Photo: Graur Codrin (click photo to link)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lost is Found, and Now for Something Completely Different

I finally found my disks, in a box with my other disks. Who'd have thought? So, I'm back to work on writing, listening, transcribing and analyzing. I'm hoping that I'm going be inspired to deep thinking about the meaning of all of the data, but am afraid that my analysis will be trivial and superficial. But, onward and upward...

I got a letter from the university that I should not expect any assistantship money next year because, at six years, I have outstayed my welcome. Not a shock, but a little off-putting. I can't say as I'd blame them. I've been in a stall for a year and some, and it would be good to get moving again...from my perspective as much as from theirs.

I'll be looking for non-tenure positions as well as tenure positions in the area. I'm hoping to stay part-time so that I have time to do the research and write my dissertation when I'm not on the job. I had hoped to be able to live on my pension and just write, but that seems to be a deadly proposition. I have been very isolated and this makes me less able to think critically about the world around me. I need to be challenged by dropping ideas on others and having them pull the ideas apart. I also need feedback from others about whether I am making my thoughts clear.

For now, I've been working diligently on learning everything about the state's special education initiatives, and how they are intended to blend general and special education into a unified system. I keep wondering if I have anything to offer as far as consultancy to the state, or whether I should be aiming for a teaching position or advocacy work in a non-profit. I really would rather look at the bigger picture--policy, and its effect on kids who are harder to teach...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Curses, foiled again!

If I could have one wish, right now, it would be that my laptop hard drive had never frozen up. I have spent countless days recapturing all of the software, hardware and files that are forever locked in the old drive. It doesn't matter that I have a new drive at no expense (thanks to AppleCare), or that I backed up a lot of things in cyberspace, or on disks. I can't find what I need, all (formerly) neatly stored in my carefully contrived filing system. Although I can look for items on disks, on external hard drives, and on my old and new laptops, each time I have to retrieve something, it seems as if I must look everywhere to find it. I am exhausted, depressed, and it seems as if I can't make any headway on the projects that MUST have my attention. It is just so frustrating!!

The hard drive problem happened at the end of summer (August) and I'm still trying to find software, files and so on. It's February, for goodness' sake, and I feel as if I have been in prison all this time, separated from my "stuff". What makes it all the more distressing is that these delays in my work have shaken my advisor's confidence in me, have placed me in the position of having to look for a job while still very ABD (I'll probably be starting my research at the same time as I start whatever work I can find to do while ABD). It makes me want to just quit.

The added distractions of real life certainly haven't helped although I must say that most have been distinctly more pleasant than my doctoral program. I really thought that I could do this, and make a difference, but I feel so thwarted.

I guess that I need to walk away from the laptop for a few minutes, regain my composure and come back to it.

Net accomplishments for today: installed Endnote, tried to update Quicken so I could open financial files, still searching for sound files that need final transcription and corrections, downloaded Audacity (new version which means I have to learn all the bells and whistles on it...again), and still can't find the sound files (where did I lock them up?), cleaned up my mail sorter, found some pressing bills that I can't pay right now, forgot to call the doctor's office and now have to wait until Monday. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!

I guess I'll go re-wash my laundry, since I forgot to dry it and it's now probably a mess of mildew. Oh, well, what else is new?