Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A System and a Job

I haven't posted in a while. Busy time around here lately, but good-busy as opposed to sucky-busy. I like good-busy. Sucky-busy...bad.

First, I think I've finally developed a decent system for reading and processing articles for The Dreaded Chapter 2. "Processing" is a means for remembering all the stuff I've read! Basically now I'm reading a large literature review that's famous and wonderful in higher education circles. From this I'm slowly gaining another list of articles/books I should be reading. Fortunately, many of the things on the list are that which I have already read for coursework, which means the entire act of coursework itself was meaningful. This is good. So I read, I compile a literature list in a database which holds notes, quotes, etc., and I produce another list of things I need to retrieve either from the library, a friend's bookshelf, or the bookstore, which, when read, will be included in said database. A system. And I like systems.

Second, I haven't mentioned here that I'm starting a different job on July 1. It's a promotion of sorts, though fortunately it's not a full-time job so I can continue to work on the dissertation. It's in the department where I've attempted to be a Good Little Graduate Assistant, and apparently the work has paid off. I'll have some supervision responsibilities and will be paid just enough to no longer need student loans. Yippee! It's 30 hours per week instead of 20, so I'm pushing this month to get much of The Dreaded Chapter 2 finished before my hours increase July 1. Then, I'll "only" have Chapter 3 hanging over my head, which should be do-able during some evenings and weekends, and on the one day off from work during the week which will be devoted only to writing (at least that's my plan). Most important: the job is in the field where I eventually want to work "when I grow up," so it's relevant career-related experience in addition to being a viable income source. Whew.

The transition into the new job is going well so far, though it's causing me to be scheduled into numerous meetings: a huge change from the last couple of years. I'm working hard to only work my 20 hours per week this month, because the paper MUST get done. Still, it's good to feel like I'm "working" again, and I hope that feeling continues after July 1. I don't think I'd feel good about the job transition if I didn't also feel good about the dissertation reading process. I'm glad a few things are falling together nicely right now.

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