I woke up to snow flurries this morning, a spirited offering marking the end of an intense fall semester.
This semester was unlike any other. Every time I thought I had a grip on it, it would slip away and morph into something I never expected. Deadlines contracted and expanded, faculty and peers shifted into new positions–some across the country–and there soon became no such thing as a “typical” day. Sometimes all I could do was scramble to pick up the pieces.
There were, of course, some positives to this semester:
1) I successfully defended my dissertation proposal.
2) I presented my research at an international conference and received positive feedback.
3) I co-wrote two engineering grant proposals, totalling [a potential] $600,000.
4) I finished the final draft of a journal article, which will be one chapter in my dissertation.
5) I interviewed for an attractive post-doc position in my field of expertise.
6) I was awarded funding by an international organization to attend an upcoming scientific career fair.
This was my second-to-last semester. I plan to graduate in the Spring and begin a post-doc after graduation. This academic year has been, and will likely continue to be, a year of transitions. But I guess that’s life, too.