Sunday, April 30, 2006

Not-so-random solipsistic bullets o' what-have-you (with BONUS video recommendation!)

1. I can just about taste the completion of the full draft of the diss. I'm hoping to continue my marathon weekend o' writing this evening and finish Chapter 4, AKA The Chapter That Must Be Completed Soon Come Hell Or High Water. I think the first two (of four) sections of it are pretty well constructed, and I feel good about that. The section from which I'm taking a break right now concerns a woman about whom I know relatively little--I read a thorough biography of her a few years back, I rifled through a few boxes of her papers, and I have one article about her. Despite all this information, I feel I'm still making things up as I go along and I fear someone--namely the author of the biography--will eventually call me on my bullshit. If I turn this diss into a book, I'll definitely need to plunge back into the archives when I revise this section. For now: no time for that, as the diss is due in 32 days. (!)

2. Chapter 5, my conclusion, will be much easier to write than any other chapter. Yay! I'll begin it this week, between grading my students' midterms and giving three (as yet incompletely written) talks on three consecutive days on three different topics.

3. My chickens of ambition are coming home to roost (quite literally, as my chicken egg talk for which I solicited your input so long ago is finally upon us--I'll provide details once it's over). That's Talk #1. Talk #2 is for a class on American nature and culture and concerns women's relationships with nature. For Talk #3, I'm headed to Monterey on Friday for the Western Association of Women Historians conference. (Teehee--historians let me into their club.) In order to give Mr. Trillwing a break from childrearing (and who are we kidding? from me), I'll be taking Lucas with me to Monterey and depositing him with my parents, who are actually driving up from Long Beach so they can babysit while I attend the conference. How much do they love us? How lucky am I?

4. Post-diss, I have employment (teaching) set up from June through December and from April to June. But: it's doubtful my adjuncting will pay enough for us to maintain our current (relatively hand-to-mouth) living arrangements, since I'll have to buy health insurance. Also: note the gap in employment from January to March. Yuck.

So: I will need to come up with some other way to supplement my income. In my first years here, I freelanced a bit and worked part-time outside of teaching. Piecing together low-paid adjunct positions at local community colleges or getting another second part-time job that takes me out of the home doesn't appeal to me, since I'm really enjoying hanging out with Lucas. Accordingly, I need to find some kind of flexibly scheduled work from home. I have a latent entrepreneurial streak, so I've already taken tentative steps toward my next venture. It's in a field where I have lots of book learning, into which I've put a lot of thought (because it's related to my dissertation), and in which I worked part-time for 2-3 years. So I feel confident of my understanding of certain aspects of the field, but I doubt it will be easy to convince others to value my insight. I have a feeling I'll be doing an unpaid internship or two alongside whatever other work I have to scrape together. *sigh*

Of course, the best scenario, financially speaking, would be for me to find some kind of 8-to-5 administrative work at the university that provided decent pay and health insurance. But then I'd feel guilty about leaving Lucas.

5. Too much obsessing. Must get back to diss!

6. Here's that video I promised: C for Cookie, as seen at virtualpolitik.

1 comment:

ArticulateDad said...

Keep going. The diss is almost done. Don't obsess too much about the work. Just follow your heart, don't get stuck, and don't be afraid to rethink.