Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal: Too Much To Do

Kind of overwhelmed with Stuff. Finishing this dissertation outline for the graduate school is up front, but I've still had time for some long conversations that I wouldn't want to have missed. I deal with Diane regularly at a shop over on the east side and she's always been jazzed that I'm a theologian, partially in that she's this English/Anthropology person moving back toward Catholicism, so I'm an easy target for info. When things are running slow, we've often stopped and talked for a while, but on Thursday that went for some two hours with a lot of the talk having drifted away from literature and into her reflecting on a year and a half of marriage with Matt and everything that is going into trying to make it work while they figure out so much about themselves in trying to figure out each other. I finally had to run out to just catch the bus to make it back to campus in time to meet Julie over at the Brew Bayou for another four hours of hanging out and getting to know each other more. Some interesting talk there about the different kinds of friendship--the best friend whose thoughts you just know by just looking at them, and the best friend that you Just Don't Get and so that kind of friendship hangs on communication. I snuck in time on Friday night to see her perform with the Studio 13 Refugees and really got a kick out of the improv comedy: the large draw they had among the students testified to how good they were. You had the mixed bag of improv games--some wildly successful, others not. I had to laugh a bit at myself just for the references that I didn't get: the graduate student who just couldn't keep up with Cool. But it gave me more sense of why she lights up when talking about performing.

I tried to keep the last few days focused on the outline, then, but whether it was laundry, having to set up applications for a conference later in the year, do the reading for Mickey's Luther class and work on the quiz for the students, or Professor Barnes asking the posse to come out tonight to the Historical Theology Dissertation series and then to dinner to talk with a dissertating student some years ahead of us, things keep coming up. I'm getting a much better sense of my project, but it's going slowly. They have a standard five-chapter form that they want, but I'm working on eight chapters at the moment. I figure that I can go in with a bit more to Professor Fahey, and show some options for mixing-and-matching topics that way, and thus get his feedback on the best dissertation possibility rather than just having one idea to which he could say "yay" or "nay."

I also found out today that the Graduate Teaching Fellowship means that I'll be teaching the Introduction to Theology course, as I suspected, and that I'll be teaching two sections each semester, which is what I feared. I am grateful, beyond words, for the funding, but I know that that will likely be an awful lot of work with which to try to juggle writing the dissertation. On the flipside, maybe having so much teaching experience already will help me in this regard. I've taught a lot of the material before, I just will have to be specifically crafting my lessons for a freshman, collegiate audience. I'm just not sure how long the lesson-planning process might be aided by my experience. I did try to throw my hat in for afternoon courses: there are open slots for 8am, and I gather that I'll get the dregs after the faculty have picked their preferred time slots! And with that, I think I'm more-or-less "caught up" enough to satisfy myself. Somehow I've managed to take maybe half an hour "off" today and still much less has gotten done that I could have hoped. I probably shouldn't even be noting this stuff down, but I've pretty much hit "too fried to make sense academically," but "too wired to sleep." simeonjawn, I got your note and I'll get to those good questions, but it'll be a few days, I think. aristotle2002 is swinging by on Wednesday, so I have some hosting to add to the crazy mix of fun. Or, at least, I think all this adds up to "fun!"
Tags: books, ecclesiology, personal, teaching, theological notebook, writing

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