Sunday, April 8, 2007

oh hi! how are you?

Time is passing VERY QUICKLY these days, which is NOT something that I need. Yes, I'm still writing my thesis. Yes, I'm still working a bunch. Yes, I still have to finish my thesis and my language requirement and my household stuff and sell the house in the next 6-8 weeks. Oh yes, and teaching [although so many (like 10 or so out of 43) of my students have already screwed themselves out of passing simply by not showing up and turning in their work that I'll have fewer essays to grade...].

So what did I do this weekend? Went to a grad conference in foggy/smoggy Riverside. When I answered the CFP and made plans to go, I figured my thesis would be further along than it is.

But it was a good experience. I know that grad conferences mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but I find them incredibly useful practice. Also, coming from a program that is not necessarily academically rigorous, it helps me determine just where I really am in the thinking-person hierarchy. The answer? Not at the bottom, which is good. In fact, I went to a panel and one of the panelists had exactly the same thought process about things that I did: come to a conference to see where I stand, because I can't get a good read at my school. We go to similar schools, although she's in NYC and I'm in San Jose. We had a good chat, and I got to feel like the helpful (old, jaded) grad student who already made it through the PhD app process, whereas she'll be doing that next semester.

It's good to be helpful.

I also heard some dreadful papers and papers read too quickly (much like I did during my first conference), as you do. But given that some of the dreadful/fast ones were from grad students relatively far along in their studies, I felt ok. Similarly, when people liked my little chat (seemed interested, asked good questions), I felt pretty smart. And like a good used-car salesman.

My "paper" was the 8-page version of the argument of my thesis. You're darn right I can read/speak it really well. I've practiced it so much/been thinking about it so much that I can turn anyone into a believer/sell them a car.

If only I could finish the damn thesis!

So what did I do today? SLEPT ALL DAY. I have a sleep deficit running since February or so. I'll be paying for this tomorrow, I'm sure.

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