I’ve felt like a slacker since I have been home. The first two weeks I was home I did very little research and absolutely no writing. I was starting to feel like I was behind on my deadlines, and would really have to shut myself away in the next few weeks to even think about finishing the paper on time. My mom cleaned up her office and turned it over to me and has been really great about finding things for my dad that will keep him out of the house so I now have a quiet place to work. I have read and skimmed a lot of articles, and tracked down a lot of books that still need to be looked over, but I am making great strides in my research collection. I have started to organize all of it according to subject matter, and I am kicking myself now for not having taken notes on my computer to make that process easier. It is going to take me a long time to code and organize the 50+ books and articles that I currently have notes for.
I wish I had a research assistant to do this part of the work for me.
The outline for the chapter is coming together, and I have a good 2,000 words written, but since I have yet to hear from my supervisor regarding anything related to my dissertation, I have no idea if I am even headed in the right direction. I finally got an email after 2 weeks of no response to my emails, but all she said was that she wanted to schedule a time to meet with me since I have not been contacting her…..I’m so annoyed with her and her lack of communication skills. I really hope my grade doesn’t suffer because I am not getting any help. This was one of my worries before I came home. If I was in Scotland, I could camp out in front of her office until she agreed to help me, or at least wander into the office of the director for my program and get some help (and a good story) from him. Here, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope that she eventually emails me back.
On the bright side, Saturday is my last day of summer school for the doctoral program. The class this week went surprisingly well. I really like the people in my program, and this time we were a lot more comfortable with each other. There were lots of jokes and sarcasm, and even talk about how we were going to schedule our Saturday meetings. The downside of this program is that I will be on campus every Saturday from the end of August until 2016, and will have little to no social life outside of who brings the wine to the study group. I’m lucky that I don’t have small children and there is no one who is going to be mad at me if I am not home for dinner or can’t go to the movies on a Tuesday night, but I am still a little bit sad about the idea of losing my weekend to nothing but educational leadership lectures and readings. Soon I will be replacing my mystery novels with journals on writing instruction and community college policies, and instead of writing blog posts about getting on stage at a play about drag queens, I will be writing memos and small scale research papers about my underlying epidemiological assumptions and how best to work my viewpoint into my writings.
Last week’s class did bring about some good news. The director of the program is the one that has been running the workshops, and he asked me all about studying in Scotland and whether or not I would ever like to go abroad again. He mentioned that CSUF is working with a university in South Africa to run a program like the one I am in, and that I should meet some of the students who are going through the program (who just happen to be here right now visiting the campus) and see what they have to say about the program and living and working there. I’ve never been to South Africa, but it sounds like it might be a fun adventure. Who knows what will happen in the next three years, but I know I will be ready for another adventure.
and now…back to the outline. My research assistant is a cat, and besides the fact that he can’t type, or read, he is currently out and about enjoying the pleasant evening.