm not achieving much because everything moves so slowly and my goals are so unclear. Anyway! The conference helped me get excited about my thesis again, so I'm going to get back to it! Today has been thesis-day, and I still have a bit more thesis-time left before I play with ukuleles.
rhyll: (Default)
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. When I start to panic, I listen to this song by Mirah, and take deep breaths. It is from an album that is all about insects!

So, I have my whole thesis draft back from my supervisors now, and I oscillate between thinking "not much to do, nearly finished", and "eep! so much to do!" I am working hard not to panic, and to just make my way through the changes. When the bigger changes seem too hard (as they have for the last week) I've tried to find something small that doesn't seem to daunting, rather than hiding under my desk.

My teaching has been going well. The politics unit I'm teaching had a role play exercise this week, and I feel like it went well. I also got my students to give me some mid-semester feedback, and most of it was very positive. I've also just started my Internet teaching, which I'm looking forward to very much. It will be interesting to get to focus on that side of my research for a while!

In other work-news, I have two lectures coming up in a fortnight, but hopefully will be able to mostly work off last year's notes. My aim for this round of lectures is not to be daunted. I've also sent off my paper for APSA, and have been having some discussions with other members of the panel I'll be on about how to recontextualise my research so that we have a common theme: fun! And I've also been working with Ms S to try to put together our next event for Bluestocking, which hopefully we can start publicising soon.

Also, I have been trying hard to eat well and get lots of exercise. I've been enjoying all my cycling-adventures immensely. It's fun cycling to new places, especially when they're further than I am used to going. I'm also finding that the places I usually cycle seem like less of a commute, which is in a way disappointing. I have been thinking of maybe putting more of my cooking experiments up on our recipe blog, but maybe I will just keep reading other recipe blogs lustfully?
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I've finished writing my fourth (and last) chapter, and my supervisor's read it, and he only has two significant changes that he wants made to it. Which means that after everything going along at snail's pace, it feels like suddenly everything is happening all at once. I'm going to make the (smallish) changes required to each chapter over the next few days and (hopefully) get the whole lot to my supervisors by Friday for them to read over. I've chosen a title, and written the abstract. Yesterday we chose examiners, and my supervisor's started emailing them to see if they will do it.

I have no idea, at this stage, how much further there is to go. It might be nearly finished, or it might need a few more rounds of edits. Doing the layout might take me a day or two. Same with the bibliography. Rewriting the introduction and conclusion might take a day, or it might take a week. But it seems like I'm nearly there? Maybe?

I can't really imagine being finished. I can't imagine that one day I will have a whole thesis, and it will be officially Grown Up, and it will pass, and I will be a doctor and be able to do something else.

Apart from being freaked out by this whole thesis thing, I have been doing some other stuff. I have been cycling a lot, which makes me very happy. I went all the way to Maylands! And to East Vic Park! (I like crossing the river, it makes me feel like an adventurer.) I gave blood, which always makes me happy. I have been enjoying Greek class, although haven't been doing as much homework as I should because of all the other Doing. I have darned my socks!

Also: all you guys who I haven't seen for a while, I am sorry but I probably won't be able to see you for a while more. This week is going to be a rush to finish the thesis edits, and I suspect the next few weeks will be similar. I still like you and think you're awesome, though!
rhyll: (Default)
Things I did last week:
* Jason and I found a phone charger in a box, so I can now be contacted without going via the Interwebs.
* Put in a job application for a Grownup Job, which a) would be pretty much perfect since it's part time so I could keep teaching, and b) it will take a miracle for me to get. Still, I feel better for applying.
* Battled my way through more of Chapter 4 rewriting. I have banned all not-thesis Internet at uni now, and instead when I feel like I need downtime I read an article or drink tea. I have been drinking a lot of tea.
* Had a very intense Greek lesson.
* Had some good time with the Think Tank and at Crafternoon, which has helped a lot to keep me sane.
* Went to Barcamp.
* Crocheted and baked.
* Talked to my head of department about new teaching stuff.
* Watched RiP: A remix manifesto.
* Had a lot of conversations in my head.

It has been a rough week. I have been finding uni hard to deal with, both making my way through the work (because I am so anxious about it) and spending so much time alone in an office. It is a very isolating experience. Still, I feel like I've been dealing with it reasonably well, working hard to look after myself and do things that make me happy.

Things I need to do next week:
* By next Friday: write a paper.
* By next Thursday (probably): read a 600 page book for the class I will be teaching. I think it will be a level three class, which means it will be a two-hour workshop instead of the usual 45 minute classes. I am a bit nervous about this, and a bit excited.
* Soon: finish Chapter 4, which will (ihopeihopeihope) be the last major part of rewriting/research necessary.
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* I babysat Miss Z, who is around one-and-a-half, yesterday. She hadn't had an afternoon nap and was pretty traumatized when her father left, and burst into heart-breaking sobbing. When I stopped hugging her and put her down she walked over to the front door and held her hand against it, like maybe if she could get it open he would come back. Oh my. In the end I put on some jazz and we listened to it together, and then she pointed at some things and made little-mammal-snuffling noises. I gave her my XO to play with, and she tried very hard to destroy it, but mostly just made it sticky.
* I have decided to go to Newcastle at the end of next week for a one-week change of scenery. I have been getting more and more frustrated with my thesis, and I think I was starting to feel like it was just going on and on. Even the thought of working in a different place for a while makes me feel a bit less anxious about the whole thing.
* J has been ridiculously lovely, and when I had a little Panic last night about not being able to concentrate on my thesis he did a good job of back-patting and plan-making. Today I actually got some work done! Not a heap, but enough that I feel a bit more on-track again. I also called N and received further reassurances, and had a nice lunch with my father, and am generally feeling cared-for.

Also: I need to buy some elastic for my crochet-skirt's waistband. Can anyone recommend a place to do this that isn't in the middle of nowhere?


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