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Last May, I had the privilege of attending the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Affectionately called K’zoo or the Zoo by medievalists who attend.) This trip was a rather exciting career experience, because it’s one of the largest medieval conferences in the world, and I was presenting a paper. Due to a series of strange circumstances, it ended up being my second conference paper presentation (my first was at the CCCC two months earlier. I’m still a very green academic). All-in-all, my paper went fairly well. I was entirely unhappy with it, but I got some compliments on it. The other two presenters in my session were fascinating and left me with a lot to think about regarding my paper. I also have several ideas for expanding the research I did for this paper. That in itself was rewarding, because I hadn’t written the paper for a seminar. I researched it completely independently, and I was worried that it was actually a strange tangent from my other research interests. I also got to attend several very good sessions, including some interesting papers on translation theory and practice, medievalisms in video games, and an excellent paper by Elaine Treharne on The Silence and Noise in Middle English, 1016-1066. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday, I turned thirty-one.

Most days, I’m happy with my life. Today I’m feeling vulnerable.  I’m questioning a lot of choices and priorities.  I suppose every person has to wade through those choices.  Those priorities.  I finish my master’s degree this spring, and I’m wondering if continuing on for my PhD is really… right for me. I never doubted it before. At any step.  Is it just the stress that I’m feeling at the end of the semester? Really, I’m about a week behind on everything that I want to have any headway in.

I’m beginning to think that I’m trying to hard to construct myself. I need to find a balance between intention and surrender.

Tonight. Tonight, I just want someone to buy me ice cream, to tell me that it will be okay, and to lay in the grass and look at the stars with me.