March 16, 2010

Dissertation meeting

Today I had a meeting with my advisor about my dissertation (at my request). We went over some work that I had done, and we talked about my plans for the next few months. He was very positive and supportive, and gave me a lot of useful feedback.

These next few months are going to be amazing -- because I taught a double load in the fall, I don't have to teach next quarter, so I can focus completely on my research for the first time ever. My advisor has encouraged me to not take on anything else -- no summer classes, no RA work, just full time dissertation.

I always start the quarter feeling optimistic, and then I end up drowning in TA work. It feels like "grad school" is dealing with reading, planning, grading and helping students, while my dissertation is a little side project I work on in the evenings. So even though I feel excited about my project and my committee, those things are separate from my day-to-day experience of graduate school.

Starting next week (after an enormous pile of heinous grading) my full-time job will be working on a research project that I designed. Grad school will finally start to resemble what I liked in the first place, working on research with occasional help from supportive advisors.

But first... the grading.


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