5 Deadlines, 5 Weeks

Between February 1 and March 2, I submitted five proposals: two for workshops, one for a conference paper, and two for fellowships for next year. Although they varied in intensity, preparing applications always seems to require me to devote, at minimum, a full day’s work (and additional hours later to revise and copy edit). Some take considerably longer. Needless to say, these deadlines have been my sole focus and stressor since the winter holidays.

With all the proposals submitted, I can now relax and feel a sense of accomplishment. I was ambitious in applying for so many opportunities in a single month, but I managed to complete them and grade 36 student papers! Better yet, I already received notification that I was accepted to one of the workshops, and so I know that I will not go 0-5 for this round.

Another immediate benefit of the process was that I was forced to revise the second and third chapters of my dissertation, to submit as writing samples. The revisions were time-consuming and difficult, but through editing the chapters I gained a better understanding of my dissertation’s narrative and argument. As I begin to write chapter 4, I think this knowledge will clarify my approach. The same fellowship application prompted me to consider the final chapters of my dissertation (which still seem far in the future, despite the fact that I will draft them this year). So chapter 4 will not only be built on a solid foundation, it will be written with chapters 5 and 6 in mind; I will be able to connect the first and second halves of the dissertation with ease. 

I’m looking forward to putting aside revision for a little while and diving back into research. More updates to come…