Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Break 2009

So the semester is over. It's been quite an amazing experience. First studying for exams, then passing not just all the written exams, but the oral as well. I am still in shock. But time to get out of the haze and start to focus on the last phase of this degree. So this winter break I have three objectives. 1) prepare for the spring semester, that's Genealogy & Local History but only in Kent this year. 2) review materials for the re-writing of my book on Disaster Response for ALA. It's due Dec 2010, so no fooling around. I really need to write a new book, but half a book will do. My goal is to research and write this spring. 3) start the research for my dissertation. I have to find primary sources; identify the type & scope of sources; question to answer; and the all important "why do we care" and "what does this add to the field". Not too much to do between now and the 19th of January.
Tomorrow - syllabus revision and some organizing of my stuff!
Pile the DR stuff in one box, Genealogy in another, RB is a third, Preservation in a 4th, history of libraries in a fifth and oh yes, all the rest in a 6th box. It's certain to be a mess but an organized mess.

Back to work :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Research / dissertation ideas

Dec 11. I could write about the publishers I have been talking about. But why? who cares?
I have been mulling over the idea of tying the printers in Akron between 1870-1900 into the gilded age industrialists....

Maybe I could look at them the same way I looked at Robber Barons and Cultural Institutions.

Food for thought.

comprehensive exams

Today is Dec 11th. Since my last posting, I took and successfully completed all three written comprehensive exams. Yesterday at 2pm I took and passed my oral comprehensive exams. That was much harder, I was sooooo nervous. It took a while for my brain to get into gear and answer with what I know about each subject. Of course the Russian Empire questions were the 'worst' as I was asked materials I had no answer for. Ah well. It's done and now I am officially ABD.

Now I get to start research on my dissertation. Much to muddle over :)
But first a nap and some celebrating.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

two down, one to go

Well, I finished the second comprehensive exam. It's amazing what you know and yet forget to put on the page. :~ Ah well. A shower, some protein, a silly movie, and then on to the next and final written exam. That's right - Monday I describe the theory and practice of the Russian and Spanish empires. I definitely have to write out my answers to these questions.

What an amazing experience.

second exam coming up

Today is the second of my comprehensive exams. All about 19th century American History. The big questions that is. I'm psyched and ready to go :)

I've studied and thought and arranged and rearranged authors, theories, perspectives. Now all I have to do is get them onto the page in some comprehensible manner.
Back to reviewing themes & perspectives. A very different way to look at history than dates and names.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the day after with two to go

So I've recovered I think from the first exam. I could not fall asleep last night, - Now I want to throw up :( It's slow going today. After calls from Dad, Mom, and David (last night) and numerous e-mails of support. I am getting my act together so at 10:35 I'm finally ready to dig into the studies for American History. I promised myself a break at 3pm for ice cream and conversation with Diane. So I must finish the projected study plan for today. Must, Must, Must.

Okay, I'm ready to go. More soon,

Monday, November 9, 2009

The first Exam!!

Well, tomorrow's the big day. I take my first comprehensive exam on Nov 9 from 8-5. The other two are on Nov 12 and Nov 16. The first exam deals with Public History, the second 19th century American History ), and the third on the theory and practice of Empire, specifically Spain and Russia . I have tons of munchies and my sun lamp. I'm all set. Deep breath. More soon!

One test down, I survived... It was harder than I thought, but its over. On to the next exam on Thursday which focuses on 19th century american history. First step, shower and sleep, then review my notes :) Ah yes, and relax. Thanks for all the encouragement :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

the exams are almost here.

All is well here. My first exam is on Monday. I'm nervous because I want to do well. There is so much buzzing around in my head, it's hard to sleep or keep on task. I feel as though everything is coming together. It's amazing to realize how much I've learned over the past few years, how the pieces fit together and really mesh. Best of all I've been using much of what I'm reading in my classes already. I've no regrets. I just want this hurdle to be past me. Then on to the Oral Exam.

The info keeps flowing at me. Here's the most amazing part. I'm actually interested in continuing to read all the subjects I've been studying intensively for the past 6 months. Well, maybe not Russian Empire, but parts of that subject too.

I'm looking for connections and seeing them everywhere, maybe too many places.

I cannot wait to be able to think past next week and all the exams. I have so much I want to learn :)
More Monday night after the first of three exams.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Almost there

Only a week to go before the first exam. Yes, now I am counting down :(
I have read tons of books, I have lots of ideas, facts and 'knowledge' of theories in my head. It's getting them on paper or into the computer that is the most terrifying aspect of this entire study / examination process. Ah well. It will be over soon. In the meantime, every book or article I read is sliding into a larger context of history and theory. Sometimes I feel as though I just babble to get the info out of my head and into the practical, applicable part of my brain.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Studying like a crazed academic

I am approaching the end of phase II of this PhD in history. My comprehensive qualifying exams begin on Nov. 9, 2009. I still have sooooo many books to examine and so many thoughts and ideas to bring together into coherent, synthetic essays about large topics in history. For some reason, I am still calm about it all. Just another hurdle to jump. Ask me in two more weeks how I feel.

More importantly, I refuse to count down the days. That would drive me more crazy.

Well, as the title for this post says, Back to being a crazed academic - On to Muscovy Russia and the concept of ruling an empire.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Disasters All Around

Aside from my current academic interest in the history of the book, I continue to work in the field of disaster response and recovery. I heard several interesting talks on the topic that are more historical in nature. They provide much food for thought as I consider how to revise my first ALA publication on Disaster Response and Recovery for Libraries and Archives. There is so much to think about before I sit down to write it. The new revision is due out in early 2011, which only seems like a long time from now. I really want to rewrite the book, so there will probably be more examples from history to sprinkle into the advice on planning. Any suggestions you have are always welcome.