Today I bring you a public service announcement…As I sit in my new 10×11 windowless office on the campus of UNC Pembroke, I realize I am at a bridging moment in life that I wouldn’t necessarily suggest to other grad students of any discipline. I am teaching four general education courses this semester, 2 Intro to Geography and 2 World Regions, AND trying to push through the last stages of my dissertation. I am lucky in 2 ways: 1) the classes here are capped at 40 students (I am used to teaching a single class that could have 200-300 where as here my total number of students is only 160 max) and 2) there isn’t a huge push for research $$ and pubs in the first year here so the pubs that I already have in progress will probably cover me for this year and next.
The point of my rambling so far is that if you are working on your grad degree, PLEASE try to finish your defense before you head out into the real world. I didn’t stick around on campus any longer because (in my mind at least) I will actually have more time now that I am not a grad student being torn between GTA, research, helping other students, and the last thing I worked (my own fault) my dissertation document.
We tend to over extend ourselves though. We go on to get advanced degrees BECAUSE we want to work with others and be involved with research…it definitely isn’t about the money But I encourage my fellow grad students to step back occassionally, lock your self in a room with the internet and phone turned off and write like mad. It will make your move to the industry or academic job that you snagged easier for you and the folks around you.