As the semester comes to a close, it’s time to start making some long-term thesis goals and specific plans to keep up my momentum between semesters. After talking with Dr. Zamora about my schedule, I’ve actually decided to postpone the second half of this thesis course until summer, when I’ll be able to work on it during the Writer’s Retreat. I’m definitely going to have to set some strict goals for myself, because otherwise I have a feeling it’ll be tough to keep a steady pace when I have such a long break.
Of course, for me, it’s not really going to be a break, since I have a full time job as a high school teacher. That’s actually the main reason I’m taking a step back from my thesis work; taking two graduate courses on top of teaching full time (all while fully in-person) was really difficult for me, and I don’t think I’d be able to handle such a workload again in the spring.
Instead, I’m planning to register for just one course on writing creative nonfiction. My hope is that I’ll be able to use this course to somewhat continue working on my thesis, as I would like my final product to be a detailed narrative about teaching during the pandemic. I also think this class will be useful to explore creating more vignette-style pieces of memoir like the one I shared during my presentation. I’m still toying with how much creativity to include in my final product, so a course on writing creative nonfiction will be the perfect avenue for me to explore these types of questions.
In the time between the fall and spring semesters, I’d like to finish transcribing my interviews. Having the full text of all interviews available will be useful because I hope to draw inspiration from them during my spring class. My goal is to continue doing some light analysis/coding throughout the spring semester—things like highlighting significant words or phrases and making note of patterns that arise between the interviews—so that by the time summer rolls around, I can jump right into the writing process without too much difficulty.
Of course, as this semester’s blog posts have proven, I’m an incurably chronic procrastinator, so I’m a little (read: extremely) concerned that I’ll totally abandon my thesis until June, especially since next semester at work is going to be a busy one (in spring, I’ll be teaching three classes instead of the two I have now). Hopefully, though, taking a class that’s tangentially related to my thesis will help me stay on track!