Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With bated breath...

As a historian, if I had to pick a tense that I am normally in, it is the past.  Always looking about a millennium behind me, and maybe taking some time to be in the present as well.  I can also be in-tense.  Ba-boom!  Lame joke.  But, I would not describe myself as one who is always looking ahead to the future.  Maybe it's because I am working on a degree with an indeterminable end date.  Maybe it's because I don't know what the next few years will look like.  But anyways...
With bated breath, I am looking ahead and looking forward to next semester for a couple of reasons:
It will be the first semester that I can work on my dissertation proposal.  I have been doing a little reading now, but next semester, as a PhD candidate (as opposed to PhD student), I can start really honing in on my topic and some of the major questions I have.  On the bus to and from Philadelphia, I read a dissertation on a topic similar to mine, and it got me so excited.  I wanted to raid the author's bibliography (nerdy, I know) and work on my reading list!  But I have to wait a little while longer, because...
I am finishing up my last seminar paper ever.  Now, I am going to be writing for the rest of my life (and hopefully some day will write a running book as well as a medieval one!), but this is the last formal in-class assignment I'll ever have, besides the dissertation.  It is due by Saturday morning, and I just want to finish.  I have finally gotten into a good rhythm on it, and I just need to accept the fact that the next few days are going to be very long as I work out the remaining sections of the paper.
I am also looking forward to next semester because...
I am going to be teaching a class of my own!  In October, I interviewed to be an adjunct at Mount Saint Mary's University, and I got the job!  I will be teaching an early modern survey course twice a week.  I have served as a TA at my own school for 3 semesters now, but this will be the first time that I will have a class of my own.  I get to design the syllabus, the booklist, the assignments, everything.  I cannot wait.  I just sent in my booklist to the bookstore.  It is interesting to teach while still being a student.  I remember years when I bought 12 books for a class.  I only made mine get 8 - it is just hard when you know how tight money can be.  I think overall it is going to be a great experience, and I know that I'll learn a lot!  My own early modern professor told me that I would ultimately learn more from teaching next semester than I did during the comps process in that field.  And it's true - when you have to get up in front of a group of students twice a week and account for the material, it really ensures that you know what is going on!
So, there are some great things to look forward to.  And I am very excited about the holidays as well - I love Christmas.  It is just that the last few weeks of the semester are always hard, especially when the really really good things are just around the bend!
But I'll also turn to the past for a minute: this was my favorite picture from Philadelphia.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the gig at Mount St. Mary's. We will have to talk about that gig. I know people there!

    You are going to rock your own class, Professor Taylor!

    "if I had to pick a tense that I am normally in, it is the past." Seriously? Hysterical, dude!