Yesterday, my adviser called me and told me to do two things. First: don’t cock up the conference paper I’ll be giving in March at the American Society for Environmental History; apparently, my panel’s chair/commenter does not tolerate shit work. Okay, my adviser didn’t say that exactly, but that’s the gist of it. Second: make a dissertation schedule and work diary. This is fantastic for at least three reasons:
1) My adviser seems to have a pretty good feel for what I need in the way of direction. Just the other day I was musing about how to proceed as ABD, and then BAM!, a phone call telling me what to do. I suppose there’s an off-chance that my adviser reads this blog, but I’d rather think that my adviser (a) knows me well enough to give me a push when one is needed and (b) has seen enough ABDs treading water to know that an adviser’s intervention can be very important at this stage. In short: my adviser’s advising, which is excellent.
2) Turns out that maybe I do matter to my adviser. Nice to get the attention.
3) I get to make lists and schedules and calendars! I have a perverse affection for to-do lists and the like, and my adviser has basically given me license to schedule to my heart’s content. In addition to creating a calendar for finishing the dissertation and making a schedule that builds in dissertation time every day, my adviser also wants me to write a work diary, to keep track of what I do (and don’t accomplish) each day. At first I thought to put that on this here blog, but (a) how mind-numbingly boring would that be! and (b) I’ve come to see this blog serving a different function for my academic development, extra-dissertation-wise. Plus, it means I get to buy a cool notebook. Bonus.