Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back in Blog-land!

Sorry to have been away from the blog for so long! Between our gorgeous weather and my crazy schedule lately, sitting in front of the computer just hasn’t happened much lately, apart from school and work life.

So… a quick update… Work is picking up again – in a good way! We have more projects on the go and things are moving in the right direction. We’ve had a few staffing changes, too, which always has an impact when the department is small.

School work also seems to be getting busier. I was working with a prof on a research project on bilingualism I have a pile of qualitative research surveys on my desk to review and do some data entry on. Ugh! I loathe data entry (but then again, who doesn’t?) However, it is part of being a grad student.

I did a presentation in the faculty this week on marketing of language programs. It was the first time I’d done a presentation in a while and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know lots of people are afraid of public speaking, but I actually find it kind of relaxing – especially when I know the topic well and can speak with passion about it.

And I’ve met with my thesis supervisor and we’ve drawn up a preliminary timetable for me to get through the rest of my program. I like timetables… They keep me focused! I like to know where I am going and when I can realistically expect to get there. Of course, it may change… In fact, I should probably expect it to change, but nevertheless… I like to have a plan!

Part of that plan involves having a thesis committee put together by the end of September. I’ve scoped out and met with two profs who have agreed to be on the committee. IMHO, they’re both brilliant scholars (in other words, I have a lot of respect for them) and super nice people.

And the cherry on the sundae is that they both get along with my supervisor. This is crucial. It is important for your committee members to get along, since you don’t want to fail your thesis due to internal political battles between others that has nothing to do with your work.

So, I think I need to find one, possibly two others, and we will have a thesis committee that can be formalized in the fall. Over the next three or four years, these people will be my guides and mentors as I move through the various phases of the program.

I am still in Phase One – taking classes. I have signed up for my last obligatory course in the fall – statistics. Ugh! I have to take it, so there’s not much choice in the matter. I am hoping it won’t be as horrible as my fears make it out to be. Here’s hoping, anyway.

On the fitness front, I am still working through the plantar fasciitis and the doc tells me it’ll be at least another two weeks, so in the meantime, I’m still in the gym six days a week. Not my idea of a fun way to spend a summer (I’d rather be outside running, walking, hiking… just about anything!) But I did it last summer and the world will not end if I do it for another summer. I’m not going to wimp out now!

I am getting thoroughly sick of my iPod playlists in the gym, so suggestions of medium to fast-paced songs with a strong beat are warmly welcomed!!

So, there’s a quick update for you. I’ll be back to commenting on blogs soon… Promise!


Robb said...

Well, we've all missed you Sarah. Good to have you back!

As far as music goes, I update my ipod everyday. I've been downloading podcasts which keeps me occupied. As far as a playlist, I'll check from home and email.

backofpack said...

Sarah, It sounds like you've been very busy. Good luck on putting together your thesis committee - I hope it goes very well for you. We've missed having you around - so it was nice to see a new post.

I'm not an ipod user, so I have no suggestions for you.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

alright, you are back! good to "see" you again :)

robtherunner said...

Thanks for the update Sarah. Always nice to hear how things are going.

craig said...

Glad to hear you are back. Your post brings back many memories about the epic journey that is doctoral work. I had a field advisor in the beginning who didn't get my topic and had to change. My faculty advisor left the school and had to be replaced. And though most of the committee for my oral exam spoke highly of my work there was one philosophy guy who came with the intentions of showing me what I didn't know about the topic. Ended up receiving an award for the thing so that was retribution for what the guy put me through. But I know what you mean about the political battles and their ramifications

Granny said...

Glad you're back. I'd be more effusive but I'm falling asleep.

Turtle Guy said...

I'll see what I can do about sending some tunes your way!

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

Boy, are you bussy!I'm glad your back to blogging.

Keep up with your work outs, and I hope your plantar fasciitis is better soon.


madcapmum said...

So, Sarah... ever heard of holidays? Y'know, where you kick back and rest? ;-)