Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Monday, November 16, 2015

#DevilDiss2 Update 16 November

Last week was not a productive #DevilDiss week.
I spent most of the week struggling to play catch up because I kept writing things down in my Passion Planner to be done, and the day would end and it wasn't done. So I'd feel bad, and then get further behind.

Rinse.
Repeat.

I felt really good about how I revised CH 1 based on notes, and the time in which I did it, so I didn't realize when I started round 2 revisions that something was off.

It was the end of the week before I realized that there were real reasons why I felt like nothing was getting done. During the summer I'm up between 5 and 6a. Nehi and I are running at 6, 630a, and we're back home with coffee, breakfast, and I'm at my computer by 7a. I eat lunch at my desk, and work until 4 or 5p. Long days are productive days.

But DST is behind us. And the end of the semester is upon us. And that means it's 8a before we leave for our run because it's too dark and cold to run before that. So it's 9a before I'm at my desk. And I have to stop working by 4p on Monday, Wednesday, Friday #DevilDiss days because Nehi needs her walk before dark. So I can't create the long To-Do lists that I have during DST. I needed to realize that what I can accomplish on any given day is less because the work days are shorter and because at the end of the semester lots of little things pop up that need to be dealt with.

I felt a little better realizing I could let myself off the hook.

I also received CH 4 notes last week, and will get CH 5 and 6 notes by the end of the month. This means I will not make my intended deadline of completing round 2 revisions by 5 December. I wanted to have these done by then so I could get notes back after the new year, but there's just no way I can get them done.

The way to address a lot of the notes I have for this round of revision is to show more scope and depth and interaction with secondary sources. And despite me knocking this pile down/out for all the books I need to start on CH 2 and 3 round 2 revisions, that's only part of it.
It's just not possible to finish revisions by the first week in December.
The CH 4 notes were good, apparently I addressed a lot of the issues, which I think is good, that I'm making big improvements between drafts, which I think is where I should be. But there are still a couple of major issues.
I was a little disappointed, because I thought with the time/lessons learned between the revisions of the first and second halves, that CH 4-6 were in better shape than 1-3. But I just need to focus on getting the revisions done.

On Friday, when I went to Storify my #DevilDiss tweets for the week, I realized that I'd hit the limit of tweets for Storify (it's 1000 by the way). So since I'm in round 2 of revisions, it seemed appropriate to start a new Storify and hashtag: #DevilDiss2.
Appropriately enough, my new #DevilDiss volume 2 notebook got delivered last week. I keep a handwritten notebook to trace issues from chapter to chapter and keep track of big revision ideas. But I filled it up, and so the new round of revision seemed like the perfect time for a new notebook.
Some days and weeks you have to focus on the small victories.
So, today I read through and took notes of all the secondary scholarship I'd been sitting on. The bonus was that today felt very productive, and it was good to make forward movement after last week. Now that the reading and my notes are finished, I can turn to writing/revising CH 2 and 3.
I had already written in notes of what needed to be addressed from my director. So tomorrow I'll start handwriting notes, addressing the gaps the secondary sources fill (women mystics, liminal and domestic spaces). I also need to strengthen my argument in both openings. I feel good about the new opening of the first two chapters because a committee member suggested that I do a mini-lit review that summed up the state of the field and then clarified my contribution at the opening of my chapter. This really helped me clarify my argument, and for CH 1 and 2 it helped me resituate the chapters' focus. 

Not stating my argument clearly and up front seems to be an ongoing issue with me, so I need to trace this approach through my other chapters.

I feel good about moving forward with the round 2 of revisions at this point, and with the time consuming reading done, I *think* I can stick to a one chapter revised per week schedule which would mean finishing the second round of revision by Christmas. That probably means the next round of notes by mid-end of February although that may be earlier as I'm sending my revised chapters as I finish them so CH 1 was sent off two weeks ago, CH 2 this week, etc..  It'd be nice if that was the last round of notes, and if these were surface notes. I'm certainly trying to revise with that in mind. 

I still don't have a defense date, just a summer 2016 expectation, and I admit that part of me wonders how bad the drafts still are that I can't move that up. I know I should focus that regardless I'm graduating this year, I admit that I'd like to actual be graduated at graduation in May. For one, I'm not sure where the $600 in tuition I'll have to pay in order to defend in summer 2016 will come from.

There were some good things though. I think it's easy to get bogged down on focusing on the negative, but there have been some positives:
  • Last week marked the third week where I won my battle with anxiety, and while that doesn't seem like a lot, it feels like it. I love teaching, LOVE it. So feeling anxious every time I step into my classroom has really impacted things this semester.
    • I've also really loved the new chance this semester to teach the Survey of Early English.
  • Also, I received acceptance for ACLA in March “The War in Heaven is Personal: John Constantine is the Hero We Don’t Want to Need” in the seminar “Devils in the Details: Demonic Horrors, Devilish Afterlives, and Infernal Desires.” Conferences are expensive, and 
    • I'm a little worried about paying for my spring conferences if I don't get funding help, but I am excited about this one.
    • It also means insanity of ACLA and PCA/ACA back to back (like the SCMS and PCA/ACA insanity from this past year) but I'm ignoring all that.
  • I also got my first request for additional materials from a job. And my online teaching portfolio is getting a lot of hits, so unless you guys are all suddenly clicking on it, I think the views are due to search committees looking at my stuff. So yeah me.
  • This week is also the week a professor asked me to cover their class while they are out of town. It's a medieval evil class so they asked me to give a version of my job talk on the devil.
  • I also wrote a Supergirl review that I'm waiting for feedback/notes on, but I'm really happy with.
So that's where the round 2 revisions of #DevilDiss are.
As always, more to come.
For now, since I got all my reading done early, I'm going to take Nehi running in the snow.

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