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Mar 06

Spring Break Eve and Dissertation Boot Camp

Today is Spring Break Eve. That magical time just before diving into the piles of work that must be accomplished and the moment of freedom I have given myself. This Spring Break, I have signed up for Dissertation Boot Camp yet again.

The best and worse part of this boot camp is the structure it imposes upon you. To attend, you must commit to be in the library fromBoot Camp Ad 8:30-5pm every weekday of break. That is 5 days of non-stop structured writing time. You get all sorts of coffee, tea, snacks, and lunch for your efforts, but your time is heavily controlled.

Previous camps have shown me both what it feels like to work on writing and research to that degree of intensity, and just how much you can get done when you are focused. That last part has certainly helped me realize just how much I can put those weird 15, 30, 45 minute gaps I have between activities to use.

However, that structure can also feel overwhelming. Prior to camp, I had never forced myself to sit down for hours upon hours in the same space to work on my term papers. Sure, I’ve worked an eight hour day on my tasks, but never continuously in one space. Although the room we work in during dissertation boot camp is quite lovely, any one space can get old after that many hours of hard thinking.

This boot camp, I have a few goals I would like to keep in mind:

  • Change my space if I need to. Even just working immediately outside of our designated room may be sufficient to mix it up for me.
  • Still work in some exercise! The library is full of stairs, so when I start to get fatigued I should go do a bit of cardio.
  • Create outlines for all three of my term papers
  • Create annotated bibliographies for research completed on my term papers – I have always been hesitant to do this before, so this is the camp to give this strategy a solid try.
  • Get an acceptable amount of class work done so Monday & Tuesday aren’t hell of our week back.

Also, unlike previous camps, I have arranged a real reward for the completion of camp. My partner and I are going to go out of town over the weekend prior to the start of classes. Hopefully, this reward will help me feel like my break was an authentic break, and I will feel the push to get through all that work at boot camp.

Most likely you will see more posts this coming week. In my research phases, I like to share some of the most important bits of information I discover for your enjoyment and my information rehearsal!

May your week be as productive as I hope mine to be!

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