Friday, March 30, 2007

absent but not lacking an agenda

i've been neglectful of The Boot Camp. my bad, folks. i tend to post a lot of stuff over at my place instead of puttin stuff down over here. one reason might be laziness. another reason may be that i actually do feel a sense of responsibility once i commit something to this blog.

i'm back from Cs, and though i didn't get to meet up with k8, billie or meagan, i think the NY trip was generally a success. the two things that i'm committing to now that i'm back:

1. get crackin on layin out the Vygotsky, Lakoff and Johnson, and Merleau-Ponty theories of concept formation.
2. write out my proposed methodology for my qualitative study of student-athletes using Julie Cheville's Minding the Body as my primary model and then supporting/justifying the methodology via such folks as Bishop, Chiseri-Strater, Goldblatt, Newkirk, Smith and Willhelm, Sunstein, Wolcott and others.

though i'll go ahead and use the back-burner metaphor, another exceptionally important diss-related task is to meet with two particular coaches at my institution to begin to butter them up for possibly allowing me access to them and their athletes... i'll be doing this next week fo sho!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I haven't posted for a while, I realize. Being in New York for CCCC was an obvious obstacle-- my hotel didn't have wireless (among other things). I've been very focused since I've been back, though. My teaching is strong right now and so is my work on the diss.

I heard back from the university IRB on the day I left for NYC. My time since returning has been devoted to making the changes they requested. Minor changes, really. I'm meeting with my adviser tomorrow, and will send off the revised proposal by Monday at the latest. I need to get started on my data collection before the summer is over-- I need actual first year writing students, and we only have 2 fyw classes in the summer, so I'm anxious to get going.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


After a meeting with my dissertation chair at CCCC, I am now shooting to finish my chapter on invitational rhetoric by the end of April. This seems do-able, but it's a packed month. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Good luck to all you rhet/comp folks at the 4Cs!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm back and ready to get to work

Hi, all. I'm back and ready to get to work on the dissertation. As you might know, I have been distracted to other-- decidedly more important things-- the past several weeks, but I'm ready to get back to work. The one thing this time away from the dissertation has taught me, and indeed, going through all that I've been through the past few weeks, is that there are clearly more important things in life than academia. (We do tend to forget that . . . as the academic world can just suck us in and suck us dry. Or at least it can me.) But that perspective is important as I head into the final stretch for this degree, and as I begin to extricate myself from activities that do not serve me in this work. It's all good.

I meet with my advisor at 4:00 this afternoon, and together, we'll plan out the next few months so I can (1) go on the market in the fall, and (2) be finished with the diss within the year (May 2008). Wish me focus and clarity as I talk with him about the future.

P.S. Thanks for all your well wishes and good thoughts through the difficult time. I appreciate them very much.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Boa Constrictor

When I was a little girl, my mom was working on her PhD in psychology. I remember that several times she took me with her to see the lady who was typing her dissertation. In the front foyer of her house, this lady had a huge aquarium inhabited by a huge boa constrictor, probably six feet long.

Whenever I try to visualize my dissertation, all I can see is that boa constrictor.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Just reporting that I just sent twenty-eight pages to my dissertation chair. Hip, hip, and hooray!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

No cigar

I just sent 16.5 pages to my chair. It's (obviously) not quite 20 but I realized that I need to go back and read three articles before I can continue. It's bad bad bad writing, but at least it's a start, right?

This whole dissertating thing is hard, huh?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Keeping me honest

Okay, I need 20 pages by the end of tomorrow. I need to send a 20 page draft to my chair by tomorrow night. I am currently on the end of page 7. It's crap, but Don Murray always told me to just "let it be shit," so that's what I'm doing. I'm going to get 20 pages down then spend the week revising. I'm just telling you all this so that I'm responsible to more people for getting my work done this weekend because I need all the motivation I can get. Mostly, I just want to sink and sink and sink (read: watch a marathon session of The Sopranos).

I'll let you know how it goes.

Keep reading/writing/swimming, all.


Somehow or other, a definite date has been set for my defense: May 1 ! Even a definite time has been set: ten to noon! The dissertation needs to be to my committee by April 17.

Fortunately, we had yet another blizzard and my husband got to stay home yet again and watch the kids. I was able to finish revising two chapters. This leaves one chapter that needs serious, big-time revision, because it currently blows, and a conclusion that needs to be written. And then a general revision of the whole thing and proofreading and editing and making sure there are no widows or orphans or whatever, which is something the graduate college apparently cannot tolerate. I am panicking? Mildly.

And yet I'm also rather excited to see this process finally drawing to a close.

On the menu today? Finish re-reading Sarah Scott's Millennium Hall so I can figure out what the heck it has to do with my dissertation.