Early bird

I’m currently applying for dissertation fellowships. That is, I’m jumping through hoops to ask random organizations to give me money so I can finish my research and write my dissertation. Generally, these fellowships grant around $20,000 for an academic year, and also cover university tuition and fees, and maybe some conference travel. I appreciate that the idea is totally awesome, but applying for these things is relatively onerous, and the likelihood that I will be awarded one is realistically quite slim.

The requirements for these applications is what you would expect: writing samples, descriptions of the project, a c.v., personal statements, something that yells about how much the research perfectly aligns with the mission of the granting organization, etc. However, thus far, the most difficult task has been an 800 character dissertation abstract. I was completely fine with a thirty page writing sample, but explaining my entire-yet-to-written dissertation in 800 characters (including spaces)?!? I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it was one of the most difficult paragraphs I’ve ever had to write.

I have heard that applying for academic jobs is a full-time job in and of itself, and I’m guessing this fellowship thing is quite similar. I’m applying for five different awards right now, and in the Spring, I will apply for one from the Graduate School. This post is simply to acknowledge that even though I’m a professional procrastinator, sometimes I can get it together and not wait until the very last minute.

I just submitted application #2 even though the deadline is 5:00 p.m., central time, November 15, 2012. THAT’S THURSDAY and it’s ONLY TUESDAY. Be appropriately impressed, please.

There are two reasons I finished this today.

1. This application has been incredibly frustrating, and I was more than ready to stop thinking about it. Plus, the deadline for #3 is quickly approaching.

2. The Kentucky-Duke basketball game tonight. I wanted to watch this game without distraction, and be free to freak out and over-invest without other things to worry about. And yes, this game is in Atlanta, and yes, I considered MANY times buying tickets. But my budget and schedule just couldn’t handle it this time (also, not counting any proverbial chickens, but the Final Four is also in Atlanta…).

It’s all about priorities, folks. Go CATS!


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