T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
Drop Me A Line
academeblog AT gmail.com
Quote of the Day
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
What I Love and Hate About Academia
What I Love:
My advisors, who are truly two of the most amazing men on earth and who have always -- always -- had my best interests at heart. My meeting with them today was very productive and made me feel more at ease with the state of the dissertation and the revisions they suggested. Basically, they're both happy with it as it stands, but still want me to polish it a bit more (especially the hypotheses, which I always have trouble with when I'm not doing quantitative work) before I give it to the committee. I am comfortable with what they are asking me to do.
Prof. C. has always been my toughest critic, always skeptical of the approach I'd chosen. I asked him today what he honestly thought of the dissertation. "You know, I like it. It's not what I expected it to be. It's better than I expected, even though it doesn't go as far as I wanted it to go. I wanted something a little different -- I wanted to push you in a slightly different direction -- but to tell you the truth I would sign off on it right now." Whew. Prof. G. is always proud of my work. I sometimes feel like his daughter, and am waiting for him to post my work on his refrigerator. "You're doing important work, you've undertaken a large project, and you've done it well. Some parts are really quite good. Some parts need work, but you have an entire career ahead of you to work on those things." Can you see why I love my advisors? Honestly love them?
What I Hate:
Stupid rules! I really, really, really depise the zillions of rules that "have" to be followed in academia, and I also hate the fact that everyone has their own version of those rules. At the beginning of the day, I was told by a usually reliable source that I needed to have a perfectly formatted dissertation to the Graduate School by the end of the day today -- far in advance of the posted first deposit date. So, I frantically tried (in vain) to get the document ready in the template and to format it perfectly, but it was impossible. I dashed down to the Graduate School offices and begged for mercy, and the administrator there looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why are you worried about this? The first deposit isn't due for several more weeks!" So, the "reliable source" had been all wrong, and caused me to pull my hair out over stupid details I didn't need to be concerned with until the end of the month. Fortunately, my advisors came to my rescue again, so all is well in my world tonight.
I'm exhausted, though, and I didn't really get anything of substance done today. I literally spent the day riding around between home and campus (20 minutes each way, and I did it three times today), trying frantically to prepare something special for T's birthday while hearing tornado sirens going off in my town. Since we have a nice basement, I've told the woman running the daycare across the street that she is welcome to bring the kids to our basement (her house is on a slab) in the event of a tornado, and so today she took me up on it (ST* was there, too, as she is his back-up carer). With my dissertation on my jump drive in my pocket, I helped referee six petrified preschoolers in my basement while simultaneously writing something sweet in T's birthday card.
At the end of the day, though, there was no tornado (although a funnel cloud was spotted a few blocks from my house), the kids who weren't mine went back to daycare, and we all enjoyed a slice of T's ice cream cake after supper. While I don't expect tomorrow to be any less stressful, I am thankful to have survived the day and to have had a moment to chat with my now-31-year-old husband about OUR Pond House (offer accepted this afternoon).
* I was, however, kind of a crummy Mom today. I yelled at ST for practically everything, since I was feeling pulled in seventeen directions at once. I apologized to him this afternoon, however, and he said, "Oh, that's OK, Mom. I just love you." Sometimes I just want to tuck that kid into my pocket.