Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Break!

So a week ago, I was in the midst of dissertation-alooza and knew that I would have a tough week catching up on all the student work that I had to ignore for three days (a task in itself for me!).
BUT -- here I am on the other side of all of that!  In one week, I managed to come up with a complete 304 page dissertation now in one glorious PDF file, I graded three sections worth of ENG 101 essays (about 50 or so students), and I gave feedback on 34 or so ENG 102 Annotated Bibliographies!  But -- all done!

Folks have been asking me what the next step in the process of "dissertating" is and here is the answer:  wait!  I need to get feedback from my fabulous adviser/ dissertation head/ mentor to see if she thinks I am ready to defend the sucker.  Believe me, you don't want to schedule a defense and not be ready!  So worse case scenario -- I need to do more revisions and defend in April or May (which would mean a December graduation).  Best case scenario -- my current PDF version is "good enough" and I can defend it ASAP (late March?).  So right now I don't know.  But it was sorta cool to be able to look at my computer and see something like this:

No matter how bad it is (and I hope it's not too bad!), it is an amazing step to see the whole research as one PDF file -- and the fact that it turned out to be just over 300 pages is staggering for me -- I have never had a project quite this big before!  The big conference for us college English types (Conference on College Composition and Communication -- or 4C's for short!) is coming up next week (starting the 19th of March).  I will be presenting many of the findings that I came up (in short, an analysis of using themed writing prompts in first year writing).

First, though, I get to take a little holiday!  Jim and I are flying to Portland, Oregon, tomorrow so I can (1) see my fabulous grad school friends Bonnie and Amy whom I haven't seen in 17 years! and (2) go to Powells, the best (independent) bookstore in the world!  Jim will get to see one of his favorite pals as well (who will be driving down from Seattle).  And fish!  Lots and lots of fresh fish!  I am so excited to get close to home!  Of course, I cannot resist to end this blog entry with a scene from one of my favorite shows, Portlandia (with the genius Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein!):

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