The Scamp and Confidence

I took an extended break from the Scamp Chronicles.  I didn’t mean to do it, but I have 6 jobs and very little free time so instead of writing for fun, I have been hiding under the covers binge watching bad TV and freaking out about the future.

I am 30 days from turning in another draft of my thesis. At this point, I have done no work on it. I keep putting it off to do other things. People keep coming to visit. I have too many projects on my plate. I cannot sustain this lifestyle, but for now, it is what I have to do to pay the bills (seriously, can someone just hire me already?). I am relieved to finally have a submission date, even if it means that I have to work through Christmas. I am so close to finally finishing my thesis that I should be happy, and writing away, but I am tired, and when I am tired, I doubt myself.

The writing challenge for this week (although, who am I kidding, I haven’t been following that at all) is to write about my confidence in my ability in the workplace. If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said that I have no confidence in the work that I do. I recently applied for a lecturer post in the office that I have been based in during my three years at Napier. The post advertised was an entry-level position doing all the work that I am currently doing. I felt like I had a really good chance, and felt like the office would be stupid not to hire me.

They didn’t even shortlist me for an interview.

It really sucks to be told that you are not good enough for the job that you are currently doing. I have a feeling I am also going to have to give up my desk when they hire someone, which leaves me out in the cold again. It was a tough blow. A really tough blow.

Move forward a week and I have snapped out of my stupidity. I have recently started a major project at the University of Stirling. I spent last week meeting with programme leads and discussing my ideas for improving feedback at the programme level. The work is based on my thesis and based on the last three years slogging through the mess that is Napier. The five people that I met with listened, and by the end of my pitch were more than willing to work with me and help me actually put my thesis into action.

It is more than Napier was ever willing to do.

The fact the Stirling is letting me run this project and giving me carte blanche to do as I please renews my egotistical thoughts that I am good at what I do and that I have chosen the right field. I am really good at developing curriculum for teachers, and really good at teaching new teachers. One day I will actually be known for it. People will follow the Wilder Way of feedback and curriculum design. I will have a single office (with a window that opens and a comfy chair) at a reputable university and co-workers I like. I’ll have a nice steady income and be able to start paying off my student loan.

I’ll be living the dream….and then I will get a puppy….and a car.

But first, time to finish my thesis edits, book chapter, conceptual article, quick guide, project admin work, student meetings, GTA training and feedback initiative.

oh, and job applications. Lots of job applications.

The Scamp’s First Day as a Doctoral Student

Riddle: How many doctoral students does it take to create a study group?

Answer: too many.


More than thirty minutes of class time was dedicated to putting the groups together. Some of the groups were still not finalized at the end of that time. Don’t get me wrong, I am in a program with some very very intelligent people, but man did they make that process harder than it had to be. They started trying to sort us by the district we work for, then the times we wanted to meet, and finally, I just looked to the three people I knew who lived near me, asked them to be in my group, agreed on a time and place, and called it a day. There are only 22 of us, it really should not have been that hard.

Other than that, the first day went smoothly. I really like the group of people that I am working with. There are some really sharp, really funny people in the program. I like the unique perspectives, and even found a couple of people who are interested in basic skills and basic skills education. The unexpected bonus is having the pleasure of being in class with two individuals who know my mother. They are hard working, funny, and quickly agreed to let me form a study group and presentation group with them. I can already tell that I will get along with them just fine. I even went to school dressed like an adult so as to make a good impression.


Look mom, I'm wearing heels!

Look mom, I’m wearing heels!


I love that dress. It was the last thing I bought in Scotland, and I have been saving it for months for just the right occasion. The heels were not the smartest choice I have ever made, but they make the dress look better, so I toughed it out for the evening.

The day was filled with overviews and expectations for the classes, and included get to know you games (I had pick three words that best described me…I channeled my inner feisty philosophy teacher and wrote down take charge, snarky and sassy… much for professionalism). I hate get to know you activities, but I am glad that I have a better sense of the people I will be spending a lot of time with. I’m not really looking forward to the philosophy class (There is one of you who can expect a lot of questions coming your way…you know who you are), but I am going to enjoy the culture of high ed class. I feel like I have a better grasp on the materials in that class than any other. I also love the professor, so that helps a lot. She showed us this video last night, and I think it really speaks to her sense of humor:



I had a job interview today, and while they are making me jump through a lot of hoops, the people are really nice, and I am hoping that my year and some change long stint with being unemployed has finally come to an end. In the meantime, I have plenty of reading and a critical incident scenario that needs to be written……which really means I am going to read a crime novel or nap through the Angel game.

You may all start calling me Dr. Scamp now, just to get used to it when I graduate. I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you?