With graduations (and faculty promotion and tenure season) just past, an oldie but a goodie: why God can’t earn tenure:
It feels like the week has flown by without my notice. I started the week organizing the materials I collected in the archive, but I stopped to take a day trip to another archive that didn’t turn up any useful information. I spent the middle of the week grading finals and finishing my very last position as a GA/TA. (I’m probably going to miss that type of income in the fall if I still can’t find a job.) And now I am back to organizing my archival materials.
I had a really productive week at the archive. It was a great change of pace that gave me the opportunity to collect new material and, perhaps more importantly, just think about my project and how I should frame my evidence to make it the most persuasive. I also had a good time just digging through the archival boxes. Regardless of all of the rejection letters and missed deadlines, I do love this work and the trip reminded me why I got the crazy idea to get a PhD in the first place. While the archival work and writing often seems inconsequential to the business of academia, those are the activities I love and I am going to try to enjoy those aspects for the little time I have left.
Perhaps there would have been less drama if F. Scott Fitzgerald had been forged in the crucible of the Smooth Jazz Age.
I have been preparing for my return to the archive this week. My camera batteries are charged. I have my list of topics I plan to look into together. I have folders prepared on my computer where I will upload all of my digital images. My bag isn’t quite packed, but I’m thinking about it.
My goal is to find more information about my favorite politician’s backroom strategies. It’s not an easy task in a collection where there are very few memos with decision points or inner-thoughts scribbled in margins. I have spent months in this archive, one week, in comparison, is very little time, but I’m hoping that I’ll get lucky. I’m looking for information that will probably amount to a few sentences in a few of my chapters and hopefully shore up some of my arguments.
I didn’t finish the current round of edits for my final chapter, but it’s almost done. I did finish the first draft of the new introduction, but I’m still working on the conclusion and a few other additions I plan to make. The time away will probably be helpful.