Jan 14 2011
On Tuesday, I head back to school. I’ve been fairly productive over the break, catching up on rest, cleaning, organizing, etc. I have one more sewing project to complete (a costume cover up), as well as some other crafting projects (face moisturizer and body butter). As I’ve told most people, my break hasn’t been super exciting (no travel, just bumming around Boston), but it has been fun in its own way.
This semester is going be a bit rougher than last semester, because I am only taking required courses. I figured it would be best to get them out of my way ASAP. I haven’t heard much about the actual schoolwork involved but that the readings are very dry. My courses are Monday through Thursday in the evenings, which means I cannot attend Najmat’s class for a few months. I’m working on other things to supplement my dancing, as well as practicing on my own and continuing on with ballet and Bharatanatyam.
I’m also TAing for my advisor this semester. Part of the stipulation of my stipend is that I do community service. This semester’s community service is TAing a class on Fridays. and grading their work. I don’t think this’ll be too difficult, but it is more work and another responsibility.
As discussed earlier, I also want to make some major progress on my dissertation this semester. Another reason to have a topic by the beginning of the summer is that I can do my qualifying exams sometime during the summer; they don’t sound terrible (just a lot of writing), but they are again something that consumes time. I think it would be better to complete them over the summer when I have no schoolwork.
Finally, sometime this semester I need find summer work. Unlike my last foray in graduate school, I’m not aware of TAing positions that I would be guaranteed, more or less, to have. Supposing I do have a topic by the end of the semester, I doubt that I will have funding for research; because I won’t be part of someone else’s project, I would have to apply for my own funding, and I’m likely not to receive any for the summer because of the timing. I’m also not established in research, which I believe influences who gets funding in any field; the more publication and proof that you are a strong researcher, the more likely you are to get funding. Also, education research, from what I’ve been told, isn’t well funded. Because of the recession, foundations and the government are providing even less funding than before. The job I had last summer likely will not exist, because they had some of their funding cut.
In short, a lot to accomplish in about 15 weeks