Shedding some light on my situation

April 1, 2011 § 10 Comments

I have been vague for my own self-preservation in the past on this blog. And most recently, I made a vague reference to “my plans” and “Robert’s work ethic”. This afternoon, I officially made the announcement to both my department head and our departmental secretary. Here’s the clarification:

I have declined to accept my summer graduate teaching assistantship.

This means that I will not be teaching this summer. This means I will not earn any money this summer. This means I will not receive a tuition “waiver” (which is actually funded through the school from the assistantship).

Why oh why would I decline MONEY???

Because, folks, I have to get finished. And this is my best bet to finish in a timely fashion. I know that if I were to work, I would absolutely not finish the dissertation.

And here’s where Robert’s work ethic comes into play. Because he is teaching an overload this summer semester, he will be making enough for us to be financially secure on just one income. Now, it will be tight. Now, this is not to suggest some absurd level of luxury. Rather, this means that we will be living much like the way we are living now…except that I won’t have to work. I feel like the luckiest PhD candidate in the world!

I had lunch with my directing professor this afternoon, and we agreed that in order to finish in time for August graduation, I would need to have a full, complete dissertation no later than the first of July. So my summer will not be spent sitting around watching television and napping. I will be busier than I have ever been before. But I will also not be teaching. Which means no lesson planning. No grading. No office hours. No endless student e-mails. This class I am teaching right now will be the last class I teach for a while.

Believe me, friends, I am not delusional about the level of work I will have to commit to in order to accomplish my goal. I am fortunate enough to have a practical and realistic director on my team, and she has made it quite clear just how hard I will have to work. I’m going to do it, though. I’m going to work as absolutely hard as I can in order to get this work done.

I’m actually really excited about the prospect of not teaching for a little while. I think the time off will be helpful and illuminating.

Please be advised: this is not an April Fool’s joke. Not like Gmail Motion…which is stinkin’ hysterical, if you ask my opinion.

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§ 10 Responses to Shedding some light on my situation

  • Lisa says:

    Good for you Amanda. I know it will be hard, but if that is what you need to do, than that is what you do. But promise me one thing, YOU WILL TAKE BREAKS! Please let me know if I can help in any way.


  • MC says:

    Go, officemate, go!

  • Great declaration, great committment.

  • Dana says:

    Awesome! I think it will be easier to plow ahead with only one GIGANTIC TASK at hand. Less distractions = more work accomplished, at least in theory. πŸ˜‰ Good luck!

  • AMo says:

    So proud of you. You’re making the right decision, my friend. πŸ™‚

  • amblerangel says:

    Feels good to get the show on the road!

  • petthedog says:

    Congratulations on receiving the Robert-is-awesome-and-you-rock Fellowship! That is wonderful. I’m so happy that you will be able to focus on your work!

    I also want to say to everyone and to YOU that your dissertation is incredibly insightful and well-written! You ARE “good at this stuff,” and I have the ability to make this claim since I’ve read everything you’ve written so far.

    People of the world, if A.Hab. wanted to be a super-academic, she totally could. She just may want to be super-something else =)

  • limr says:

    Good luck to you! Not teaching will be a huge relief. I took last summer off from teaching. It was the first summer in 15 years that I had off. I knew it was going to be nice to not have the constant pressure hanging over my head (the mental work of teaching never really goes away during a semester, does it?). Not only was it nice, but it was amazing! You know how sometimes you don’t realize how heavy your backpack is until you take it off? Same thing times a hundred πŸ™‚ Yes, you’re then putting on another heavy backpack, but maybe some of the work you will have to do will go more easily than you expect if you’re only carrying one of those burdens.

  • Good for you, Amanda. Indeed it will be be TONS of work–but an impossibility it you were teaching, to be sure. Good decision. And Robert is such a great guy!

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