Thursday, August 14, 2008

Too much

I always looked at people who were ABD and wondered how they spent so much time on research. They always seemed harried and running around from thing to thing. I didn't get it. They were done with classes, done with exams, most of them weren't teaching...what the heck were they spending all their time on?

Now I've become one of those people. I spend about 3 days a week working on my dissertation, one working on another ongoing research project, and one working on miscellaneous other things (right now: applying to jobs and revising my syllabus for next semester). And yet I never seem to get anything done. I remember last year taking every Friday off, and yet feeling like I was getting an insane amount of work done. And yet now, it's the freakin summer, I'm going into my office 5 days a week, and spending long hours there (I'll be here until at least 6 or 7 tonight), and then coming home and feeling guilty cause there's still more things I can be doing instead of watching the Olympics.

The whole summer went by so fast. I had four months off from any teaching work. What did I accomplish? I wrote and defended my dissertation proposal, and got a very good start on my dissertation research. I revised and resubmitted a paper to a journal. I revised and submitted an old paper to a different journal. I did a bunch of research for an ongoing project, but we still haven't gotten any final results, or written up anything. I submitted a proposal to a conference, and was accepted. I submitted a grant proposal that I still haven't heard back from. I wrote a cover letter template for job applications, but still need to write a research and teaching statement. I also need to start sending out applications, as deadlines are a month from now. I started working on revising my syllabus for next semester (at least I've revised the dates, but I still want to change some of the readings). Today I renewed my student ID, which expires after four years. The semester starts in less than 3 weeks.

I went to 3 music festivals and will go to a fourth next weekend. I went to the ASAs and had two job interviews, and nearly had a nervous breakdown. I spent a week in the midwest at B's parent's house. I got engaged, and booked a venue for the wedding, but haven't done much else. I went to a few concerts, but not nearly as many as I would have liked to. I walked to school and back almost every day of the week (2 miles round trip), and my legs still hurt at the end of every walk (when does that stop?).

And now the summer is nearly over. Back to school advertisements are everywhere. More and more undergraduates are on campus everyday. I haven't been swimming once. I spent far too little time outside. I spent almost no time in the park. I haven't spent much time with friends...but most of my friends don't live nearbye anymore. But I haven't traveled to see them either. I spent too much time watching tv. I spend too many nights going to sleep at 9pm, exhausted from a day spent re-coding variables on a more-confusing-than-necessary dataset.

I'm moving my office tomorrow. I spent some of today packing up all my stuff- it took 8 boxes to pack up 4 years worth of crap, that somehow all fit into my tiny cubicle and on 2 shelves of a shared bookcase. I went up to my newly vacated office, and rearranged furniture so that I'm closer to the window and a bit more isolated from my new officemate. Not totally isolated, but there's a tall filing cabinet between us. B is coming in tomorrow to help me move. I worry that all my stuff won't fit in the new office, even though I will have a filing cabinet twice the size and a bookcase of my very own. I'm no longer going to spend my days in a cubicle. I'm moving on up.


  1. Yes, summer has flown by this year. But it sounds like you very productive. I hate to break this to you but over time you will find that you have (or will have to) take it up several notches to get tenure. Then you can slack off a bit or take it up several more notches to become chair then dean. If this sounds awful, remember you are a woman and you will always have to prove yourself. Welcome to the real world :(

    And ....
    hopefully you will be juggling this while being a Mom :)

    Left Brooklyn

  2. PS - good luck in your new office :)

  3. what happened to the cuckoos nest?

  4. I hate to break this to you but over time...

    I hate to break this to you but saying "I hate to break this to you" is a pretty patronizing way to start a sentence. (patronizing means "to talk down to", dear)

    So, you're saying that in order to progress to the next stage of my career I'm going to have work harder? Why wasn't I told about this earlier? Do you have any more wise pearls of career advice to toss our way?

    remember you are a woman and you will always have to prove yourself

    phew! I'm a man, so I guess that means I can ignore the "work harder" advice above and just coast along getting pay rises and promotions thrown my way automatically, right? Had me worried for a minute there...

  5. blah blah blah.

    Here is what i hear:

    I went to 4 music festivals, got a shit-load of work done, blah blah blah, finshed research papers, went to the ASA, maybe got a new job, blah blah blah but i didn't do ANYTHING this summer!

    do you know that most working people just WORK all summer? compared to them, you're a fun goddess. Plus you'll have gone to 4 music festivals, where u hung out with friends and listened to awsome music (among other things).

    you still have 3 weeks to go. stop bitching and make a bucket list!

  6. Ps. If you want to look at people with no life who work to hard, look at our friends in med school. Now THAT is strung out! lol

  7. Dear A.E.

    I hate you.

    your friend and buddah,


  8. why the hate?

    I may have gotten stuff done, but I didn't get everything done that I needed to get done. Is my point. :)


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