Day 27 of #NaNoWriMo and #AcWriMo (National Novel Writing Month and Academic Writing Month). I love data and graphs, so I’m writing my master’s thesis as a fake novel on the NaNoWriMo website so I can watch my word-counts go up and earn badges. AcWriMo isn’t nearly as well developed or fun. I’ve been 99% focused on writing this thing this month, and I’m on-track to have the first draft done in three more days. And I. Can’t. Wait.
I don’t have formal classes for my master’s program this session, because I am starting to work full-time on my thesis. I also have one more talk to prep for the Textile Society of America’s conference. Life is feeling hectic and harried. Time to simplify and down-shift. My return to academia has taken on a life of its own, and if I want to continue to grow the momentum while living a life that feels spacious and abundant, something’s gotta give. I’m downsizing my stash of sewing supplies, my library of books, my costume wardrobe, and my bric-a-brac. My Etsy shop was started when I was living in France and frequenting the flea markets, and I don’t have the time I used to for product development, photography, and marketing. Knowing I should be doing those things is becoming a bummer. So I’m also thinking about having a sale and clearing out as much inventory as possible before putting it on hiatus. Like the autumn leaves that will soon fall from the trees, my life is starting to pare down to essentials to conserve energy for the winter and the mental challenges ahead.
SO MUCH READING. I’m a pretty fast reader, but reading history text books is slower going and the VOLUME of reading is staggering. But it’s started! Great group of people in the department, interesting discussions in class, and I like the urban downtown campus. I also seem to have volunteered to be the Treasurer of the Graduate History Students Association. Should be easy enough with my background in small business bookkeeping. Yay school! 🙂
I have accepted the offer from Montreal’s Concordia University to enroll in their Master of Arts program in History! I’ll be back in a classroom starting in September, getting serious again about my research, and maybe even doing some work as a teaching assistant. Exciting! In the meantime, I’m reading a book on Old English grammar, plying my needle, and working to improve my French. Always learning something new, and I do love a good challenge! About Concordia
The more I learn, the more I add to my list of interesting things to learn about. Some days it seems like specializing and narrowing the focus of my interests would be a good idea. Although, I recently received advice that staying general (as a history scholar) is more valuable these days, since so many people are drawn into specializing. I think this is on my mind a lot right now, because I am also considering how to simplify my hobbies and daily life to create more time for big projects. Add this to the pile of “things to think about.” sigh. 😉
My paper at the Medieval and Renaissance Forum was very well received! What a relief! I got great feedback and lots of encouragement to keep going with my research as well as pursuing higher academic degrees. Grad school here I come! I was also invited to share my paper at another conference in October! What a great start to my career as a scholar. In future updates to my website I plan to include a link to some of my written work.
In preparation for my big trip to London, I’ve had a couple of things on my mind. One is that I want to start preparing to raise my skill level as an embroiderer. I signed up for an online embroidery course with Mastered which looks like it will help me with breaking through some of my creative inhibitions. I also want to have a smashing good website before I go. Last week I participated in a webinar on website development with Mastered and Mr. X and was selected for one of the three case-studies. I got great feedback there too and you can see I took action on some of the suggestions by the changes I’ve made since the last time you were here. I have more in-store!