September 9, 2009

Actual research

With the conference behind me, I decided that it was time to rally Team Di Di (my secret name for my committee) and move forward with my dissertation prospectus. I sent drafts to my readers in late July, and while one professor responded two weeks later, the other two still haven't sent comments. During August, I decided not to pester them because I was working on my conference paper and, honestly, I appreciated having time to relax before the new school year. But now I am ready to work on the revisions, so I contacted each of my readers last night. They both responded with apologies and promises to read it within the next few days.

In his reply, my chair asked me if I would like to help with a project that he is working on. He would pay me for a few RA hours, and I would have the option of getting involved with the project in the future. At the sight of "RA" I panicked a little because in my last RA job, I was treated like a personal assistant and expected to be on call during evenings and weekends. But I kept reading and found out that he would like me to spend a few hours analyzing data for a project that sounds very cool. In my last RA job, I never got to analyze data.

I realize that I will likely end up doing a lot more RA work on the project, and that some of it might be tedious, but I trust that my new advisor does not want to micromanage me. He would never expect me to be waiting for his e-mails on Friday night. And I will get to work on an awesome project. I wish I could blog about the specifics, but I will just say that it relates to something that I am passionate about. So I am excited about the opportunity.

I feel so good about my committee. I am not naive and expecting that there will never be problems. I'm sure that in the future they will fail to read things on time and give me contradictory advice, just like most dissertation committees. But I like and trust every person on the committee, and that makes a big difference.


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