Sunday, 27 November 2016

Post 95: New Job Update and Revisions!

I've made it through my first month of work!! Yippee!

Work has been quite an adjustment to my usual schedule, and the workplace environment is different. By the end of this month I feel like I'm getting my feet under me. Meeting new people, getting into a new routine, figuring out basics like "Have I packed enough food for the day?" and a slight wardrobe adjustment have been fine -- these are simply questions and thoughts that I haven't asked anew for a little while, because of the previously established schedule. So, my take on the first month: my new colleagues are awesome, I miss campus, and yet I am excited about all the happenin' things at my new job. I have a diversity of project on the go, from a presentation on a backgrounder on mining in BC that I researched, to providing help on a few different projects my coworkers are working on, to helping out with a Division strategic plan, to building an inventory of Environmental Assessment Board decisions under the Environmental Management Act, with accompanying summary-analysis documents that I'll write... and lots more. I am enjoying the dynamism, for sure!

Walking the Gorge at sunset on my way home from work. Gorgeous November evening.
Thesis-ing continues! Amazingly, my committee member prioritized my thesis for a very quick turnaround (I am eternally grateful; I know she is immensely busy), and read the whole draft and provided comments. My committee member has a keen eye and is very skilled at getting to the heart of exactly what the issue is, and her feedback on my thesis draft was no different. So, a bit more reading, new writing, and further editing needed on what's currently there. That was to be expected.

Here is my heads up about getting feedback: getting feedback is not as easy as we would like it to be. Make yourself comfortable. Have a cup of tea at the ready. Getting feedback on revisions can be a little bit emotional, as someone else has taken a fine-tooth comb through your thesis, and is giving you constructive feedback. I always feel a bit of horror when I get feedback, because I can see all the places where I made simple errors (grammar, didn't finish a sentence, etc) that slipped by because my document is

These cute little white flowers in the neighbourhood greeted me on my walk to the bus!
132 pages and I was tired...., as well as engaging with the bigger picture of, "What's your thesis doing? How are the ideas organized, explained, situated, framed?" And sometimes, too, the "What do you mean here? Clarify? Explain  more." type of comments as well.

It can be a lot. I find I often feel deflated after getting feedback, and it takes a little bit to get my realist lens back on, in terms of assessing what are they asking, what needs work, what do I need to prioritize? I think it is a learned skill not to take the feedback personally, and to recognize that the work is not an illustration of your character and person.

The coolest seagull, chilling on a post right by work. Sunshine break! 
So here's to that. My committee member's comments are really good, and very fair, and it's apparent that I have a few sections that need some more explaining. So here's to a few more hours of sitting down, reviewing articles and books and getting to a better thesis draft!

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