Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hardware Mode #DevilDiss edition

Summer is a time to work. It is time to work uninterupted.
I always make an impossibly long list of things to do and unsurprisingly while very productive, never get the whole list done.
I taught my last class, turned in my last papers, and submitted grades.
I have one meeting to go to next week, but as of yesterday, summer was here.
Or as I think of it:
This summer there are lots of little projects to get done, May alone is my busiest month, trying to get all the little things out of the way and clear the decks. Because the main focus this summer is #DevilDiss.
Because I just realized Sunday that my Anglo-Saxon bits were no longer bits at the front of chapters but was actually my first chapter, the #DevilDiss board changed:
The radical redesign of the board reflects where I am in the process. Chapter 1 (Anglo-Saxon) and Chapter 6 (Milton) are done in article mode so just need the dissertation framing inserts. Chapter 2 and 3 (the survey chapters post-Conquest) need a couple of editions.
This summer the big bits are expanding the conference paper for Chapter 4, the absence of devils in Shakespeare and research and writing Chapter 5, the use of the devil in polemic pamphlets.
Once I finally get prospectus notes back from everyone, I'll use that to rewrite my introduction, and once all chapters are drafted, I have the conclusion to write. 

The eye on the prize goal by the end of summer is a complete draft of #DevilDiss so the fall can be starting on revisions, still with the aim of on the job market this fall. For me, the complete draft is vital to me being able to show my committee I can meet my January/February defense goal. I know of a lot of people who went on the job market with the dissertation not even in draft mode and I admit to not understanding that. Why would you go on the market when you're not prepared? My department announced awards today and there were several given awards for dissertation completion next year who I know were on the market this year.
I'm hoping my draft status and how tightly I've worked this past year will allow my committee to feel comfortable writing in their letters that I'll be defending at the beginning of spring 2016. I want to be the unicorn of the job market.
It's a lot, but it's doable (based on my color coded scheduling for the entire summer in my planner).
But I've also made some steps to ensure that hardware mode.
  • I am really tempted to apply next week to two BIG conferences in my field which are in the Spring. And after weeks of thinking, I've decided not to. Originally I was only going to attend one in the fall and one in the spring. First, for focus of what I need to get done next year, and also because I don't know what will happen after next year, I need to be more concerned with money than I already am. I've been accepted to American Folklore Society in October, which means not applying for the big Milton conference. The other conference which I've not had anything accepted to, but will hopefully be interviewing at, is MLA in Austin. I want to go to PCA/ACA in Seattle at the end of March, but can't justify it this year, my first miss in four years. And there are two big conferences in my field at the same time that I'm also not applying to. One reason is that the timing of the conferences means they won't help me on the market this year (though possibly could next year if/when I'm repeating). However, not enough where I can afford it (literally).
  • It may seem silly, but I've closed the Facebook tab on my computer and deleted the app off my phone. This last year in particular Facebook has been full of a lot of nonsense, and some people who have made comments like "Oh I saw that on Facebook" but didn't think to call and ask me about the thing. I saw a friend who posts a "BRB" gone fishing for the summer type message, taking the summer off from the distraction of social media. I like that idea. I like the idea of unplugging a bit, and focusing on work. I use Twitter for work, so I'll still be on there, posting progress on hardware mode, but I'm aiming to stay off Facebook this summer.
  • I'm hermitting this summer. I had a rough year so far as bumping up against cliques and others things so as part of the above unplugging, I'm unplugging from social events too. While certainly not chaining myself to my desk (I've already marked all the summer movies on my planner as scheduled breaks) I need some time just to myself.
  • I don't have any outstanding projects, and am not agreeing to anything new, so all I have to do is work on #DevilDiss.
  • I was thinking I'd be reading this summer to audit a course from one of my favorite professors, but it looks they're leaving (a HUGE loss for us). So I won't have that.
  • I do need to translate Beowulf for my third fluency credit, but working on it in bits this summer means that first month of the semester means I only need to teach and finish prepping job market materials.
So, I'm taking a couple of days off, catching up on sleep, hanging out with Nehi, getting lots of puppy love, and trying to recharge from the year.
Next week I start on Hardware Mode in earnest, which I'll be blogging about, and posting updates on. I'm really looking forward to the dedicated work time, and honestly, now that I've passed the halfway point with #DevilDiss the rest of it seems infinitely doable.

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