I am currently on a very short vacation at home, and, certainly I’m not the only one who feels this way, but it is tough to budget two weeks worth of time with friends and family before turning around and starting back again at school.
Since its inception, I have been an avid and enthusiastic reader of the “Parenthood and Ethnomusicology” blogs. A father of a three-year-old and a PhD Candidate, I have found great comfort and a sort of virtual camaraderie with the others in our field who, like me, are continually in the process of figuring out how to be both parents and ethnomusicologists.
The SEM Student Newsletter is days away from the publication of Volume 12! In the meantime, will you help them decide the subject of Volume 13? Participate in this incredibly short (one question) survey to help choose the topic(s) the Student Newsletter will tackle next.
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients! This award is considered the highest honor for the folk and traditional arts in the United States. According to the NEA, this annual award has recognized 413 recipients of various art forms and traditions since 1982.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote about a little experiment my colleagues and I conducted regarding professional dress. To recap, many of the graduate students in the University of Maryland’s ethno/musicology division have teaching responsibilities, and we were noticing an increased discussion about what we wear while teaching classes and taking classes. The idea of business-casual attire had come up a number of times, and I wanted to know what would happen if we all dressed in such clothes for two weeks, although some kept the experiment going a bit longer.
I can’t stop freaking out about my dissertation, and I’m starting to enjoy that fact.
Some of you may have noticed that postings on our blog have been a little scant recently. We sincerely apologize for that and are continuing work on many awesome projects. The reality of the situation is, however, several of us have just finished thesis writing or are currently in the throes of dissertation writing, and for me at least, this has led to some strange occurrences in my life. I mentioned in a previous post how I had become convinced I needed to shunt health and sleep to the side in order to finish the dissertation. I have to admit that as much as writing that blog post did help me get some perspective on what I’m doing and why, I still have days where I feel like I’m not doing something right if I haven’t had at least one nervous breakdown. And that has led to another problem: I’m starting to enjoy this process.
Liza, Ana, Jennie, Alice, and I are all very pleased to announce that the SEM SU Blog is now two years old! We’ve had a fantastic year and have many new awesome projects planned for 2016. Thank you all so much for your continued support! Thank you for letting us share our stories with you, and thank you most especially for sharing your stories with us!
One thing I didn’t learn in my now 20+ years of education was how to write a dissertation. Fellow students and professors have told me not to think of the dissertation as the end; it’s not my life’s work but only the beginning of my life’s work. I know they mean well, but whilst deep in the throes of dissertation writing—when my thoughts are sticky and globby, when I can’t understand the article I just read, when I’m not making sense to myself anymore—I think, “And this is only the beginning?!”
In a way, though, this kind of encouragement is misleading. The dissertation is an end of sorts. It’s the culmination of years of study, research, and fieldwork. It’s a liminal space (oh no, that word!), a place of becoming. One final rite of passage as a student. And as such, it’s freaking me out.