Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This is your brain after one year as a PhD student

This is my brain. This is my brain after finishing my first year as a PhD student. Actually, these are about 1/2 of the post-its I removed from my ~70 books before returning them to the library (and from the 10+ books I bought, both numbers are from the spring semester alone). Despite the exhaustion, I'm in a good spot: the program and professors are fantastic and my colleagues inspirational. I have learned so much. Bruce also celebrated a milestone: he finished his first year as a fulltime professor and recently graduated his first class.

One year of coursework down, one more to go...and then all that other stuff (orals, prospectus, dissertation). It's rather strange as I haven't not worked fulltime in about 11 years. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty to do: prep for teaching the history of photography in BU's second summer session (here's hoping that two more sign up!), curate an exhibition of Dan Ranalli's work for the fall/winter at the Provincetown Art Museum, go to a conference in London (here's hoping the flights come down!), and get married in the Catskills. Nevertheless, I am still recovering from the year and also not quite sure what to do with myself as I re-enter the land of the living. (A start: yesterday, I bought flowers and planted my window boxes.)

Getting my PhD is something I've always wanted to do and I always intended to go back, but I now feel something like a high schooler without steady summer employment. Some of the more interesting summer jobs I have had in the way past include
amusement park ride operator and ice cream truck driver. What are some of the more noteworthy or quirky ones you've had? Any suggestions, tips, or tricks for re-entry inbetween/after school?