I decided to take a nice, relaxing weekend and not think about my thesis at all. I did manage to finish two chapters–Two and Three–by Friday evening, which was wonderful, but my brain was so full that I needed a break. There will likely be future weekends that I can work on my thesis, particularly as I am revising drafts of chapters, but my brain appreciated the downtime to catch up. I absolutely appreciate the idea of a Sabbath rest more and more as I get older.

For the upcoming week, I am ultra-motivated and optimistic that I could possibly get another chapter done by Friday. I have two that seem the most obvious to work on next, and I finally decided which one to do. Chapter 5 will be one of the most important, and probably longest, chapters in my thesis and will really showcase the majority of the data I have collected and analyzed. I’ve got a lot of words typed up already, but it will take some time and TLC to make very good plots of the data, plus I may have some more data to put into it before it’s completely done (though it’s completely reasonable to finish the draft and take data later to pop into the finished product). However, before I tackle it, I decided to address Chapter 4 first. It’s still some background information with a couple of theoretical derivations that our group has gnashed our teeth on for a year or two; we think we’ve finally got a handle on them, though, and this is the perfect place to showcase the equations we believe to be correct and why. It’s shorter but with less words already there, and I guess I finally decided this would be a good next step. So I will be tackling that this week. If I can get another chapter down, I will feel so encouraged!

I’ve been just a little distracted to get started this morning, though.

Since I am technically now on the job market, as my current position will end not long after I defend, I realized before Christmas that I will eventually need a Curriculum Vitae, or CV. A couple of weeks ago, I did a little research to see what other people’s looked like and started a rough template with styling inspired by one that I liked. Last week, since I was already in bibliography references mode for the chapters that I was finishing, I decided to go ahead and type up the  list of my publications on my CV. To my surprise, I found I was listed as an author on 16 different papers through this research institution! Many of them are conference papers, but I do have multiple actual journal articles listed, two of which I was the first author (meaning I did all the writing for the paper). And that doesn’t include others published by our colleagues outside of our research institution, and I haven’t even looked for those yet. Plus, once my thesis is done, I’ll be turning some of the writing in there into one or two more papers about our latest work. That’s a pleasant surprise; “publish or perish” is an important philosophy in academia and research. The quantity doesn’t matter as much to me personally as much as quality, but I’m thankful to have them to list.

I also have to come up with other relevant stuff to add to it that is informative about the things I have done and can do without being too silly or bragging. This morning I just happened to have a huge brainstorm of things to add, so I kept getting distracted from Chapter 4 to jot a quick note into the file so I can expound upon it later. At least it’s still productive writing in some way. 🙂

Now, all I need is somewhere to send my CV! Yes, looking for a job…one of the most awful things on the planet. I have a few sources of job listings in areas of interest, but I’m still waiting for the right opportunity to come along. I’m not interested in forcing anything just yet; I truly believe that the right things will come around at the right time. No need to worry about tomorrow’s cares today! 🙂

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