Monthly Archives: October 2009

I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. Audre Lorde


I have a friend with a blog that shows her progress on different art projects. I’m a little bit jealous because her progress is clearly tracked through her completing a painting. Then she publishes the finished product. I did take a picture of the beginning of this conference paper. I am in the “writing” stage where I write the entire paper out by hand. I find it easier to express myself when I put pen to paper. ┬áSo that’s what I’m up to. I will attempt to track my progress on this conference paper visually as well. I’m also new to this so bare with me.

Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway. Dr. Robert Anthony

I saw this quote and really liked it. It really characterizes how I feel about writing. Writing is a very anxiety producing act for me. I don’t know why or when it became this way. In college my papers would write themselves and they were also pretty well done if I do say so myself. I guess when I went to graduate school the feelings of inadequacy dampened my enthusiasm for writing. Now I have to regain my writing habit. I should probably write everyday to improve my writing and become more prolific. But the initial anxiety of writing keeps me from writing at all. But now I have found that conferences are a spur to my writing. Obviously, I have to produce something that won’t embarrass me.

I’m beginning a paper now for an upcoming conference. I just wrote an outline and now I’m going to begin to write the paper. I find that I just have to write through the fear and once I get a draft written, it gets much easier. So let me get started.

My First Conference

I survived my very first conference this past weekend. Well I guess I should say the first conference at which I presented. It went ok. I didn’t get too many questions because one of the other panel presenters discussed a very popular topic and she got most of the questions and comments. I was just happy to survive my talk. I also met a lot of people and exchanged business cards. I have followed up with some of them as well. Overall, it was a good experience and I don’t know what’s taken me so long to present at a conference. I met one student there from a west coast University in her first year of her PhD program who was presenting. I didn’t get to see her presentation because our panels were at the same time. But I did wonder what exactly she had to say. But onward and forward. I have two more conferences this semester and I should also be giving a talk next month. Fun times.

A(nother) Blog is Born!

I am at the start of what will hopefully be my last year as a PhD student at Ivy League University. I have a fellowship for this year and it should provide the time, space and support necessary for me to complete my dissertation. I am incredibly nervous about the future. People constantly talk about the difficulty of the job market and the perils of academic life. Yet, I enter into this world slightly optimistic and scared out of my mind. I think I’ve been a pretty good worked throughout my program, but this year I am going to throw myself into my work like I have never before. I am going to work in the midst of the fear and through the fear.

Current books like, A Year of Living Biblically and the book about going a year without buying products from China inspired me call this blog “A Year of Living Academically.” Like these people, and so many others, I want to see what it would be like to truly devote myself to a way of living and hopefully this will become a habit. It’s not exactly the beginning of the semester, but it’s close enough. I have some conference presentations coming up, some other paper presentations and a dissertation to work on. So my time should be thoroughly occupied. And my blog should be full of my triumphs and tribulations.