At the end of every semester I find that there are several things that I want to file away as important lessons for the future. I don’t know that I’ll use a categorical breakdown in the future, but I have broken down my list this semester into general lessons, lessons about teaching, and lessons about writing. They are, for lack of any better scheme, in alphabetical order. Here is my list for this semester:
I haven’t done as much work on my dissertation over the summer up until this point as I had hoped that I would, and I’m glad. I needed some time to decompress and it has been hard to focus on work when so many more important social changes are coursing through the country. It is hard to focus on the importance of my small corner of academia when so many innocent (or at least not sufficiently guilty) people are being literally shot in the streets.
My adviser tells me that I am a “systems thinker.” She isn’t the first one to notice this – I know that she is right. I am constantly trying to optimize and improve the systems I use in my daily life. I notice when things aren’t working, and I obsess over often think about ways to improve those processes. In fact, this can be quite a bit of a burden, because it means that I am constantly exposed to one of my greatest temptations to procrastination, and it quickly becomes self-reinforcing: