I'll just try and capture a few random thoughts before I go underground for the rest of the semester.
I'm exhausted, having arisen at 4:00 a.m. to give me enough time to get back to Illinois for the last meeting of my postcolonial queer seminar. I've been at home "taking care" of the cats since Catherine has been in out of town. Our tenth wedding anniversary was last Thursday, but our plans to get together and celebrate over the weekend were thwarted by a death in the family. We're not scheduled to see each other again until May 7. I'm not even sure I remember what she looks like. But, hopefully, we should have a full month (almost, anyway) together before I leave for India.
Speaking of, I spent a huge amount of time yesterday filling out visa paperwork, etc. I haven't really started thinking about the trip, but abruptly realized that I need to take care of all the formalities or I may not ever get out the door. Note to self: turn in fellowship acceptance tomorrow. As I told Beth, I'm pretty much not packing before I go. If I forget anything, well, there's always Big Shopper.
Anyway, I've got one more paper to write, one more project to complete, about 20 more exams to grade, final grades to calculate, and then one last teaching meeting. Then I'm taking a few days off before trying to organize my research for the summer. Paper writing went pretty well this semester (so far). The paper I turned into today (all 47 pages of it, but that includes illustrations) is probably the first draft of my first dissertation chapter. The paper I turned in a few weeks ago isn't nearly as developed, but is probably going to work into my second dissertation chapter. The paper I'm going to turn in on Friday is related to my dissertation, but probably won't lead directly into the third chapter. Still, it's been useful. Chapter four first draft will be written this summer, and presented at a conference in October. Chapter five...don't know. It would be a better idea to take my exams and actually defend my dissertation proposal before doing this, but this is what happens when your advisor is out of the country for a year. I'm going to have an incredibly well-developed proposal, that's all I can say. Three of my committee members have been reading all of this stuff I'm writing, so I'm hoping they will red flag anything they think won't work in the long run. I've got a good research agenda worked out for the summer, so I think things are going as well as they could be doing at this point.
Really, compared to fall and spring semesters last year, everything has been going pretty well. I haven't been to the counseling center even once, although I admit that's mostly because of lack of time in which to have a nervous breakdown. It looks like I forgot to mention below that one of my papers was well-received on campus (look now because I'm sure the web page will change soon). I found out last night that a second paper was well-received in the Department of Landscape Architecture, but I don't have a fancy link for that. I figure I'm getting paid about $50 an hour in prize money to do work I would have been doing, anyway. That's good incentive to keep writing. That, and the fellowship money I was already getting, I guess.
Okay, I'm completely exhausted, it's been a long week. Catch you on the flip-flop.