I’m working with my advisor this week to determine if we’re truly shooting for a May dissertation defense (eek!), or if we’re going to be conservative and go with fall. I could probably defend in early or mid fall, but December’s the graduation ceremony, so I might want to put off the defense until then just for the convenience of having the defense and commencement all in one stateside trip.
I’d love to be done in May for many, many reasons, but there are a lot of advantages to be had by waiting. It would allow me to concentrate more on learning Russian and making friends in Kharkov, which is an important part of our stay here. It would also give me time to use lulls in the dissertation process (waiting for feedback, waiting for data collection) to complete other articles as well as creative writing projects. And I’d love to spend a bit more time taking and editing photos on a regular basis.
My other project this week is to organize our stuff, both the things we left in Kharkov in December and the things we brought back this week. There’s the stuff we need to use while in Kharkov this week, the stuff we won’t need until we move into our apartment in February, and the stuff we’ll be taking on our trip to India (business, January 14-21), Cambodia (vacation, Jan. 22-28), and Thailand (vacation, Jan. 21, 28 – Feb. 7). I am so ready for the day we move into the apartment and all our stuff is in one location, instead of in 4 suitcases at the hotel and 6 bags at Alex’s office!
The holiday break at home was fantastic in that we got to spend time with all four of our parents and a few of our friends… but it was frustrating in that there was so much to be done. Our time with family and friends was compromised by running errands, packing and unpacking, moving final things out of our house, and meeting our new tenants (yay!). In fact, we really only got to visit with four people and that’s because they stayed at my in-laws’ place with us–I didn’t manage to drive up to UNT even once. I’m disappointed that we had to spend so much time on all the logistics I had wanted wrapped up in November, and so little time with friends and family.
Here’s hoping that our next trip home is more pleasure and less business!