(“Pro” meaning “for” and “pro” shortened from “professional.”)
Keeping in mind that I haven’t actually written my dissertation yet, I’d like to document the process so that when I become rich and famous (aka poor but employed at an academic institution), this blog can serve as a testament of how I got there. This will be useful both because humans have a pretty terrible capacity for recalling reality, and because I think there is an over-abundance of DOOM and WOE associated with the PhD process. I am going to write about BUTTERFLIES and SANTA CLAUS and puppies and kitties and frolicking – all the things that I am enjoying during my PhD process.
That being said, my procrastination habits do tend on the side of ‘professional,’ in so far as I procrastinate by setting up Google Reader and Google Alerts for topics relevant to my research (on the recommendation of one of my clever siblings).
I also try to stay in touch with people from my program and other departments who may be researching other things, or who may just make me laugh so I can stay sane and carry on. For example, my friend Emily has a pretty interesting travel-related blog, one of my clever siblings has a travel abroad blog, some friends and I started an intermittently updated Unofficial Canadian Studies blog, another friend has this entertaining blog that is currently fixating on the upcoming royal wedding, and yet another friend has what I consider to be the funniest blog ever (also with travel-related content). Another friend is working on her second travel blog – link forthcoming! EDIT: HP are you ever going to start that blog?!
So, those are things I look at to make me feel happy inside and continue to fight the good fight for a roughly 250-page dissertation which will hopefully learn me some knowledge and become a book (that’s the point of all this, right?). It’s interesting to note how many travel blogs there are. And the name I originally wanted for this blog was taken by actual dessert chefs to document their kitchening adventures. I suppose one could argue that travel (certainly) and baking (possibly) are liminal spaces, hence the appeal of documenting the journey. You can probably see where I’m going with this.
The time between undergraduate studies and getting your hood (the REAL point of all this is getting my PhD hood, make no mistake) is also a weird, liminal, borderline space where you (probably) have no money, you (hopefully) have a lot of passion for an esoteric topic, and you are (usually) trying out lots of new things to see what sticks, be it a theory, methodology, teaching tactics, study locations, dissertation writing groups, scholarship / grant / job applications… You get the picture.
In the future, I will explain a bit more about the PhD program in Canadian Studies for people interested in Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), and continue to trace my adventures in procrastinating as a beacon of hope for other PhD writers (web comic links coming your way!).
But for now, it’s time to drive myself back to Ottawa via the 401 without side trips, no matter how awesome the postcards with Santa Claus on them that I found at a mysterious truck stops may be. (I’m writing a paper on Santa Claus. More on that later, too!)
I’ll have to check out all of these recommended links someday, and find out the magic behind them, but for now, enjoy.