September 10, 2009

Fall optimism

As promised, my chair sent comments about my dissertation proposal. He was very positive about the research question and the basic design, and he had many good suggestions for improving the paper. Now I am just waiting for one more reader, and he has promised that we can meet early next week.

I also found out more about my chair's project. He wants to overpay me to see what I can find in the preliminary data, and if I decide that I am interested, I will have the option of getting involved with a big NSF-funded study. It's the kind of work that makes me feel like social scientists can help to make the world a better place -- I know that doesn't make sense without specifics, but that is how I feel about it.

I have a really good feeling about my 4th year. I found a way to reduce my teaching load (teaching extra sections of the same class in the fall so that I can get a whole quarter off). I will be working on a project that is all my idea (my dissertation), and I will get to help with research that is interesting and important. After three years, I am finally working on research questions that matter to me.

I usually feel naively optimistic at the beginning of every school year (except for last year, but everything was a mess then) -- then by winter I'm exhausted and frustrated. I always want to believe that "this year it will be different." But even though I'm sure there are tough times ahead, I think there is good chance that this really will be the best year of grad school ever.

(And even if I'm wrong, I like to enjoy fall optimism while it lasts.)


  • Optimists live longer! Besides, I love reading upbeat blogs, and especially when it involves having 'walked through the valley of death' so to speak, to get there. Yay you!

    By Blogger Mamabeek, at 9/13/09, 1:30 AM  

  • I couldn't be happier for you. This is the most optimistic I have ever heard you since I started reading your blog.

    I hope all of your new projects go beautifully.

    By Blogger Psych Post Doc, at 9/13/09, 9:07 AM  

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