Sunday, July 04, 2010

Is this thing on?

Hi Blog!

I’ve been avoiding you, and I’m sorry about that. When the end-of-semester craziness finally passed and I was finally able to relax a little, updating here just seemed like so much work. And then the longer I put it off, the less I wanted to deal with it. But now I’ve found other things I want to avoid more, so here I am, posting again (at last).

Things I’ve been up to:

Gave my presentation at the symposium – went really well, was encouraged by several people to try and turn it into a journal article. Felt like a rockstar for a week or so.

Gave a dissertation presentation to the Ph.D. forum – went well, people seem to like my topic (but who doesn’t like George Washington? I mean, aside from those America-hatin' commies). I need to get started for real now on the research, but I’m not quite sure where to begin. Right now I have this weird obsession with finding an appropriate organizational system for my research, but I recognize that this is just a distraction technique. Still, binders, file folders, or haphazardly stacked piles -- what would you recommend?

Administered and graded finals for the class for which I was a t.a. – went mostly well, except for a problem student whom I know I didn’t handle the way I really would have liked to. I’m a little disappointed with myself for not doing better with this person, but hopefully this will be a good cautionary tale for the future. Overall I really liked being a teaching assistant, although it was a crazy amount of work, and I definitely want to try and pursue more teaching opportunities.

Went home to Texas for a long (but not long enough) weekend – came home for my dad’s birthday and had a great time. It was really nice to be home again without the craziness of a Christmas visit.

Went to Philadelphia for a long weekend, just for fun – I love visiting Philadelphia, and this visit didn’t disappoint. Saw the Liberty Bell, had a cheese steak, and stayed in a really nice hotel. There are few things more fun to me than staying in hotels. I splurged a bit to stay somewhere a little nicer than I usually would have, and it was totally worth it.

Got a new apartment – I really hate searching for apartments. Especially on my budget, which is pretty tiny by New York standards. But the rent was rising out here in the Bronx, and I figured if I was going to have to pay more money anyway, I might as well pay it while living in a better neighborhood. (I try very hard not to think about the fact that my brother’s mortgage payment for his 4-bedroom house in Texas is only a hair more than my rent for a studio apartment.). I found a really nice place in upper upper Manhattan, and I’ll be moving on July 12. I’m excited about it, but now I have to deal with decluttering and packing all my belongings. One nice thing is I’ve finally reached the saturation point with many of my things. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live like a minimalist, but I’m having a much easier time getting rid of stuff than I have in the past. Especially all the paper I’ve been lugging around. My shredder and my recycling bin are getting a real workout. I’m still struggling with culling my books, and it doesn’t help that I have so many hobbies which entail having lots of supplies (the knitting, the dolls, the dollhouses), but letting go of things is finally starting to feel more freeing than traumatizing.

And I’ve been knitting. I’ve got a giant pile of items that need ends sewn in, buttons sewn on, etc. Three pairs of socks, two shawls, a baby hat and booties, a beret, and my first me-sized sweater. Not to mention all the unfinished objects lurking by my favorite comfy chair.

And I think that’s about it. At least all typed out like this, it makes me feel like I’ve been busy.

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