Well, I’m sitting at the gate in DCA awaiting the joys of flight. I’ve already spent some time working on a manuscript I’m writing, and now being bored of that for the moment I thought it might be nice to do a little blogging. It has been awhile hasn’t it?
It’s amazing how life can stack up against you when you look the other way. Things are fine here, so stop worrying, but life is busy, and at times difficult nonetheless. I’m excited for the future, but feel like I can’t see the forest through the trees. I’m looking for decent weather to do fieldwork at my site in- which for me means rain and flooding (sorry to the rest of society). I’m having real anxiety about my ability to get this work done. What I want to do is difficult, requires lots of help, and to some degree is a little dangerous. I want to hang out over a flooding river on a piece of aluminum and take precise scientific measurements of the fluid flow characteristics. The work has merit- no one has done anything like this in a real river as far as I can find (because it’s difficult!). All of this work relies on several things; 1) that I have help (I need 4-5 people with me to do the work); 2) that the weather cooperates; and, 3) that it actually works. I want to get done with the PhD in four years, so this time is very crucial. If I can’t get 4-6 good measurements in, I’ll be up against a wall to finish. I want to finish and get a ‘real’ job more than ever. And reflecting now on my weeklong academic conference here in D.C., the reality of this situation is becoming more and more real. It’s a lot of pressure.
Fortunately, I think the job market (at least for my discipline) is looking alright. It shouldn’t be impossible for me to get a job by next August, assuming I’m able to finish. On paper, I look pretty good: Got a book chapter in review, and at least one article (almost) ready for submission. Lots of good conference participation, awards and grants, and honors. I’ve even got a fair amount of service credentials, and I will (most likely) be teaching a freshman course in the Spring (instructor of record). But if I don’t have the dissertation that’s all for naught.
Well, enough bumming myself (and you) out. I have had lots of good things happening as well. Jordan and I got a new car (well, to us) last week. It’s a 2004 Honda CRV. The Accord is still running, but it is wearing out. At 219k miles, it’s no spring chicken. We had decided to start looking for a new vehicle, with the intent of buying in August. Sure enough though as we looked, we found a really nice and perfectly priced CRV in the first week of looking. Went out and test drove it, and we were sold (You can see pictures here).
Also, I took some time in D.C. as this is the first time I’ve been here. I’ll put up a photo gallery shortly, but suffice it to say it’s a beautiful place. I really enjoyed myself and I look forward to coming back with Jordan to explore things in more detail.