2014 Means….More Blogging

Let’s face it, with writing a dissertation, applying for jobs, being a wife, daughter, and sister, AND attempting to start a business last year, left no time for my random ramblings and food-for-thought posts. This time of year everyone says that they are going to be better at doing something! For me, my goal is simple: to mine the vast web of knowledge I come into contact with for things that I want to rumble or grumble about or things that inspire me.  So this post marks my entry back into the blogging world.  But this year, I’m setting a goal for this blog: at least 100 posts for the year and more of a focus on topics, academic or personal, that will help me get closer to my goal of being a cultural historian. I have a long way to go…and with confidence I take the first steps!

Rumblings about Scholarly Interests

It seems like conversations surrounding the topics of my dissertation and my scholarly interests seem to be exploding all around me…without me.  A few years ago when I started this dissertation, NO ONE was even mentioning the topics, but now there has been an exhibition that showcased some of the artists from the California African American Assemblage movement in the 1960s and more interest in the work of Ralph Lemon.

I have to finish this thing  soon NOW, so I can ride this wave of interest and get a job at a great university/college.  Even more appealing is to get involved in the conversations through this blog so that it can be a resource for others who may be looking to converse with me.

So I am going to attempt to post more regularly on the happenings taking place in my areas of interest.

Semi Productive=Small Steps Towards Greatness?

So today was one of those days where I actually felt the words/ideas gush out before the sounds of self doubt begin today.  Unfortunately, it was for the outlines that I promised the DA, but which will be a tremendous help for me to get this thing done.  One of the suggested practices by the book that I have told everyone I encountered in grad school about, Demystifying Dissertation Writing, is that you compose an extended outline with quotables and extended notes.  I am all about the outline and feel that it is useful. The key for me is actually rereading my old notes, articles, and books because they feel like that old neglected friend who you always promise to call. Anyway, I am now off to the internets to find some things to do in Chicago for my upcoming honeymoon.

Possible Job for American Studies

Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Humanities invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor position in the American Studies program effective Fall Semester 2012.  The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience to lead core courses in American Studies theory and methods, issues in American Studies, and a capstone research seminar.  The program offers the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in American Studies and is home to the Encyclopedia of American Studies, Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies, and Eastern American Studies Association. Research and teaching areas should complement the program’s fields of study: folk and popular culture; ethnography and society; public heritage and museum studies; interdisciplinary history and politics; regional and environmental studies. Areas of special interest for the position include technological and business/consumer studies; digital humanities; religion and culture; American popular music and media (film and television); environmental and landscape studies. The successful tenure-track candidate will be expected to teach and advise at the undergraduate and graduate level; have a significant record of scholarship and an active research agenda; and render service commensurate to the level of appointment.  Involvement in American Studies organizations and/or centers is desirable.  Service expectations include participation in curriculum development and program management, as well as involvement in outreach initiatives. For more information on the American Studies program, please our website at www.hbg.psu.edu/hum/amst

Same Place, Moving @ the Same Pace

It seems like this time last year I was in the same place I am in now with this dissertation.  I am staring the job market head on (jobs are released early September) and I still have only  1 totally needs to be redone chapter that needs comments and editing before I send it as a writing sample.  Although this past year, my life has seen many changes: the title of Mrs. before my name, having to cope with death and sickness of various family members, disappointments, the exploration of new, creative side hustles, and a move back to my hometown, I still feel stuck when it comes not only to the dissertation, but also life.  I know that people’s lives aren’t as perfect as they seem from the outside, but I swear my everyday is a constant struggle, an uphill battle against something.  So yes, I am constantly asking, why must everything be so hard for ME? How does one ever catch a damn break!?

I keep reading these blogs about meditation and about staying focused, so that is what I am determined to do.  Writing this thing should not be that hard, but making the dedication to getting it done is the hard part.  I make the following promises to myself: 1) push self-doubt out of the way; 2) write even if it I think it is crap; and 3) start being selfish with my time; and 4) know that prayer and meditation in the bible helps! Every morning, my goal is to write here before jumping into my work.  It may be about what I learned the day before or it may be about the dress that I am dying to buy.  In any case, I need to have a forum for my voice so that I can hear it and believe in it.

So, I’m changing the goal of this blog; it is no longer just a documentation of my journey through academia, but the journey to find me and my purpose.  I want a record of my travels, a map of the life I am living and not the life that I want to live.

Let’s Go!