Working on my seminar

I’ve felt very detached from my research over the past month and a bit. Pretty much ever since I submitted my dissertation. Even though I’ve been working on a couple of papers, it still doesn’t feel the same.

But, I’ve started to work on my seminar, which has meant diving back into it all. I’ve been really ambivalent about my defense (which feels just as weird to write as it does to feel that way). But I think it’s because I’m just so busy with startup stuff that I don’t have time (yet) to get stressed over it, or worked up, or panicked or anything. And so while it’s ever so quickly growing closer, it’s just not a priority.

This week, I’m trying to change that attitude a bit – and knock of the few remaining tasks. I started with the easiest – updating my CV for my committee. And am now working on the biggest piece (the seminar). I have a general idea of what areas I want to cover (it’s suppose to sort of cover everything, but mostly focus on my latest work), and so am trying to find a cohesive story that allows me to cut out/trim down some parts while playing up others.

One of the good (?) things about working on it, has been that I’ve started going through my dissertation again. And not in the scary “oh my god, I better re-read every reference and check every sentence and oh my god it’s coming soon” way. But in the “oh, I should mention x, what source did I use?” and “I should confirm the numbers and results of experiment y.” Much calmer, and easier to deal with.

I have noticed a few errors here and there. I have a paragraph where the final sentence doesn’t end (no punctuation) and there’s some tightening up of some language that can happen. But, I figure I’ll end up doing another read through/editing pass after it’s all over as I work over any corrections and additions/removals the committee wants (this, of course, assuming that I pass).

I’m aiming for a complete draft of the presentation by the end of the week, which would give me about two weeks to polish it up and make the shorter version (should I end up needing it if my external can’t make the longer talk). And this would put me ahead of schedule and give me some time to start doing the freak-out over references and everything else.


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