Since I posted last, I became a doctor! It's absolutely surreal to have a task I've been working on for (depending on how you count) eight (or 25) years completed. It's also strange to have basically completed my dissertation defense last Monday, felt a wave of accomplishment, and then gotten up on Tuesday morning and continued to do all of the mundane parts of my life like grade papers and buy white nail polish so my little ghost girl could be ghostly all the way to her fingertips for Halloween.
|But not that kind of doctor, which my daughter was sure to make sure everyone knew when she went to Pre-K the next day and announced, "My mom's a doctor now, but not the kind that can fix you."|
People keep asking me what I'm going to do with all of my "free time," and it's a reasonable question. At the height of my dissertation writing, I was easily spending 15-20 hours a week on the task (which was mostly in the summer while I was only teaching one class). Even once this semester started and I was back to teaching five classes, I was spending a good 5 or 6 hours each week editing and fine tuning. That's a lot of time, and I do feel like I should be able to reclaim some of it for something grand.
But the truth is I probably won't. Mostly, those 6 hours were carved out of the mundane, the routine, and the simple. I made a lot more frozen meals. I let the clutter pile up in my dining room even beyond its normal upper limits. I only argued with people on Facebook once a month.
And I pretty much stopped writing this blog. Sure, I made a post now and then, but there was a time when I posted at least four times a week. For most of this year, there's only been a post or two every month.
The blog is the one thing on my list of the routine that I had to give up that I'm looking forward to taking back. Honestly, if the frozen meals weren't 40% sodium and I could guarantee that no one else would come in and judge me for my cluttered dining room, I'd rather just keep up those habits, but I've really missed blogging.
This was intially the space I created where I could wear all of my hats simultanouesly and sift through the tangles that caused. I still need that.
And I have new things to say. My scholarship has me thinking about teaching philosophy in new and ever more confusing ways. Things like the assault at Spring Valley have me thinking about the intersections of power, obedience, and education, and this is the natural space I turn to when I want to sort through those intersections.
So I'm back! And it's convenient that my return conincides with National Blog Post Writing Month, a time when bloggers challenge themselves to post daily in order to instill the habit of regular writing.
I can't promise a long, researched essay every day (but there will be at least one; it's already in the works), but my goal is to write something (even something small) each day. Some of these posts will be about reflecting on the nature of the blogosphere as I return not only to writing blogs daily, but reading them (do you have a blog I don't know about? Should I be reading your stuff? Drop the link in the comments). Some will return to one of my primary blogging topics: parenting. This role has shifted for me immensely as my daughter has started school and grown to become an almost-five-year-old. And some might reflect on how much I can't say now that I used to say about parenting both because she's older and has a more pronounced sense of autonomy and privacy and because I'm no longer blogging under the protection of anonymity. And, of course, I'll be touching on my favorite pop culture staples as well (I'm currently love-hate watching The Walking Dead and love-grossed out watching American Horror Story).
And that concludes post one of NaBloPoMo, so I'm winning 100% so far.
Photo: Alex Proimos
Photo: Alex Proimos