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March 20, 2009

Nearing the finish line...

It's packing day. Nearly finished. Picking Tim up from work, heading to my family's place, then off to the airport for the adventures of flying with two lap-toddlers. I'm sure you'll be hearing about that later (let's just hope that the excitement stays on the mild side of funny, rather than moving into the horrifyingly hilarious) (trying not to think about what could happen if these two get wound up on a crowded plane).

We're heading up to Western PA to visit friends and family (woohoo!! Can't wait to see all of you!).

And then to here Friday afternoon a week from today from 1-3 (it's open to the public). The defense of what I've done over the past few years of my life.

I'm mostly feeling excited to be able to talk more fully about the topic at hand, with the vast knowledge and experience the professors will bring to the topic, the different viewpoints, the little trails that might lead to something else.

But I'm also a little nervous, hoping that I don't forget something, hoping that I remember how to converse intelligently on a subject minus the constant counterpoint of children's voices.

It's almost like stepping into a different culture, hoping that I can remember the language as well as the unspoken customs. In some ways, much of the past couple years, I've felt a bit isolated, geographically distant from my scholarly culture.

Beyond the physical distance, it's taken a lot of emotional, mental and physical energy to creatively reimagine what being a scholar looks like with toddlers. It means trying to take full advantage of internet resources (I *heart* Google books) and naptimes. It means that library trips are short and sweet and meticulously planned, and involve distracting greedy little fingers that reach out for academic tomes, or gently soothing tired children whose voices are piercing the nearly-sacred quiet of the halls of learning.

The new roles we're playing means that I've had to lean on Tim in new ways. As a sounding board, research assistant, photocopier, editor, book-checker-out, babies-watcher, and shrink. The process has definitely brought us closer together.

It also means that I've learned to rely on an army of women around me. Women who root from the sidelines and pray, in my geographical space and in virtual spaces. Women who watch my kids and support me in countless ways. Scholars, mothers, friends, and family.

So, thanks all!!

Pittsburgh , Thinking , adventures & travels , dissertation | By Tim and Jo | 5:10 PM


When will you be around here? I hope I can see you guys!

I hope your flight goes well. Our fourteen hour flights with a 23 month old and two 3 1/2 year olds was much easier than I expected, they all mostly just slept. It was actually much easier than trying to leave this comment is turning out to be. I hope your flight goes as well and that no one is sitting by you so you can have extra seats :)

Posted by: Amy at March 20, 2009 7:25 PM

Add me to your host of women! I hope to see you on Friday!

Posted by: mdiber05 at March 20, 2009 8:49 PM

This is so very exciting. Glad to have been with you some in the final stages of the diss. journey. Still can't believe you've done this with 2 toddlers. Will be praying for you re. the defense.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 20, 2009 11:48 PM

Sorry, Carrie = Anonymous. I can never figure out these comment thingies the first time!

Posted by: Carrie at March 20, 2009 11:50 PM

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