Where has August gone? The days are still long but the garden harvest is beginning to dwindle. It won’t be long before my tomato fix must be met with mealy fruits picked from chilled grocery shelves instead of my garden. Summer is beginning its farewells. Soon, monarchs will begin their migrations South. I’m, alas, still not ready to migrate myself South of the border. I miss Mexico. For now, painted ladies and swallowtails eat their fills from backyard peonies, zinnia, and basil blossoms.
When I drove back to Kansas two weeks ago, I passed field upon field of cotton crops. Alabama surely was standing high in her cotton. In a couple of months, the pale yellow blooms will burst into the bright white bolls. Yes, Autumn is on her way.
How About That Eclipse?
Were you able to get outside to see the eclipse this month? My stepfather’s sister and husband have a farm in Highland, Kansas. This is noteworthy because their home is – er, was – directly under the path of the Great American Eclipse for totality. It was a gas! Even Edie had solar approved eye wear. About 50 members of the Johnson, and extended, or Johnson by proxy (i.e. me), descended to this tiny farming community in Northeast Kansas. It was awesome in every legitimate dictionary definition of the word.
Until clouds moved in the way and blocked visibility of the “diamond ring” effect. I bet that halo was just amazing, though. A phenomenon I had heard of but never witnessed, though, was the effect of the wildlife. As totality neared, birds and insects were humming and busying themselves as if it were dusk. The speed of approaching totality created some sort of frenzy. Birds were diving to their nests.
And then, silence. And darkness.
Sure as scientists promised, day turned into night. And as quickly as totality came upon us, nature’s activities of dawn greeted us with the returning sun.We spent hours idling on two lane country highways to make it back to the capital. Despite missing the halo effect, midday darkness was worth the sacrifice of the day.
After all, what else would I have done? Stayed home to… edit? No thanks. Speaking of edits….
Something I’m Loving….
PhD progress is… happening.
My committee and I are finally starting to come to agreement about what my re-analyzed chapters and conclusions should look like. It’s taken me long enough. I will probably be kicking my own butt later in this year, but I’m hesitant to apply for some of these jobs I find that are appealing because Ph.D. ABD just isn’t the same as PhD. Listing Ph.D. ABD is just a fancy way for saying you quit. Is my opinion… in the academic community, though, ABD isn’t something to broadcast.
If you happen to be struggling with your proposal or draft edits, remember this: the dissertation is a means to an end. The end goal is your Ph.D. The dissertation is a means goal, not your end goal. The dissertation is a way you can prove you are a vetted, successful researcher.
My dissertation, in its approaching final form, is so far from the initial problem statement and hypothesis I created. Choose your battles with your committee. Even though it may not always seem like it, they really do have your success and your best interests in mind. They’ve been down this path, before. You know the subject, best, but they know the process, best.
My summer dabble with woodworking was a narrowly averted disaster. I gave up many freckles and even a slight sunburn, heat exhaustion, and sweated through so many clothes while standing in that blistering August sun cutting, sanding, and staining this giant Jenga game.
The final outcome is something I am so proud of, but I now appreciate the cost people want to charge for a handmade patio Jenga game. I chose three different stains and love the variance in colors.
Something I’m Listening to…. Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
Oh my goshhhhh…. Yes. Yes! I am all over this song. I can’t even keep count of how many little zoom videos I made with Edie and this song. It makes a great mid afternoon break away from the desk slump.
I know about 70% of the translation to the song when I sing it. The misses in translation on my end now create some empathy and understanding to judgment I passed on a friend I met in Chiapas. I asked my friend why he had “ugly boy” tattooed on his arm. He wailed as if in pain then proceeded to tell me the saddest tale ever about how he and his buddy misheard the lyrics to a Black Keys song. And they are ugly boys, now, not lonely boys.
Something I’m Reading…
How these women are taking up space every day in their lives.
My memory fails me as to where I discovered The Happy Reader. That is a moot point, however, because I am having so much fun with this “bookish” magazine. Bibliophiles, consider yourselves put on notice.
Now that August says “goodbye,” how are you winding down your summer?