Saturday, November 16, 2013

Six months!

Six months! Adele is six months old today! In that time she has more than doubled her weight (7 pounds 10 ounces to 16 pounds 9 ounces), learned how to smile, laugh, babble, roll over, sit up unassisted, and reach for toys. She has tasted a few foods (sweet potatoes, pasta, bread, apple) but has gotten all of her calories from breast milk. It's pretty amazing that I have the ability to feed another human.

Motherhood got off to a rocky start, but I am thankful that I have gotten stronger faster than she has gotten bigger. I am glad I was able to return to work on my own schedule, so I could ease back into working full time. Teaching this semester has been way more demanding than I hoped and expected, but I have still had a fair amount of flexibility so that I have been able to bring her to school with me sometimes (getting help from friends there) on days when Jon can't watch her. It's frustrating when I can't get anything done because I can never get my hands free, but she's been a pretty easy baby overall. Here's hoping for an even better 6 months ahead!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

13,507 hours

By my estimation, it took about 13,507 hours of work to get my Ph.D. Six years. September 2007 until April 2013. By Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule, that definitely makes me an expert in... getting a Ph.D.

But seriously, that's a ton of work. How did I get to this number? Since 2010, I've been keeping careful track of how much time I spend working using a program called Time Tracker. I have breakdowns for different tasks and I can export all of the data as a .csv so then I analyzed it in R. Honestly, I've been excited about doing this for months. I know, I know, sometimes I'm too nerdy for myself.

In 2010 I worked 2,373 hours. That's about 46 hours a week across all 52 weeks of the year. In 2011, I worked an insane 2,829 hours, which is about 54 hours per week. I was in the field for 6 months of 2011, including my most intense field season and my last field season, so I was hardly doing anything other than working during those times. In 2012, I returned to a much saner 2,239 hours (43 hours/week). For 2013, I only counted until the end of April. In those first four months, I worked 954 hours. That works out to an insane average of 56 hours per week. If anything, that's a bit low because the time I spent reading on my iPad before I fell asleep wasn't usually counted. That was the home stretch, and boy did it feel like running a marathon. Every day. Pregnant.

I only occasionally kept track of my working hours for the first 2.5 years of grad school, so I'm estimating that 2008 and 2009 were probably something like 2012 (not 2011 because it was my year of intense field work, and 2010 had a fair amount of field work too whereas 2008 and 2009 did not), so I used the data from 2012. For the fall of 2007, I used the data only from Sept-December 2012 as an estimate (634 hours). I started in August, but for simplicity I've excluded that month since I didn't start at the beginning and was just getting settled in.

I might not have worked quite as many hours in 2007-2009 as I did in 2012, but overall I think this is a good approximation. I taught 2007-2008 and took classes 2007-2009, and I applied for a ton of grants during that time. Keeping track of my working time for the last 3 (nearly 4!) years has helped keep me accountable and on task, and it also helps me feel justified when I'm done working, which is a graduate student conundrum that was wonderfully articulated over at GradHacker.

All these data mean I can calculate my hourly wage. I haven't yet, but it's probably going to be depressing. Stay tuned, because I'll write about that and show some pretty graphs of my work habits later this week.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Signed, sealed, delivered

My dissertation is revised, I paid the fees, I filled out the forms, got signatures on pieces of paper, and that is that. After hanging onto my dissertation to hang on to my student health insurance and paycheck, I'm officially graduating in December. This gig is up. I'm still looking for a job, but we're leaving Big City at Christmas no matter what.

It's exciting but a little scary and bittersweet. I'd rather not think about it too much right now.

For months now I've had some posts in mind that I'd like to get out. Tomorrow, I'll write about how long it took to get my PhD.