The Holloway Project

Yes, this project is technically my dissertation.  I’ll continue to tag it as such on the website so that it links to prior posts on my theory and research.  And I intend to defend it and complete the graduate journey I started. But I also have plans for this piece that move it outside of the realm of the typical dissertation. Namely, I want to make this a compassionate project, for me, for readers, for those directly affected by my research. Here’s what I mean… Self-compassion: Over the past year, I realized that I don’t really want tenure.  I don’t want committee appointments, where I have to turn brilliant people down for funding.  I don’t want high-pressure research projects that divorce me from my students.  I don’t want to communicate in code.  And I am six kinds of over all the rambling conference presentations. I recognize that some people feel empowered by these codes and systems.  I do not.  If

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British customs hates me and probably a lot of other people

Now that I have successfully navigated the gut-punch that is international travel, and I find myself safely tucked away in Oregon for a few weeks before school starts, I thought I would get my lingering animosities out of my system.  Namely, an enormous middle finger goes to British customs. British customs can suck it. Here’s the thing.  This was my fourth time through customs at Heathrow.  The first time I was so ill-prepared it was laughable.  They dinged me as a terrorist because I didn’t have a full address for the dorm I was visiting, and they frisked me and went through my stuff three days later when I left the country. Sure, my fault. But I learned my lesson, and now I travel with a document folder that contains just about anything they could possibly ask for.  Proof of address in the states, full itineraries for travel, all locations I’m housing at, letters of introduction from my university, proof

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Studying for exams: week 9

Hells. Yes. The final week of studying. Last week, I got my official notice of “hey, you’re taking exams, remember?”  I have my room number, my field schedule, and my test times.  Turns out they want me on campus at 9:30 in the morning for each day of testing, which I’m not thrilled about, but at least that gets the exams out of the way early in the day, I guess. I pinned my notice up in the office and went around to check in with some of the others in my cohort.  There are about five of us taking exams next week.  Reactions to the letter ranged from, “I never want to think about this again,” to “I am cautiously optimistic,” to “the week after exams is going to feel like a rebirth.” Seems like we’re all on the same page, haha. Last week’s study plan was fairly successful.  I did not get as far into my world history

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Studying for exams: week 7

It is officially March, and my exams are officially three weeks of studying away. Also, there is officially another snow storm happening outside right now.  Snow storm Saturn.  I’m only “ok” with this storm because Saturn is my favorite planet.  I will forever believe that it is purple with rainbow striped rings, despite what my fourth grade teacher told me when she gave me a “C” on my paper mache planet project for lack of accuracy. Haters gonna hate, purple Saturn.  It’s just you and me now. Successes: 1. With only slight variations, I actually stuck to/achieved my study plan/goals this last week!  Huzzah! 2. I had to vary my plan slightly (I didn’t get through all of my readings on degeneration) only because my choir assignment came in slightly sooner than I thought it might, requiring a trip downtown to discuss said assignment. For someone who lives in Chicago, I very rarely go downtown.  I mean, I basically feel

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Studying for exams: week 5

I have such mixed feelings about being in week 5.  On the one hand, I only have a month left before exams…and on the other hand, I’ll be done with exams in a month. I think I’ll use this mid-way post to sort of take stock of where I am, and discuss what I need to do with the remainder of my time. Major Field: I’m feeling pretty damn good here.  I had a meeting with the chair of my exams today (being Monday, February 18) and he seemed quite pleased with my grasp of the historiographical arguments.  I did a lot of work over this past weekend on the British class system and the political/franchise developments that accompanied it.  Combined with my previous work on masculinity, the welfare state, and empire, I’m thinking another week will leave me pretty much ready for my major field.  I need to do a bit of reading on World War I and II,

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Studying for exams: week 4

Just a quick update this time around. Can’t say that I learned anything new about my study process this last week.  Just sort of kept trucking along, reading books, as one does during exams. Successes: 1. Finished the first section on my major field–British vs. English nationalism.  This should set me up well to conquer the other three sections my advisor wanted me to consider–wartime policy and rebuilding; political progress/continuity/change; class and industry. 2. Completed my February duties as the Graduate Student Council rep.  Blah. 3. Submitted my Provost Award report. 4.  Finished the letter of recommendation. 5.  Met with the WPCS choir council to work on the April event.  We’re fairly close to solidifying the press release for the fundraiser!  Once that’s done, I can chat about it here. 6.  Workout plan going well. Bummers: 1. Had to skip the Thursday meeting for STS, as expected.  I definitely missed that space for conversation and intellectual support.  If home is

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