Taking the Nation by Storm

I’ve been submitting papers competitively to our regional conference for quite sometime. In fact, I just attended my third regional conference, you remember I got a top paper there right? But there comes a time when a scholar is ready to jump into the national spotlight, and that’s just what I did.

I submitted my first panel to our national conference, and it was accepted! Now, I haven’t written the paper yet mind you, and I’m a little worried about that, but regardless I’ll be presenting it this fall! I have to admit I’m less than excited about the prospect. This is a larger conference, and although I’m not worried about speaking in front of people, I always worry that I actually have no idea what I’m talking about. Clearly at some point someone will call me out as the academic fraud I am!

The thrill for me is always in the submission and the acceptance. After that I lose interest. You know how it is.

Hitting the Wall – Summer Edition

I’ve complained about the difficulties associated with working full-time, having a commute, and going to school full-time. Although I’ve complained in the past, for quite sometime now I’ve felt as though I’ve gotten my time management down to a science. Three PhD classes? No big deal!

So, when I signed up for two summer classes, one of which is a one month class, I thought it was going to be easy. I was wrong. I’ve been hurdled back into world of no time to breath.

The crux of this problem is fitting a full semester class into a month. Don’t get me wrong, I like the class. I actually love the class. The readings are interesting and it’s based on paper writing and group discussion. Two things I do well. But even though I’m used to having 2-3 nights of classes each week, trying to make key connections takes thinking time outside of class, and when you are meeting for several hours two nights a week for one class, getting that time in is hard to do. Trying to keep up is exhausting.

Then add in book chapter revisions that obviously would be due around the same time, and you’re looking at one tired and overworked girl. Sure it’s all worth it in the end. I’ll be closer to finishing my classes and I’ll have a book chapter, but believe me when I say that I may drop dead in the process!

The Year of the Book Chapters!

Good things come from conferences. In this case, it means a book chapter for me! As I was pulling the information together and writing my conference paper on transgender community creation within Second Life, I came across a call for book chapters on social media. Obviously I jumped and submitted the paper I had been working on, and it was accepted!

This means that I’ll have two book chapters this year (fingers crossed since the other chapter was accepted however I have yet to receive any change requests). I’m quite excited about this book since the editor already has a publishing company on board, and a good one at that. Oh, and I’ll also get a free copy of the book when it comes out. Seriously, how exciting is that!

Conference Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written. A really long while. That’s because things are moving fast, and that’s a good thing.

Last I had written, I had found out that my paper was on the top paper panel. Unfortunately the particular division I submitted to did not differentiate between top submissions, so who knows if my paper was judged #1 or not. But I’m going to pretend it was. Sadly, that panel had a small turnout and for better or worse I had few questions. There are a variety of reasons this may have happened. First, the panel was not at the most convenient time, and my paper in particular was fairly difficult to follow if you weren’t reading along. Even I have trouble keeping it all straight sometimes.

My second panel however was much different. This was my first time outside of the technology division, I think this may have been a methodology panel, and the room was packed and I had a wide variety of questions. Questions typically seem to come to me when I talk specifically about transgender individuals. Apparently other people find it as fascinating as I do. I would say that I had a good half a dozen questions. One of my favorites being “is Second Life a politically correct term”. The answer would be no, it’s a computer program. Lesson learned for me about knowing your audience 🙂

I was also asked after the conference if I was transgender myself. For the record I’m actually not, but having taken an aesthetic communications class my first thought was about how I’m performing femininity. Too much? Too little? Oy.

It was a quick conference for me, I went down the day before my first presentation and home right after I finished my second. Regardless of the short time I was there, it was a successful conference overall.

I Made it to the Top!

I’ve known for quite some time that something I wrote was accepted at The Eastern Communication Association (ECA) conference in Boston this year, what I didn’t know is the panel I’d be placed on. Well, that’s no longer a mystery. Turns out my paper, somehow was determined to be one of the best papers submitted to the Technology Interest Group. Apparently through the blind review process (which determines if your paper will be accepted or not) my paper was judged to be one of the best. It may in fact be THE best. Rumor has it that typically the best paper, as judged by the reviewers, is the first to present on the panel. Mine is currently slated as number one. I’ll find out for sure at the business meeting during the conference in April. Regardless of where the paper placed I’m pretty excited, and pretty petrified since the top paper panel will likely get a larger audience than other panels I’ve participated in. The pressure is on!

Becoming a Wino

Indulge me for a second while I gush. I may have had one of the best Valentines days ever. I’m typically ehhh about the holiday. I’ve never felt the need to do anything overly special for it. In fact the last couple of years I’ve been pretty content to just sit and watch TV for a night. This V day however, we decided to do something different. We made wine.

Well, we didn’t actually *make* wine. We just watched it being made, and even that wasn’t overly exciting since it seems there are kits that you just put together. There doesn’t appear to be any real skill involved. But it was just a nice low key night in a local shop tasting wine and eating cheese and chocolate covered strawberries.

We’ll get a call in a couple of months to help bottle the wine if we’d like and take home 2 bottles of red, 2 bottles or white and 2 bottles of champaigne. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that made the night so great. Maybe it was the low key atmosphere, maybe it was the wine, or maybe the company did it. I’m not sure but I’m going to have to do it again.

Life Wins

I have a bit of a conundrum and it boils down to school or life. I like school. I like school a lot, but as any PhD student knows, it’s not only about going to classes and doing homework. It’s also about going to conferences and publishing. The question becomes at what point have you done enough, and the answer I fear, is probably never.

I have two papers I’ll be presenting at a regional conference in May. I’ve presented at this conference for the last 2 years, this year will be number 3. In an effort to mix up my conference presenting, I was planning on submitting to another conference for October, but now I’m rethinking. The past two years every vacation I’ve been on has surrounded a conference of some sort, and although that is a decent option, I think it’s time to have a week with no work or school commitments. Or at least limited ones. So, I’ve decided to put my “life” life first.

I may come across as all high and mighty on this one, but it’s hardly the case. The conference I was looking at was in England in October. I’m afraid I’m just not sure I’m up for a week of cold and rain for my vacation. Instead I’m thinking of opting in to a warm weather location. Not submitting to a conference isn’t the end of the world right? I have a publication out for review and a book chapter accepted. That has to outweigh a conference paper right?

Writing a Book Chapter is Hard!

This is something I should have known already. I’ve been writing academic papers for several years now and am well aware of the work it takes to write a conference paper, or better yet a publication. However, for some unknown reason, I really expected this book chapter to come together much more quickly , and more importantly easily, than it is. Let’s face it, I’m down to almost a month to get the whole thing done. A month to write a book chapter! How is that even possible?

Keeping my Resolutions!

I’ve said before that I’ve spent far too much time on school and work and left little time for myself and my family. This year my resolution was to fix that, and I’m taking the first steps.

For a LONG time I’ve wanted to get a massage or body scrub etc. but I just haven’t done it, lack of time, lack of motivation, etc etc. I decided to make this a reality. Come to find out my in-law side of the family was interested. So we made it a date. We decided to hit The Senator Inn and Spa, which was a perfect decision! I had a fantastic massage and have plans to make it part of my regular routine. And more importantly, I had a chance to spend some alone time with people I’ve never spent time with alone in the 11 years my husband and I have been together.


My New Office – An Unveiling

My new office has actually been done for quite some time, but this is the first chance I’ve actually had to take pictures of it. The life of a busy PhD student right?

I realize that this probably isn’t that exciting for everyone, at least not as exciting as it is for me, but a real office was a huge thing on my list of needs. It’s tough sitting at your dining room table, or worse yet living room couch, and writing. I need quiet to write and think and that environment just wasn’t conducive. But now I have this…

It’s fantastic. I have a large desk to spread journal articles out on, with still enough room to hook up my laptop. And you can’t see it in its entirety here, but right in front of the blue chair is my mini library. Need information on computer-mediated communication, gender or communication theories? I’m your girl. All kidding aside, it’s a great place to sit and read for class or fun as my studies do intersect with my interests on more than one occasion.

Even more exciting are the custom features that were worked into the office to make it just the right home to a busy student. This looks like a regular cabinet to you right?

It’s actually a journal article “cozy” of sorts.
All my journal articles from my thesis currently live in there, all organized by subject. So far the new set up has proved to increase my productivity as well as my husbands, who is now allowed to freely roam the house!