Despite being derailed/delayed this week by a stomach bug that lasted too long, I managed this morning to finish my chapter three #DevilDiss revisions and send it off to my director.
Especially as I feel like this:
I tweeted earlier this week that I seem to have lost the ability to read for pleasure. I was able to do it this summer. I think it's part of this revision process that I just don't have a lot of time off, so when I have it my brain is oatmeal and I'm pretty much just capable of zoning out to Criminal Minds and Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU marathons.
On the plus side, when I lived in NYC I had to stop watching Law and Order because it freaked me out to watch how easy it was for people to break into your apartment and kill you. So I'm over that!
I've woken up at 3a a couple of times to jot down notes I need to address, footnotes to add, a way to fix a problematic portion. I didn't do that when I was drafting.
I'm not sure how I feel about these revisions either. I know they're a huge improvement over the initial drafts, and I addressed my director's notes, and definitely think chapters two and three functions better together now, and set up the second half of the book better. But still have a nagging "not sure" feeling.
But they're done, and this week I just have chapter one to revise, and then the entire first half will be revised and done.
That leaves me on track to spend September and October on job market materials and applications with the goal of those being finished by the end of October, when I think I'll have chapter four through six notes, and aim for turning those around by the end of November.
I think too the uncertainty of the revision process is part of my uneasy feeling. I don't know how these revisions will go, how many rounds I'll have to do, how each phase will affect the project as a whole. I figure the best I can do is the best I can do. Do my best work, and stick to my timeline of turning things around as quickly as possible.
There was a New York Times article today about first generation students. And I emphasized. My parents didn't stay a week (we lived two hours away) but the rest rang true. And I feel the same about getting my PhD. There seems like there are a lot of rules, or knowledge that first generation students like me don't know. I don't know how this process works, and there's a lot that you can't find the answer to online.
I'm trying some new approaches to the semester that also seem to be going well.
I also tweeted tips and tricks for starting the new semester off in a positive manner, #First10Days.
I'm trying not to get upset by the flurry of posts and tweets that focus on student shaming and negative tones. I'm all for sharing things that work in teaching but not telling students not to do things "just because."
But I also had a fairly simple epiphany this morning. I don't need to follow these people. I don't need to listen to people who shake their fingers at students who want to use laptops of phones in class, or people who think lecturing all the time is fine, or otherwise take a "kids these days" approach. I will never convince people that being student focused, transparent, and geared towards teaching doesn't mean I'm not rigorous or lowering my standards. So why would I try? People who are spending their week screaming "It's in the syllabus" and looking down on students they just met are not people who are ever going to think differently.
So I'm just going to ignore them. I deleted and unfollowed bunch this morning. Because I can use that energy for something else.
So that's it for today, and I'm taking the rest of the day off...