Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Dissertators!

Happy New Year, fellow Dissertators! Here is wishing us a healthy and happy, focused and fruitful, content and clear new year. We can regroup and regain our mojo and move forward. I look forward to working with you all again in this space.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Hello all. I know we're all recommitting here, but I need to hold off on that a bit. I'm off to Chicago the day after tomorrow (as I believe a few of us are) and my attention is currently on interviews, not my dissertation. When I get back I'll give myself a day or two off to recover, then I'm hoping to write like mad for two weeks. I didn't hit my 10,000 word goal. I only made it to 7,000 or so. But the job market is more immediately pressing. Still, post Chicago I'll need to get back to the dissertation, because a job won't work so well if I don't have that diss done.

So somewhere around January 2nd or 3rd, I'm recommitting. Wish me luck and best of luck to all of you. And best of luck to those of us on the job market. Here's to new jobs in the new year.

And, of course, Happy Holidays to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Draft a chapter on ecology and matieral???

Okay, since others are recommitting I guess I'll give it a go too.

Though I'm not sure how long it will last, I'm feeling somewhat rejuvenated after an earlier convo with my adviser. Based on the convo I feel I might even be able to draft a chapter of the "ecology" of my field site - a descriptive chapter of the material conditions as well as the structural and institutional dynamics that impact the literacy practices and habits of my subjects and other students. It sounds like a simple enough task. Maybe I'll give myself a deadline of January 14th...

I probably won't hold myself to it. You all are welcome to, though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Checking in (again) and a Recommitment

Hi, everyone. Sorry I've been MIA, more or less, these past couple of months. I could list a bunch of excuses why, but they are just excuses. I have, though, made some decisions the past few days that have severely refocused my goals. A much needed refocusing, I would say. (Just as Abby noted in an earlier message, I, too, have been avoiding this space because I felt guilty that I wasn't producing anything.)

That said, I'm (re)committing to checking in here again each week, and outlining my progress on the dissertation. I can't go into it right now, but I have about six months to finish this work. OK, that sounds really dire. My life isn't in danger if I don't finish, and there are no hit men [or women] after me if I don't get it done right away or anything. But trust me: I need to get it done.) Last summer, I took three weeks of vacation and just cranked out **a lot** of writing. I am going to be on "vacation" the next two weeks and while I have to work the first week of January, there's not much to do. I will, then, commit the next three weeks to the diss and see what I can produce. That's the plan.

Anyway, I hope you will all continue to jump in and leave comments -- or more importantly -- chart your own progress.

So, to date:

  • Chapter 3: The methodology chapter is 98% finished (a few citation clarifications needed)
  • Chapter 4: The first case study is done; the second case study is 75% complete; the third case study is 50% complete.
  • Chapter 5: Alternative Programs and Pedagogies (outlined and short narratives started)

Over the next few days (after final grades are submitted tomorrow afternoon), I will finish the case study #2. I'm giving myself a deadline for Monday.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


So sometimes in graduate school, you need to ask for an extension. I didn't make my 10,000 words in November, but I'm taking a one week extension. Anybody with me? I want 10,000 words by midnight on Sunday, December 9th.