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Happy Everything
Posted on Sunday 22 December 2013 at 11:20 am

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

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Two weeks since my last post. Crazy two weeks. My folks and an aunt were in Virginia with me for one week. I'd work on my dissertation all day while they played tourist, then we hung out in the evenings. On days they were playing tourist near my school, they'd come meet me for lunch, too. It was good. after they left, I went into full panic mode on the dissertation. I was trying to get a draft done of a chapter to the point where all I had left was to edit and add the conclusion, things for which I wouldn't need any of the books, articles, etc. in my office. The hope was to get it to that point by this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, I got a migraine on Tuesday that meant I had to quit working several hours before I'd planned and the class for which I'm TAing had their final on Wednesday which took some time to help proctor. The end result was that at 9:30 Wednesday night I decided if I had another two or three hours that I could make it, but I just didn't have another two to three hours in me to give. So I figured out what books and articles I'd need for the last undrafted section, decided they weren't too many and threw them all in a bag. Then I went home and packed, cleaned, etc. until around 1 am Thursday, got some sleep, then hopped on a plane late Thursday morning to come home to Texas for Christmas break.

So here I be, in Texas. I've started the grading (which is much more fun when mom's in the kitchen making cookies and I can go grab dough or fresh cookies than it is at home on my own) and spent the rest of my time hanging out with the family, in particular helping watch my niece. She's not-quite 2 and into all kinds of mischief. Last night we went to the local zoo, which has a light display in the park for the holidays. The lights were cool but watching the eyes of a toddler keep getting bigger and bigger and listening to her going "Wow!" and "Pretties!" was definitely better than the lights. Of course, I got pretty excited myself at one part. They had a few life-sized white animal sculptures around (plaster or plastic, I assume). At one point, there was a moose and when you got around the other side of it, there was a little squirrel next to it. I kept going "Moose and Squirrel! Is Moose and Squirrel!" Hooray for whatever Zoo Lights set-up person has a sense of humor and a love of old-school Rocky and Bullwinkle!

I'm going to try to get the grading done before Christmas then get back to the dissertation after. Now that I'm not desperately trying to finish by an imminent deadline, it will probably take longer than two or three hours to draft the last bit, but not too much. Clean up is going to take a while, though, since the parts that were written under the mentality of "Just get something down so you can fix it without having to take all these books home!" really kind of suck. I have to get this chunk to my advisor before the start of next semester, preferably a week or two before the start, so I can't let it take too long no matter what. I'm not worried, just annoyed I did have to bring a bag of books home on the plane. Oh, well.

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