But, despite the cursing and fuming, I was hardly daunted, and, while I am in no hurry to race through this project (after all, I'm not on the tenure clock), I do aim to make steady, if slow, progress. While some readers might not find such posts as this one especially interesting (if you left or are planning to leave academe because you've discovered you dislike "academic" work), I will be writing them every now and then as a way of holding myself accountable, as well as sharing with anyone who may also be attempting to self-reinvent as an independent scholar.
So here's the shakedown five weeks after my affiliation/access meltdown:
- Pulled myself up by my bootstraps, went up to campus, and got myself an alumni borrowing card.
- Still don't have remote access to the databases, but that's not a big deal. It's easy enough to go up to Grad U., and when I go there on a weekday to do research for work (because, on occasion, the databases come in handy for that, too), I can expense the train and bus fare. Plus, most of what I need to look at for the dissertation-to-book process are books, not articles.
- The downside to my new status in terms of borrowing books is that, instead of keeping them checked out for a year, the maximum borrowing period is only 56 days. Damn!
- The upside to my new status in terms of borrowing actual books is that, instead of keeping them checked out for a year (or renewing them for endless years!) during which time they mostly gather dust, I have to be organized about reading them, taking note of what I need quickly, and moving on.
So, with the reading list done enough for a trip to the library, here's a general to-do list and overview of my plans for the next few months:
- Take reading list, as well as all the old books I still have checked out (with new, quickly approaching due dates) collecting dust at home, and haul a$$ up to the library. Won't happen this weekend but some weekday this coming week, if there's time, or next weekend will be just fine.
- Spend a few hours in the library sorting things out, figuring out what's worth checking out of the library, what's merely worth perusing casually and setting aside.
- Check out only as many of those suckers as I think I can reasonably get through in 56 days.
- Go home, read, take notes, organize thoughts.
- 56 days from mid July is roughly early to mid September. Go back to the library then and repeat the above. Check databases at this time or after the next 56 days to cull whatever needs to be read from there. 56 days from mid September is mid November. Thus, optimistically speaking, I will be done with research by Thanksgiving.
- Write, write, write. Dissertation, goodbye in 2011. Monograph, hello in 2012!
- Have a draft of the book ready to submit to editor at Very Fancy Press by early summer 2012 -- that is, in a year.
|The greatest library in the world.....|