Despite the fact that I’ve allegedly been on break for nearly a week now, my life has actually become more hectic than when I was “in school.” (Although any reasonable grad student will tell you that you’re never not in school, if you’re doing things right. ) Whenever people say, “Oh, so your semester’s over now, huh?” I just want to laugh in their face.  My life is no longer divided up into semesters, but by completion of projects, and it seems like some things will never be completed. I’m about to head out of town for a week, and then I’ll turn around and drive 10 hours to the in-laws’ on Christmas Eve. Not looking forward to that. (To be clear, I mean the drive, not the seeing the in-laws part.) I just now packed my bags for the first trip, which if you know me is nothing short of insanity.

I’ve had some time to reflect on my defense last week, and I really feel like (with a couple of small exceptions) that I couldn’t have done any better. The questions I got gave me an opportunity to really show what I know, rather than expose my weaknesses (not that I don’t have any). I already have a bunch of leads on ideas that need to be discussed in my proposal, and I’ve been busily finding, printing, and reading articles since last Thursday. The next few months will definitely be busy for me, but I’m looking forward to it. I think now I’m starting to really feel like I’m actually doing something.

There’s a decent possibility that I may be going to a conference this summer in the Netherlands, if my adviser and I can figure out a way to do a brief write-up of my dissertation topic by the end of January. It’s going to be expensive as hell, and the frugal aspect of my being cringes at the price of the flight alone (four figures, dudes!), but I’d be stupid and crazy as hell if I didn’t take the chance. It’s THE conference in my field, and going could really open some doors for me, not to mention I’d be in the Netherlands (one of my many motherlands) in the summertime. Keep those fingers crossed!