I know, I know… it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. But hey, give me a break! I’m a first year PhD student and there is reading to be done… A LOT of reading to be done! That’s not to say that I haven’t had time for other activities. For example, the history grads went out for karaoke on Saturday night. (No, I did not sing!) The karaoke was different than any thing I’ve ever witnessed because instead of singing along to actual song with the lead singer’s vocal track removed, the singers had a live band. The band had a list of songs they knew how to play and then people picked from the list. It was quite entertaining!
Let’s see, what else is new? As I mentioned before, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a little bit of writing. I am trying to master the difficult skill of time management. This is part of the reason I have not been blogging, my time management calendar does not have blogging scheduled in! Actually, managing my time has been really helpful. It requires me to really focus and read a book in specified amount of time. When I see it all lined out, it gives me an idea of what I need to do and when, and more importantly how devastating procrastination would be! To give you an idea, I took a screen shot of last week’s calendar. For anyone who might read this that is going to grad school or considering it, I would highly recommend working on time management and really dedicating yourself to committing to a schedule. And don’t forget to pencil in some down time!
In relation to my grad school career, I am excited that I will be doing a directed reading next quarter with my advisor. I study religion in 19th century United States and she studies religion in earlier periods of the United States. There is another first year who studies Puritans who will also be enrolled. I took a Religion in US History class as an undergrad (thanks Prof. Watts!) and I loved it. So I am excited to revisit this as a reading topic and delve a little further, expanding my foundational library. We also discussed what I would like to work on for my dissertation and we were on the same page! Exciting indeed!
Finally, this quarter I am a teaching assistant for Women and American Religious Culture. It’s been such a great experience. The books have been excellent and I have been poaching some great sources from my students’ research papers. Instead of lecturing, as a TA I facilitate discussion. Today my section had such a great discussion. We read Miriam’s Kitchen (which I would recommend to anyone, historians and non-historians alike). The students really seemed to connect with the text. I had originally planned for half the class to be discussion and the second have to practice reading sources (with the text as a source). But the discussion ended up taking the whole class! It was great!
Well I must return to my allotted activity according to my calendar: reading Pox Americana (great book) and then editing some drafts I was working over the weekend. A graduate student never rests.