Thursday, September 23, 2010

Post-dissertation...

We're about a month into the fall semester, and it still seems kind of odd..

I'm just not accustomed to having nothing ELSE to do -- work, home stuff, hang with FB -- but, no dissertation chapters to write, revise, send to Dr. Advisor -- while that is more of a relief than anything, it's also kid of odd.

Sure, I'm also department chair, but those activities were part of my non-Dr. ItPF status -- so, they don't feel extra now. For quite a while there I was teaching, dissertating and coaching debate. I quit the debate three years ago, and applied that time to the dissertation.

Now -- the dissertation is defended... I don't have to work on it -- I don't have to write chapters so my students can read them-- they're done.

My classes are on auto-pilot -- in the good way. I'm happy with them and I see no need to reinvent them. I like my assignments, the pacing of the classes and the way the students respond. So, I have no new class prep.

I promised myself that I wouldn't change books until I was Dr. ItPF - and, I didn't... now, I have the same old books... so, again, no new class prep. The thing is -- I'm kind of sure the books I have are the best ones out there... so, again, no need to change.

So -- I find myself with time on my hands -- on a regular basis... it's kinda weird. The way my on-line grading is set up, I can often get it finished on Friday or Monday between classes.... or, in a semi-concentrated span on Monday nights--- or, casually over the weekend.

I suppose things will be a bit different when my logic students start taking proof quizzes... but, I'm also very quick at grading them -- and, really -- it isn't all that challenging.

So -- the question is what's going to be my new thing -- my new challenge -- the thing that replaces the dissertation and debate coaching in my life...

FB had an interesting suggestion -- maybe I need to learn to just be -- to not be so busy. To take time to simply relax, read, enjoy just living and not be so concerned with being occupied ALL THE TIME. Hmmmm.... that's kind of hard -- given my background.

The thing is, since I was 17, I worked and went to school. I took about 3 years off in Denver/Omaha -- in the middle of my BA -- but, since my junior year in HS, I've been working and schooling. The work and the schools have changed -- but, the combo has been a fact of my life for 24 years. That's a whole adult -- a fully-functional college educated adult's life --- I've been working and schooling.

For three of the last 5 years there was a long-distance marriage -- so, there was working, schooling and driving to Omaha... last year, the dissertation got more intense, but they hubby came home -- so, it balanced out.

Now -- Hubby is really wrapped up in his 2L year -- and I'm much less busy. I think I like it... and I'm seriously considering FB's "just be" suggestion -- but, it's hard --

hmmmm.... maybe that IS my new "project"... because it is hard, it's a challenge -- and once I accomplish it, I can go on to other challenges...

or, does that kinda miss the point?

FB -- if you're reading -- log in and comment please... the rest of you too...

4 comments:

Seeking Solace said...

I'm with FB. Enjoy the freedom to just "be". Read, watch TV, do something you always wanted to do but never had the time.

What Now? said...

I'm having a similar issue as I finally settle into my life as a HS teacher who occasionally writes (but only if she has something to say!), which shouldn't be all that different from my professorial life and yet is. So I took up kayaking in a casual sort of way, and now I've just bought a bike; I think I'm trying out things to do to fill the time when I used to be anxious. It feels weird but good!

sakura said...

There is always room for casual hobbies if you wish for casual things. I like to take long walks, which usually leads to writing or some other event. Sorry, I'm a philo/CWRW major, if you're curious.

But I can't be casual. Two jobs and school, full course and job, etc. For now I'm looking for volunteer work, which should be very fulfilling and good for my resume. How about that?

Andrea said...

Enjoy your accomplishments and free time! How about a new exercise, cooking, or creative class that has no extra work, just something you can show up and explore?