Sunday, September 2, 2012

A reflection on the last 77 days

Now that I'm home and school has started I'm finding myself being asked the question: "How was DC?" from faculty and students all of whom look at me eagerly making me feel like the only appropriate response is to launch into a long list of my many accomplishments.  My standard hallway answer: "It was great!  I'm so excited to go back!"  The answer I say in my head: "I failed in DC."  The truth: I did nothing I expected to do, but work did happen, progress was made.  So for the sake of my own sanity, and to organize my thoughts for the second week of school I figured I'd launch into a long list of what I learned about myself and my work process while I was away...for better for for worse..
  1. I am not now, nor will I likely ever be a "morning person," and that's okay
  2. I do my best work in the company of strangers at Starbucks 
  3. I think most creatively when I'm listening to music (the type of music varies day-by-day)
  4. My sign skills are strong around new & intermediate signers
  5. I am nearly lost among native & fluent users
  6. I am a good lipreader and I rely on lipreading when communicating in sign
  7. I need a fair amount of alone time to ward off depressive symptoms
  8. I need checklists
  9. I need deadlines
  10. I drink coffee as a distraction (hmm #2???)
  11. Sometimes saying goodbye to difficult people is the easiest thing to do
  12. I am not an imaginative cook
  13. I let my fears of being rejected stop me from introducing myself to new people/interviewees
  14. Pitching my research to non-sociologists is harder than I imagined
  15. Validation and/or criticism from others affects me a lot more than I thought
  16. Despite criticisms, I now know that I picked the right dissertation topic...I love this

In the months ahead I will read for and write my second area exam on Embodiment and Disability, draft my dissertation proposal, and prepare for my first conference presentation on Deaf culture.  I'm making 3 new (school) year's resolutions that I hope will get me through the months ahead:

  1. Blog more regularly
  2. Read more across subfields in sociology to identify an avenue for the "So what?"
  3. Be my own best cheerleader

Now that all these lists have been made, I'll make my way back to my To Do list...

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