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Seven-league boots

March 11, 2010

I headed down to campus again this morning, this time early enough to take the shuttle bus from the train station to campus, which saves me a substantial chunk of time and even more aggravation. It was drizzly when I left and full on raining by the time I got to campus, so I especially appreciated that the bus stops right next to the music building.

I got there in time to stop for a cup of coffee at the cafe I used to live at. It’s not the best of the on-campus eating options, but it’s got the best space and its proximity to where I spend my time cannot be beaten.

I met my advisor at 10 and we talked for nearly 2 hours about timetables and possible defense dates and postdocs and prepping for the job market. Several unexpected things happened.

1. He asked me to start sending him chapters and promised to edit them.

2. He asked me to email him every 10 days to keep myself on track.

3. He went on and on about how much he liked my paper last week and how well I presented it almost to the point of embarrassment (mine).

4. He thinks I should be looking at postdocs before jobs if I can get one. And after researching them and finding out a) that many if not most of them last for 3 years and b) they pay a lot better than I though, I am on board with the idea. Does anyone want a 42-year-old postdoc? That’s another question altogether.

I have a target date for turning in the diss and a target date for my defense and a target date for graduation. All of these things are subject to change pending any number of things, some completely out of my control, so none of this will be announced as yet.

After my meeting, I had just enough time to grab a stale bagel from the coffee shop before class, which had a very lively discussion and could easily have gone well past its allotted two hours. Today’s topic was discussing why and how to change the definition of academic music to be more inclusive of world musics, which are still very much on the side at most music departments. But we got into discussions of other types of academic marginalization as well and I suddenly found myself being the sole representative of women with children in academia. I feel like a walking cautionary tale.

As an added bonus to my day, it turned out that Siren was also on campus today and was heading homeward at about the same time. She offered to give me a lift as far as her daughter’s school, about halfway home. I haven’t seen her in ages, so it was great to have some time to catch up. After she dropped me off, I headed to the public library, conveniently located next to the train station, and got a little work done. By the time I came back out, it was sunny and 60. The train was full of kids on their way home from assorted Catholic high schools and I had to stand for a couple of stops until most of them got off. But I didn’t have far to go. I walked halfway home when Mr. Spy came driving by to pick me up. I was kind of sad he did, as I had been enjoying striding along in my blue suede boots, listening to my iPod and enjoying the warm air. But then the thunder started to rumble and I was happy to have a ride.

And now I am home. The thunder is still rumbling. AJ is in bed and I am reading about postdocs around the country and wondering if I might actually finish this thing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    March 12, 2010 8:45 am

    That sounds great! Positive steps forward. Congrats.

  2. March 12, 2010 9:38 am

    Dates are a good thing! Even if they shift a bit, as so often happens.

  3. eleanorio permalink
    March 12, 2010 10:32 am

    After all that hard work, it’s nice to see that the end is in sight.

  4. readersguide permalink
    March 12, 2010 11:55 am

    Hey, this is fantastic! The end is in sight, and I suppose the beginning, too.

  5. March 13, 2010 11:29 pm

    The fact that you have blue suede boots has distracted me a little from my angst about being at the beginning of the journey you’re ending. I feel a little old to be a student again, and I won’t be finished until my oldest is half way through her undergrad degree. EEK! But, I’m definitely an example of how one can look up and realize it’s been thirteen years, three kids, and four jobs since the masters degree.

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