Monday, March 21, 2011

A New Plan, Stan

I am mostly recovered from last week's illness. Could have been a cold, could have been strep. Daughter was diagnosed with strep today. But now I am better, and she's getting medicIne, so I'm really hoping to be able to get my head back in the game at work. Currently, I'm terribly unorganized. Lots of stray bits here and there.

But on another note, I have an idea for how to try to get more dissertation stuff done. I think I should plan to read one chapter or article per week, typing up good notes so what I read won't be lost out of my head six weeks later. I'm sure that this goal sounds ridiculously modest to most of you, but when I consider that this is week ten of the semester, and I have read mostly nothing so far this term, and I've forgotten most of what I have read, the plan actually seems rather ambitious. Of course, I will still be trying to meet various writing dealdlines, but I'm realizing that it's the reading that is so unwieldy and time consuming.

And now it's time to hit the hay after a late-night grading jag. It's nearly 1:00 a.m. I remember when that was my nightly bedtime after my nightly date with Charlie Rose. My how things change.


marcia said...

I frequently forget what I read. That's always been a problem for me. So I think this goal is great -- especially typing notes, since they will be easily searchable. Small steps!!

baxie said...

1am for a parent is like 4am for anyone else.

C. Troubadour said...

Glad you are feeling better! I like your plan. Any plan that allows you some kind of steady, measurable progress is generally more helpful than intentions that have no channel for application, no?

In solidarity, GEW. *Raises port and laptop*

Anonymous said...

Yes, read read read papers. Take notes on each paper. You'll get ideas and it will jog your brain. The notes can then be organized into separate thoughts/paragraphs and then you can find other papers to connect the dots. Keep taking notes and following the cookie trail. That's how I write proposals. And yes, grab some cookies.

feMOMhist said...

writing as you go is the single piece of advice I give dissertators. Sounds like a great strategy. I can't imagine writing with a child!

Anthea said...

Excellent plan. I like your goals and they are familiar to what I did when I wrote my thesis and how I write items such articles, proposals etc.

Good Enough Woman said...

M, I have friends who seem to remember everything they read, and I'm so jealous.

Bax, Ain't it the truth?

CT, I'm getting ready to crack open some port right now. but I'll be grading quizzes instead of reading. Sometimes, it just has to be that way. But I love the image of you toasting me.

Unicorn, if I follow my plan for a month do I get stickers?

feMOM, My PhD supervisor gave me the same advice, and it was great. Sometimes, I'm writing out of ignorance, but I learn so much through the process. Thanks fir the comment!

Anthea, Thanks for stopping by to offer the affirmation! I feel encouraged!

Anonymous said...

Hell to the Yes!
Thank Maud there are plenty of stickers to go around. My giddyup would wither up and die if there was an epic extinction of stars, puffy hearts, and fuzzy bears.

Amstr said...

Awesome goal. The big deal for me it to have a goal I can meet. Trev keeps telling me that little successes breed bigger successes. Once I can start feeling successful at the dissertation in general, I'll make more progress.

And now I'm off to read about boy actors (another big gapping hole in my scholarly Ren reading), and then to read some Flannery O'Connor for book group. I somehow talked people into reading The Violent Bear It Away. I'm not sure they knew what they were in for.

Happy grading and reading!

Ink said...

Glad you're feeling better! Sorry about Daughter and hope she feels better soon too.

Have you thought about writing up a draft of your ideas first, then reading the articles/chapters after? That way, you can integrate stuff immediately into the draft! One of my profs kept telling me to do that, and certainly before I wrote mine, I didn't think it was possible (I kept saying "But how can I write something BEFORE I read what everyone else said?"). Now I wish I'd done it that way...would have saved me the first year of reading/re-reading because I kept forgetting what I'd read. Also would have saved all that note-taking time. FWIW.