Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category


I got a job! A fun, amazing, just up my alley job. Something that will utilize my spread-out consciousness in a way that a faculty position wouldn’t have. Right now it is a one-year post-doc, but might turn in to more. I’m going to sit on my consciousness the next year and see if higher ed administration might suit me better than a teaching post.

I’ll still get to teach one class a semester, as well as arrange special projects for the dean. Whoot whoot!


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I am always behind

Last winter I pressed an organization I’m involved with to think more critically about increasing diversity in our ranks. I ended up on the organizing board for next fall’s conference. I started out sending emails to several folks, and helped get a plenary set up, but then thoughts of it faded while I worked on my dissertation.¬† The conference seemed so far away for so long, and then I got caught up in the drama around my defense and then those essays. And suddenly the call for papers is 8 days away and I haven’t done much inviting. Scurring to invite folks I know and don’t know now, but I feel so behind. I always do. Usually I can do more than one thing at a time, but I guess not lately.

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my defense…

On SNL steroids. (and only coming from one prof, not all 4)

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Turned in, paperwork stamped, three or four formatting mishaps dealt with, expected euphoria finally arrived.


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Well, after a complete and utter breakdown yesterday, I’m gonna try to press print today. If nothing else, I’ll have those three little letters to stick on my resume if I decide to go into another field.

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I’ve lost all that carefully composed confidence that I have been building as I wrote these past four years. And now that I’m trying to improve my introduction, when I dearly need that confidence in order to make claims and push through the ADD/fear/distraction/internet wandering, it is gone. And I have no more time. No more. Need to print it and give it to the grad school, as soon as I get the final signatures from my prof today.

Also, I lost my medicine case and have been looking and looking and looking. Those freaking pills are like 5 bucks a piece and I take two or three a day. I distinctly remember putting it in the car at the last hotel, so where did it go from there to here? Arg!!!!!!

On the upside, I’m reading some lovely historiography that I needed to read before, but I am reading now for what it’s worth. I think I have the birth of an idea for an introduction………..do I have time to make it happen? (I.e. the intro to the introduction. Clearly I don’t have time to rewrite the whole damn thing).

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Well, I finished off my intro and sent it to my advisor. He called me the next day and asked how it was possible I had finished it so fast. He said¬† it was a piece of chicken shit, but did what had been requested of me admirably. He also said that it was totally boring. I said that was because I didn’t do historiography well. He asked if historiograhpy is ever done well. I thought of one example, but couldn’t think how to explain it, so I didn’t say anything.

So I guess I’m relieved? I really don’t know what to think. He won’t sign off on the diss till he has a heart to heart with Prof D on Wednesday. So I get to stand in long lines and turn in the diss the next to last or the very last day. Well, I have a lot of good podcasts loaded, so I guess I’ll be ok.

I just hope I’ve got the formatting ok.

Graduation was fun, as much as my depression could let it be so. My parents and I walked through a rain storm. Somehow me, the queen of umbrellas, didn’t have an umbrella so mom shared hers with me. We each got soaked on one side of our bodies. Even though it was pouring, we went out of our way to stop at florist and my parents got me a bouquet of flowers. When we got to the destination, we did what repair we could with paper towels and a borrowed hair dryer. I met up with all the other history grads and profs. Fun to see everybody in their full regalia. My advisor, hair uncombed and unwashed, looked very professorial in his Berkeley duds.

I still felt partially dead. I’ve been waiting for this for so long? Why was I so numb? Still upset by the defense? I tried to access the moment…and knowing about mindfulness certainly helped. I was able to laugh and joke a bit.

Then the beginning of the ceremony totally reminded me of my husband and I felt sad he wasn’t there. We’d had a very upsetting interaction the day of my defense (I’m trying not to write too publicly about that aspect of my life, so I left it out of my post about that day). Still, I was hooded awkwardly by my prof. The hood was fluffed into position. I crossed the stage, shook the president’s hand, and took a professional photo with a huge smile. Got a hug from my prof and the grad director, and my advisor handed me a book.

Afterward, while searching for my family, my husband texted me and it turned out he’d been there after all. We all reconnected and went out for pie. It was melancholy, but also good.

I wanted this to just be a triumph and instead it is a mash-up of all kinds of emotions. I suppose that is in a way a more truthful kind of experience.

Maybe when I turn in two reams of watermarked paper with the words of four years of my life on them, there will be more relief.

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