Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

January Brain Buster Challenge

With the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge in the bag (and 250 points logged over the past four weeks), it’s time to transition to flexing some cerebral might.

This Wednesday commences the Dissertation Writing Retreat (previously known as Dissertation Bootcamp – I guess they’ve made the process a little more touchy-feely). For ten days, four to eight hours a day, I’ll sit at a computer carrell at the Temple University writing center with other soon-to-be PhDs, working on a chapter of my tome.

Between the holidays and the hip rehab (and maybe a little bit the HBBC), I’ve had a harder time than usual focusing on my work. I’ve read several books and struggled through some complicated ideas, but I’ve avoided putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be).

Now, as I begin to piece together my training plan for the Jersey marathon (as of two days ago, I’m officially signed up!), I’m also working on a strategy for the next several months of dissertating. And since I’ve spent a lot of time writing and thinking about my running goals for the year, I thought it might be productive to make public (or as public as this silly blog is) my academic/professional intentions as well.

I spent much of the fall vacillating between entering the craziness of the academic job market this winter and taking advantage of one more year of funding and putting myself in a position to be a more viable candidate in the fall/winter of ’09. I ended up taking the latter route, so my plan is to have a draft of the dissertation complete by the end of the summer of 2009 (read: September 20, the end of summer by calendar standards).

Without further ado, then…

The Plan:

January
Dissertation Bootcamp
-Write chapter one
-Revise chapter two

February
-Finish researching, finish writing chapter three

March
-Finish research for chapter four
-Research chapter five/six

April
-Revise chapter four
-Research chapter five/six

May
-Research chapter five/six
-Begin writing chapter five

June
-Finish writing chapter five
-Finish research for chapter six

July
-Write chapter six

August
-Finish writing chapter six
-Begin assessing job prospects

September
-Finish intro/conclusion
-Begin compiling applications

October
-send out applications
-begin editing process
-contact publishers

November
-continue editing
-wait anxiously to hear from search committees

December
-See November. Rinse and repeat.

It’s an ambitious plan and may not fully come to fruition, but I’m confident that barring any major life interruptions, I’ll be in good stead to enter the professional fray, come fall.

And now, let the brain bustin’ begin!

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4 responses to “January Brain Buster Challenge

  1. E.C. Friedman January 5, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Holy crap. Be gentle with yourself — and let me know if you ever need market help (or just pep talks) as you move forward. <3Em

  2. RunToFinish January 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    oh boy that looks like a lot of work..I really loved school but mostly because I had so much free time, I think I’m glad I didn’t ever go that far!

  3. Jess January 5, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Wow 250 points in the HBBC that is mad impressive!

  4. N.D. January 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Great plan here Abby and I know that you will follow through with it since you are level headed and follow through with your plans. Glad to see you signed up for NJ!!

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