Tuesday, April 21, 2009
No dose of this can remedy the unique mental state of attending committee meeting, after committee meeting, after committee meeting, after committee meeting, after committee meeting, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Whoa. That was scary. Did I just lapse into insanity? They run the gamut from nervous first meetings (NFMs) to grizzled almost done (GADs) meetings. The NFMs sometimes involve coffee and a snack. These are provided by a nervous student who is excited about their project but doesn’t know a damn thing yet. We will spend the entire meeting encouraging you to pursue the project, but also cautioning you to go read 2.7 million things before you start (oh, and also learn these stats, request funds for these things, and contact this person). The GADs, especially very late stage GADs have a desperate quality to them. There is no food. There might be drinks afterward (if drinks are involved it will be straight up alcohol, strong shit— no worries, I’m buying). But we are all gathered for the sole purpose of finishing. For the student it’s finishing the enormous soul-crushing task we call dissertating. For us it’s all about finishing with the drafts, the coaching, the advice, the meetings. We are all a bit nostalgic but focused on the task of a unified and spectacular finish. There is of course some highly predictable and well trod ground between NFMs and GADs. There is nothing wrong with these meetings (they are all preferable to a faculty meeting), but I need to lay off the committee memberships.