Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Five: Malawi or Bust!

I bought a plane ticket for Malawi. I leave on August 15 (which means I don't actually arrive in Malawi until August 17).

No changing my mind now, I suppose.

My departure date is a bit of rare self-confidence. My prelim exam is on August 2. So I haven't given myself any wiggle room in case things go horribly wrong.


And those prelims . . .

To review, for those not in my department, the preliminary exam consists of three literature reviews and a proposal. I have one of the literature reviews (on the political economy of development in Africa since the 1940s) completely finished, ready to turn in. Another one of the literature reviews (on the tradition of the Western "helper" in southern Africa) should need just one more round of revisions, plus adding in a couple more readings that my co-advisor sent to me. The third literature review just went back to its committee member for the next round of feedback. I'm praying that she doesn't savage it. Or tell me that I need to do more reading. The proposal is written, but needs revised.

I'm getting there. And I've got until next Friday to get there. I was supposed to be there today.


I am so looking forward to next Friday. After I turn in these papers, for better or worse, the exam is largely out of my hands. I'll still need to put together a ten-minute presentation to explain my proposed research and how these three reviews fit into that research. But other than that, I can finally kick back, guilt-free, for a few weeks.


Or I can start packing up my place. I've got two renters who have signed a lease, starting August 6. Which means I have to be out by August 5. Which means I really, really have to pass my prelims.

I've already started cleaning out closets and packing out-of-season clothes. I could probably start boxing up books and craft supplies, but that means admitting that I won't read all the books that I've been meaning to read or finish all the projects I've been meaning to do before I leave in August.


I'm excited, though, that I'll make it to Malawi in time for my friend's wedding. And I'm ready to get the research done. I thought about delaying my departure until later in August or even into September, but as I've discovered with my prelims, I am highly influenced by the laws of physics: Once I'm at rest, I stay at rest unless acted on by a great force.

I need to get there, get it done, and get out of grad school.


At 2:18 PM , Blogger artemisia said...

Yay for keeping the ball rolling!


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