Greetings and welcome to the fifth Carnival of GRADual Progress! As an extra Christmas present, I've rounded up a huge number of posts this time round. And in case you don't make it through to the end, I won't leave you in suspense: The next carnival will be held on (or around) 15th January at Working Writing Wailing Mama's. You can submit your posts via any of the usual methods. ...where the treetops glisten, and children listen/To hear sleigh bells in the snow... Happy golden days of yore... Elves are working overtime/Making all our toys... Sages, leave your contemplations/Brighter visions beam afar...
In other housekeeping matters, there is now a GRADual Progress button that you can put in your sidebar if you are that way inclined. Many thanks to Kristen who designed it! And I have also put up a blogroll of graduate student bloggers on the carnival website. If you are not on it but would like to be, just send me an email, preferably to this account (styleygeek at gmail dot com).
Now, don't mind me, I'll just be humming some Christmas carols to myself in the corner while you're reading.
I thought I'd start off today with a discussion that has been doing the rounds in the academic blogosphere these last few weeks: what it's like going through grad school when you have young children. As so many things do, it all started at Bitch PhD with one of her 'ask a bitchy feminist' letters. From there the discussion has spread to Academom, Geekymom, Mama in Translation, Adventures in Ethics and Science, Who doesn't love roses? and Mommy PhD. Some very interesting points are raised, and be sure not to miss the comments threads!
There have been a couple of posts comparing grad student life to what it was like as an undergrad. Psycgirl is affected by the fun chaos that is finals week, even now that she no longer has any of her own. Mad Scientist discusses whether grad students really have it any better than undergrads. But Post Doc Ergo Propter Doc tops it all by arguing that post-docs have it even better than we do.
Making a list and checking it twice...
Marcia Marlene Hansen of M2h Blogging recommends making three lists, in fact.
Parts-n-Pieces is putting together a list of grad students interested in dissertation boot-camp.
Breena Ronan of Who doesn't love roses? has a list of links to people who are saying exactly what she wants to say.
Kristen at The History Enthusiast lists a whole lot of useful dissertation resources and also suggests some strategies for reading quickly and effectively.
GTD Wannabe has some suggestions for making yourself keep writing on those days you don't want to write, and Kristen wonders if we would find that writing can be fun if we had the right mindset, while Queen of West Procrastination's husband reminds her that she doesn't really have to write at all if she doesn't want to.
A couple of us have dissertation-related Christmas wishes:
Mad Scientist wants someone to design her a program that allows her to save and tag research papers in the same way that Apple's iPhoto does for pictures. And I want someone to write a program that will turn my dissertation drafts into a video game.
In the bleak midwinter...
Some people are having a hard time of it right now, so run on over to their sites and leave them some encouraging messages, okay? They may not be trying to write their dissertation in something that isn't their native language, or trying to defend their thesis in a warzone, but...
Acre, of Half an Acre, feels like she isn't doing much of anything, and when she does get something done, she feels as though she's just making it up. CkTison of Hopeless Academic is also suffering from a feeling of lack of progress. Ancrene Wiseass feels the same way.
Clevergirl at Don't forget your shovel worries that her introduction revisions are driving her to a nervous breakdown.
Lucy, of Always Listen to your Pigpuppet, writes about the feelings of jealousy and inferiority that come from looking up other grad students to see how much they have published.
Heo Cwaeth is mad about the unfair differences in rates of pay for grad students from different disciplines.
My Life, My Pace's committee has gone and done the random shuffle, leaving her resigned to not graduating this year as planned.
Luckybuzz of Polyopia has also lost not just a committee member, but her advisor, leaving her wondering if this is the beginning of the end of her academic career.
And Shrinkykitten, despite her incredible record of achievements that makes the rest of us look like incompetent slackers in comparison, has been kicked out of her graduate program and is struggling with the question of where she goes from here.
If these are leaving you feeling that grad school is all about doom and gloom, you might be comforted (or not) to know that Bart Simpson agrees with you (linked by Mad Scientist).
...glad tidings of comfort and joy...
To move onto a happier note, lots of people are making progress, and not just GRADual progress but leaps and jumps of it!
Of course, when we finish with grad school, there's the big scary problem of the rest of our careers to look forward to. Ancrene Wiseass compares the job market and 'The Rules', while Working Writing Wailing Mama talks about having to put together a teaching portfolio.
And since Working Writing Wailing Mama's is where the next Carnival of GRADual Progress (approx. January 15th) will be held, this seems an appropriate place to wrap this thing up.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas! (or Solstice, or Hanukkah, or whatever you choose to celebrate this time of year).
...where the treetops glisten, and children listen/To hear sleigh bells in the snow...
Happy golden days of yore...
Elves are working overtime/Making all our toys...
Sages, leave your contemplations/Brighter visions beam afar...