Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! Sorry to take so long in posting! Dissertation Girl is not dead! But -- It has been an amazingly busy last couple of months! The semester ended at SWIC -- which includes tons of grading, evaluating, conferencing, etc -- and then the holidays were here (which included me going off on a cruise with my good pal, Peggy!).

So here we are in January 2012. My one goal this year -- finish the dissertation!

Like I did before, I want to use this web space to write out and think through this enormously important time in my life ... finishing up the dissertation. But here are a few other things on my mind right now.

1. I found out earlier this month that I was accepted at the Dartmouth Composition Seminar (something I would have never been able to do without the dissertation help of the amazing Dr M, my advisor!). Here is a web link to the seminar: Dartmouth Seminar. This seminar is indeed at the one and only Dartmouth (in Hanover, NH) and so Jim and I will be making this our big holiday for the year. We rented this cabin near the college and will be staying there for the entire two weeks that I am studying and working at Dartmouth (Stella gets to come along to as the rental is dog friendly!). This seminar should help me finish up any crunching of data that I will still need to do dissertation-wise.

2. The 4C's Conference is March 21-24 in downtown St Louis (a mere block or two from our downtown loft) -- and I am serving on the Local Committee (as the official "Information Chair"!). This is a HUGE conference for we writing teacher types -- I would guess that about 3000 or so of us show up for this annual conference (information about the conference here!). I am working now at finding discounts from local businesses for this event! Once this conference gets going in March, I suspect that it will be eating tons of my time!

3. Triathloning (and a fair amount of half-marathoning!). Yep, I am back at it. I am determined to get better at this sport (and lose that darn cancer weight!). Right now I am doing an indoor triathlon series with a friend at the St Peter's Rec Plex in preparation for the outdoor tris that will be starting around May. Jim and I are off to Myrtle Beach, SC, so I can run the "Run Like a Diva" Half-Marathon on May 20 (again -- we will be taking a short vacation here and click here for the fabulous beach rental we found for the time we are there! And, again, it is a Stella-friendly rental!)

4. Just being the best teacher I can be! I am starting a new semester where I have changed and organized my developmental classes especially in the quest to find better ways of helping my students recognize the value of effective writing skills. I am not sure how it will all turn out by the end of the semester but this semester represents yet another attempt at experimentation!

5. Playing with Twitter and Linked. Because I have been lucky enough to have a few publication credits (and help out with some reviewing for the journal, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, I want to use that momentum to embrace the academic/ publishing world more fully. I am still trying to learn how to use hashtags and all that fun stuff on Twitter and I am trying to keep my Linked page updated. In a nutshell -- I need to keep myself more informed about what is going on -- and both of these social media forms appear to be great ways of staying on top of what's going on! So watch out world! Here I come!

PS: As I did last year, I am also going to use this space to keep track of my races (see new tab for 2012) and a new tab will organize all the books I read (I am sort of curious how many I read!)

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