Semester Wrap-Up

Summer is here! But I’m still working… Here’s the situation

(Actually Leslie totally reminds me of my mom there)

1) The semester ended pretty well, despite the fact that I ran down the clock on both papers and my grading. I have got to stop doing that. I’m tired of feeling like I could have done better if I hadn’t run out of time. Except on the grading, that’s just annoying. (Academic Coach Taylor has some advice on that)

2) I had my end of the year dinner party and it was wonderful. I made lobster thermidor and homemade goat cheese and bacon ravioli (hilariously fat. I need a pasta machine). But more on that at another time.

3) My Nancy Drew paper turned out pretty well. My professor was pleased with it and I got the first compliments on my writing (as in writing, not content) I’ve had in a really long time. And he’s a rock star, so that gave me a much-needed boost. I ended up writing two and a half pages (~10% of the paper) on the 2007 movie that I said I wasn’t going to write about. That section actually was among the strongest analytical parts of the paper too, go figure. I learned a ton writing this paper and the research I did on politics and policy was out of my comfort zone for sure. Dr. M raised some questions about the framework of my argument that have me reconsidering some elements of it entirely, but they were constructive comments, especially since I want to revise this as a potential journal article. To that end and to further my analysis I might end up spending a lot of time this summer reading the new Nancy Drew series that I disparaged. If I’m at the pool with a drink, it’ll be okay. In the end, I learned a lot and I’m happy with the seminar paper I produced. That’s a great feeling.

4) I have a lot of goals for the summer. I want to read a big stack of books in preparation for my exam reading list and rationale (see Rock the Exam above). I want to write a conference paper and/or a journal article. I want to read for fun and have fun. I also need to get the interviews done for my qualitative research project, but I’ve hit a recruitment hiccup. Arg. It’s felt like the universe has been punishing me lately, so, more than anything, I would like to get my life more attuned to whatever it is that is going on. Yoga. Prayer. Beach time. Sunshine. Ohm.

5) I also have four part-time jobs of various durations and difficulties this summer. Which means, for the first time in my grad school career, I can live comfortably during the summer without worrying about bills. That is also a great feeling.

6) Because three of those four jobs are for the university, I have stuff to put on my CV for professional service. I also will be reading a lot of student work this summer. I’m reading portfolios for the Honors College, high school portfolios for the Portfolio Program, and am working on the Teachers’ Guide and the compilation of student work we have our students buy each year. Lots of student work. So, I need to get back to reading tons of essays for that.

*I’ll admit, I am so exhausted that I cried like a baby during Thursday’s Parks and Rec.

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