So I’m officially about halfway through my Spring Break and I have to admit it’s been pretty relaxing. I have slept in everyday until about 11am and I’ve been able to do a few things that I’ve been putting off for awhile. I know it’s not that exciting, but I was finally able to clean my apartment. I mean CLEAN it. That sucker is sparkling! I also got my last long run out of the way before the marathon (more on that in another post soon) and have taken Sophie in to the Vet for a check-up and her shots. Isn’t it funny that no matter how much we get done, there always seems to be things on our to-do list that never get accomplished? Seriously, I need to go to the dentist. And change my oil. And do a ton of other things but I probably won’t. I just keep telling myself, one thing at a time. And I try to feel good about the things that I have been able to check off the list.
To be sure, certain things will never get checked off. My doctoral work is seemingly never ending. Even though I’m on “spring break” from school, I still have so much work to do. I promise I won’t post much about my PhD work because it’s–well–boring to most people; today, though, I just need to vent a bit. First off, let me just say that most people don’t even understand what I am getting a PhD in. When I say “higher education”, they inevitably say, “oh, you want to be like a principal or something?” Actually, higher education means just that- higher education. Or more accurately, postsecondary education. Any higher education issue related to policy or research or the study of higher education administration (you know, all the people other than faculty members that keep the institution running?). Personally, I’m preparing for the faculty route, which means that I have chosen to pursue the research avenue. This means that I have to get as many publications and conference presentations/papers as possible before I can try to get a tenure-track faculty position. Currently, I’m pretty good in that area as I published last year in a peer reviewed journal (Journal of College Student Retention), am the co-author of two reports (forthcoming), and have presented at multiple conferences. I’m also the teaching assistant for two masters-level courses, which will help me to secure a faculty position and am writing an article for another peer-reviewed journal,which should appear in the fall.
All that work aside, I still haven’t talked about my PhD work. Yes, all of that other work is related (it’s how I earn my $$ and don’t have to pay tuition plus it will look great on my CV), but none of that actually gets me closer to finishing my PhD program. To do that, I have to finish my last two classes, which are both Statistics, write my Qualifying Paper (I’m in the process of that now), put together a dissertation committee, write my dissertation proposal, defend my proposal, make revisions where necessary, collect data, analyze the data, and write the freakin’ dissertation.
WHEW! My first reaction: So what am I doing taking a few days off??? There’s work to do!!!!!!!! I don’t want to be here forever. And then I tell myself that I need to live my life as well. That means, cleaning my apartment, taking care of Sophie, training for the marathon, reading for pleasure (I just finished the most touching book, I’ll post about it soon), eating, going out, etc…One thing at a time, Claire.
For today, I’m going to do one of my favorite things (other than eating, shopping, and running). I’m going to sit at Barnes and Noble with my Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea (the absolute best!) and a stack of mags.
And when I’m done with that, maybe, just maybe I’ll get to writing the findings for that report on college-connected programs in Texas and grade those 28 8-page analytic papers.
Question: what do you have on your to-do list that never seems to get done?