The Distance of a Program
I just came out of a zoom call where we talked about applying to dissertation fellowships. In sharing what I know now, I realize how much distance I have between past me and current me. For one, as I reread the application, I had a moment where I didn't recognize my own writing (am I the only one who has experience this? Ha!) For another, despite it being a little more than a year, I forgot the turbulent feelings of trying to craft my proposal.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from my supervisor a couple of years ago. She recommended that I be in a constant state of learning. My supervisor explained how easy it is to forget what it's like to learn, and how hard learning actually is. For that reason, she said I should constantly take classes, particularly in areas where I lack natural talent or aptitude-- so that I would remember the feeling of not getting it, especially if everyone around me does. And to never forget what that feels like, because that should be the foundation of me as teacher. And so I've learned how to knit (albeit poorly), learned how to cook (ish), learned how to drive stick (which I no longer remember), and this season, will sign myself up for tennis.
A year, particularly this past year, has felt both long and short. And in this span, I forgot what the process was like. In some ways, it makes sense given that I'm in such a different stage of dissertating (and working on a project that I have already proposed), but in other ways, I am sad to realize how I forgot the feelings. As a result, my input for the conversation felt more generic, more stilted, and more ambiguous than I would have liked. And the further I come along in this process, the more I'm afraid of forgetting that it was like to first start, and the more I realize I need to remember and put myself in situations to reflect and remember.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).