Friday, October 5, 2007


A run-down of the week:

It helped to read "How To Grade A Dissertation" as I launched into chapter one.

Writing this week was B or B-. The ongoing decisions are piled thick; one of the more challenging layers of decisions for me is just how polished to make the first draft. How will revisions go? I have to draft more before this can be settled.

Wednesday I attended a colloquium on my program's qualifying exam process. I was invited to share a select few insights into the process. When it was my turn to talk, it seemed like others had covered everything already. I talked anyway. More than anything else, I was in it for the face time. I have so few occasions to interact with those who are in coursework. Plus, with the diss, I appreciate excuses to get out of the house.

A meeting with my chair turned up some promising ideas for the first chapter. I was having a hard time differentiating the first chapter as an introduction from the first chapter as a part of the diss where I set up why this? why now? I'm fairly sure that I'm still overshooting in my sense of what chapter one can accomplish, but I have a better plan as of Wednesday than I had on Monday or Tuesday. The writing I did on those days will wind up in the actual introduction--a short introduction that will be a mini-chapter unto itself. More of a teaser and an abbreviated overview of what follows. So the few pages from early in the week will be appropriate for the intro, but I don't need to mess with that section any more until I've finished drafting and major revisions (June or July?).

Other than the diss? Shoot, let's see. I missed another of Ph.'s soccer matches on Thursday evening because I was teaching. His team won, 3-0. The class I'm teaching this fall is the best teaching I've done since I arrived in Syracuse in '04. Every session has lift to it for some reason or another. Spatial analysis projects (a defensible fit with the shared syllabus). Recently we read a chapter ("Thrashing Downtown") from Steven Flusty's The Spaces of Postmodernity. Thinking...thinking. I bought Y. a new bag of dog food this week. And a new ball. We play fetch in the back yard just about every day. But he won't fetch the new ball. He runs it down and then returns without it. What the heck, Yoki? I'm trying to cuss less. Is. is acquiring the language at a supersonic pace. And you never know who is reading the blog. What else? I swept under the couches today. Quite a few Cheerios under there, and also several of Is.'s small toys piling up out of sight. What else? At the water/sand table in the back yard this afternoon, Is. shoveled a heaping helping of sand into her mouth. Nothing can be done about this. I'm forgetting some stuff. I didn't run as far as usual this week. I've been covering 2.7 miles up to five days per week. But I ran it just three times this week. I don't know whether it's seasonal allergies, a head cold, or some other phlegmatic whatnot. Been getting roughed up in Facebook Scrabble. I'll keep playing the tiles I've got and then give it up for good.

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