Year in Review – Grad School (2012)

On Monday I posted my year in review on the site. So today, I’m following up by looking back over what I managed to accomplish this past year as a grad student.

In no particular order, this year I:

  1. I wrote and published a paper. I traveled to the conference to present it as a poster, but also gave a presentation at a workshop attached to the conference.
  2. I did my candidacy. Whew. Now officially a PhD Candidate.
  3. I was a co-chair for a student conference. (I also presented at this conference.)
  4. I became a co-chair for a student group I’m involved with. It also provides me with a chance to sit in on the board of directors meeting (very interesting).
  5. I attended four one-day workshops and presented at three of them.
  6. I supervised another high school student over the summer.
  7. I ran two experiments. I’ve published results from the first and am working on a paper for the second.
  8. I taught my first two actual lectures (filling in for the prof while I was a TA). And I loved it.

In my post from last year on the same topic, I stated that in the first four months of 2012 “I want to run my experiment, write a paper on it, write my candidacy document, and defend candidacy.” It took me eight months, not four. but I did get all of that done.

For the coming year, I’m not sure exactly what my goals should be. So far, I think they should include writing/submitting a paper on the second experiment I did last fall (in progress), run an experiment this winter and write/submit on that (close to being ready for ethics), and decide on the final part of my research (still unsure). I’m sort of hoping (but, based on history not counting on) being close to finished all my research by December. I’m hoping that by this time next year, I’m thinking about or writing up my final dissertation.

I’m also want to work hard on not having another semester like this past one, where I was constantly travelling around (I’ve been on a plane every month since August) and finding it difficult to get anything accomplished. I’m still not where I wanted to be in terms of research, and so I need to buckle down and get a lot done. This is made more complicated by the fact that I know this coming semester will also require more travel. So I need to sort out how to stay focused and get stuff done when the rest of my schedule is already out of whack.

As always, every year brings out more things to improve on. 🙂 And, as always, I’ll see what happens and try to focus on small pieces of improvement at a time.


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