It had been snowing non-stop here since Sunday night and it finally let up this morning. This weather caused me a lot of anxiety and a few firsts, all related. My first time in the ditch on the side of the highway, resulting in my first 911 call ever. (I am fine, my car is fine, no worries). My first time being late for a class I teach and the first time I ever “cancelled” class. After the ditch I managed to make it to campus, albeit very late; so today I just didn’t take any chances and turned my face-to-face class into an online one. This resulted in me basically being shut in my house until I decided to venture out to shovel the driveway today once the sun came out.

winter picThis is the view of my street from my office. I usually don’t take the time to appreciate the beauty of snow, considering I hate it so much, but I admit this looks lovely despite throwing off my schedule for the entire week.

Being snowed in has given me time to work, but I haven’t had as much time for dissertation work as I would like. For one, teaching 3 classes certainly keeps me busy. But the biggest thing I have been preparing for is my 2-day interview at CMU next week. I am so beyond excited to head back to my alma mater, actually teach a class there in a beautiful new ed building, and spend time talking to professors there, one of which–Norma Bailey– I actually have respected and admired since I had her in 1999 as a freshman. I also have a phone interview with UM-Flint in a couple weeks as well.

However, I go back and forth from thinking I have done nothing on my dissertation (which is not entirely true) and I am running out of time, to thinking that I have plenty of time and I’m right on track. I did set a goal for myself to be done analyzing my data by the end of January, so this has been my singular focus. I doubt this is going to happen in a week, but I have done some initial analysis right after collecting the data. Now I just need to go through my interview responses in detail to code them and enter in the assessment scores into an Excel document so I can see changes between the pre-and post-test. Nonetheless, that little counter on the side of this blog counting down how many months  have left to go is a little anxiety-inducing. In February, I want to write up my findings about the student interviews and assessments. I feel like once the findings chapters get started, then I’ll really be “writing” my dissertation.

Or maybe I’ll get to the defense and still not really believe it is “real.” A lot of things about my life don’t seem “real”– am I doing enough work that someone working on their dissertation is really supposed to do? Am I really interviewing for a professor job a my “second home” CMU? The other night Mike and I discussed the possibility of selling our house. Are we really to that stage? I guess so. My life is constantly surprising me right now, which is pretty amazing since I spend most of it locked in my office writing like J.D. Salinger or Harper Lee or some other reclusive writer. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll seek coffee outside of the house and see what happens.