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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Six Impossible Things to Do Before Breakfast

So, one of the blogs in my bloglines feeder is this one called Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which is described by the author as "Through the looking glass, on the way to a PhD." A while back now the owner of this blog asked What is Impossible? or, more specifically, what were your six impossible things? As a graduate student, now ABD myself, I thought that this was an interesting exercise so I figured that I'd take a stab at it.
  1. Importing my father's digital tapes into iMovie, editing them and burning them on to DVDs for him. I've had the current three for over a year now, and this has been so long that he has another three or four more to do that he hasn't left with me because I haven't gotten these ones done yet. [I should note that this doesn't include my own that I have yet to do, including my last two anniversary vacations my wife and I took - so one of those is a year and a half old now.]
  2. Fixing the heater in my car - it has been stuck on the option that blows out towards your face and the dial is stripped, so I can't change it to the feet or windshield options. My plan, many moons ago, was to take a look at it myself and see if I could switch it so that it was stuck on the windshield option. I could personally live with that, but that's another thing on my to do list.
  3. Finishing the process of adding entries into my Endnote database and then filing the articles away. As I was working on the writtn portion of my comprehensive examinations this summer, I got pretty good at this. I hauled all of my old articles out of the filing cabinet. Ones from my Master's program or even earlier that were no longer even close to my current or potential research interests were tossed, all of the ones that I actually used as references in my comps were entered into the database and then filed. The remainder were put into neat piles based upon topic areas, presumably so that I could start with the ones closest to my current research focus and work from there. However, like so many other things, there they still sit in less than neat piles around the base of my filing cabinet.
  4. Naming my digital photos - so it was three or four years ago, maybe even five, that I got myself a digital camera (a birthday gift from my family if I remember correctly). It was a year or two before I started using it a lot and for the first year or so that I used it, I was really good at naming the images once I had transferred them from the camera to the My Pictures folder on my computer. Well, about two years ago, that naming thing kind of slipped and there are literally thousands of images on my machine now that I still have to name. I even keep the travel brochures and guides and such that my wife and I pick up at these places we visit so that I will be able to name everything correctly, but alas I think I'll have to resign myself to never getting back to all of these.
  5. Transcribing, transcribing, and more transcribing... I did six or eight interviews this past summer - it seems so long ago that I can't even recall how many it was exactly, but eight I believe - that were the second stage of a project that I had been working on (the first stage was surveys, which I have yet to write up into manuscript form and submit somewhere - but see number six for more on that). These were interesting interviews that I think will have a lot of great data in them, relatively short (roughly 25-40 minutes each), and something I need to get into the habit of doing - given that I am about to start my dissertation data collection which will involve a lot of transcribing. But the tapes still sit on top of the book shelf over there.
  6. Writing, writing, and more writing... These past two months have been very good to me in terms of my writing for course work or for degree requirements, hey I finished my prospectus for example. But there are still at least a dozen writing projects, some former conference papers and others former assignments for different courses - not to mention all of the writing from my comprehensive exams - that I put aside as potential manuscripts. These manuscripts are in various stages, some have been submitted and I have received feedback and are just awaiting time for me to sit and make the requested changes, others were written as "manuscript ready" from their original purpose and have not had those last two or three changes that were recommended by the reader (i.e., professor who graded it or committee member that read that question), while others still were ideas that I had that would still require many hours to get it in ready to be sent out the door - some of these are even group writing projects where I am waiting on a partner or they are waiting on me. Needless to say that I am hoping that the holidays will bring me some time to get some of these things from the inbox to the outbox.

So, those are my six impossible things... What are your's?

Tags: graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education


Anonymous Yvette said...

Hi there!

Darn--Your list made me think of a couple more impossible things I need to add to mine. (Especially those pesky non-titled image files...)

Best of luck!

5:03 PM


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