Tuesday 27 October 2015

Slowly but Surely

Hoping that that adage holds up for this Ph.D. journey...

This semester started out as strong as I now have a full doctoral committee! Dr. Maureen Goggin agreed to chair my doctoral work last semester. I am already so grateful for her consistent, tough, and accurate feedback and appraisal of my work and my progress. This semester Dr. Patricia Boyd and Dr. Elenore Long have also agreed to serve on my doctoral committee and offer their feedback and comments on my work, as well as serve to assess my comprehensive exams, dissertation prospectus, and dissertation defense. I have taken classes from each of them, and I have benefited greatly from their willingness to work with me and mentor me, even prior to agreeing to serve on my committee. Having my committee decided has been a weight off my chest, and I am so happy to be moving forward with these three professors.

I have been trying to consciously choose to celebrate the small victories in life lately, as the Ph.D. journey can be quite overwhelming and tedious. One small victory came in a recent "revise and resubmit" on an essay that I have been hoping to get published for quite some time. I have some work to do, but when that work requires reading more food memoirs, it doesn't seem to burdensome!

Another small victory comes in the form of a former student gaining acceptance to a study abroad internship program! This student was in both my ENG 101 and my ENG 102 classes last school year, so they repeatedly heard my mantra of: Study abroad! It will open your horizons! It will change your life! The student seemed to take that to heart, and they recently asked me to fill out a recommendation form for entry into the program. They emailed me today saying they were accepted and are "very excited for this opportunity." I'm very excited for them.

One other small victory happened at the end of one of my ENG 217 classes this semester. A student stopped me on the way out the door and said: "You are always smiling! It seems like you have really found what you are meant to do." I sincerely thanked them for the compliment and was happy to agree that I believe that teaching really is what I was truly meant to do. They said that they really love my class and they aren't "even a writer."

Affirmations like that, especially mid semester, are very encouraging. Octobers really are wonderful, but Octobers in grad school are hard. They are a middle ground that can be difficult to get through health, motivation, and energy wise. But it's October 27th, so I'm nearing the end and Feminisms & Rhetorics 2015 starts tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to this conference. It will be the first time I am attending, but I know that it will be enlightening and energizing. I will post an update soon.