We haven’t had one of these in awhile, and I think we need one. It’s the tail end of term, and everyone is getting a little sloggy. The sun is shining later and later every day, but it seems to be taunting us while we sit inside, buried under piles of work. Many of you are probably nursing sore backs and hands from lugging and notating piles of papers, and I know some of you are cursing the gods of exam scheduling who put you on the last possible day. I’m blurry-eyed and anxious from hours of very carefully clicking buttons, magic buttons that generate emails telling new and returning Master’s students that they’re in possession of a shiny new Canada Graduate Scholarship (or not, as the case may be, and god forbid that I click the wrong button). I’ve got a tower of ethics protocols awaiting review that looks set to topple. The hustle to meet admission targets is making everyone edgy, and the pressure to get all the things done over the summer that was the bane of my graduate student life has come back with a vengeance now that I’m in admin (blast it! There’s no escaping the academic calendar).
Still, despite the end-of-the-marathon fatigue that always sets in this time of year, and the frayed nerves that accompany it, good things still abound. Let’s celebrate! Since it’s been awhile, here’s how it works: you have to boast about yourself, without apologizing or downplaying. Did you have an article accepted? Put together an awesome conference panel? Finish a dissertation chapter? Win an award? Finally figure out how to do that thing in PHP? Get an unexpected but meaningful compliment? Tell the world! Or at least, the little chunk of the world that reads this blog.
I have three whole things, which feels like a lot today.
First, 60% of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship applications I midwifed (as a friend so delightfully put it) this year won awards. That’s a huge jump over last year, a crazy percentage considering how hard Vaniers are to get (they’re Canada’s Fulbright), and a wonderful assurance that a whack of our students will have phenomenal funding and the recognition that they’re the strongest students in their fields. I’m particularly proud of one successful application–it was rather a diamond in the rough when I first got it, so rough that it almost got scrapped, and after lots of hard work by me and by the student, it positively shone.
Second, I was invited to speak on a panel on careers for humanists at MLA 2015, which makes me happy twice over because a) I love Vancouver, and b) I didn’t even have to write an abstract!
Third, I’m lucky enough to work in a super supportive office full of thoroughly delightful people, a number of whom, including the Dean, told me this week that I’m doing a good job. Yes, I know that I’m a very competent person. No, I haven’t screwed up in any major ways in the last seven months. But man, external validation feels good.
So, that’s me. It’s been a crazy, crazy few months, ones in which caffeine and grouchiness and late nights and insomnia have played far too large a part, so let’s start the slow slide into summer and the turning over of a new leaf with some boast-y goodness. And look–no self-deprecation or cringing! Your turn!