I guess WordPress is going to make me use their back end, whether I want to or not. Boo, hiss.

I really, really hate this editor. It’s enough to make me consider hosting my blog somewhere else …

So, let’s see. A lot has happened since I was last in here. We’ve climbed from 5.5 million cases to over 13 million, and from 70,000 to closing on 265,000 deaths.

Believe it or not, though, this semester has been a good time for me.

There has been an election. Donald Trump lost, although he continues to deny that fact and his worshippers continue to believe everything he says. Nevertheless, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the new President and Vice-President on January 20, 2021. In an example of massive understatement, I will simply say that I am pleased.

I spent two months in upstate New York, as planned, and did some really great research. I came back, finished up with the course I was taking (great course, by the way — The American Professoriate [IDST 890]), and am taking a break right now.

Sort of.

You see, I’ll be teaching a course next semester. No, not serving as a Teaching Assistant. I will be a Graduate Teaching Fellow, teaching a course to up to undergraduate students. It’s an advanced course, too, called Anthropology of Development. I’m excited; I’ve been wanting to do this for years. But it means I have a class to plan and a syllabus to write. I have a little less than two months to do it. That might sound like plenty of time to you but not to me. Yikes.

The other thing I’m going to be doing next semester is analyzing my data and starting to write my dissertation.

It seems incredible because I already have quite a bit of it done … sort of. I had to write a chapter for one of my dissertation completion fellowship applications. I’m going to be writing a chapter to present as a paper at a conference in March. And I have another chapter drafted from last year, when I was trying to write something I could get published. That one needs a lot of work but that’s okay.

What I’m getting at is that I will have half of my dissertation written — at least, the substantive chapters — by the end of the spring semester. I will continue to work and polish through the summer and into the Fall 2021 semester. My goal is the finish the dissertation by the end of 2021, and defend it sometime around March 2022.

Time is catching up with me.

On the health front, I am trying something new. I have started working with intermittent fasting, using the Fastic app. I find I am really liking it a lot. I fast for 16 hours per day, most of those hours take place while I’m asleep, and I have an 8 hour window during which I can eat. The entire exercise is making me much more mindful about how much I eat — I couldn’t believe how much time I was spending sitting at my desk, endlessly gnoshing. It is also helping me become much more aware of when I am actually hungry and when I am actually full, which, in turn, is making me eat much less per meal (I was astounded at how little I ate on Thanksgiving). Feeling much less bloated and fat all the time, and much more energetic.

It is my hope that this will help with my weight and my blood sugar. Stay tuned.

Needless to say, I will be as thrilled as everybody else when we are able to put this shit show of a year behind us an welcome 2021. I’m not sure what I thought was going to be going on in 2020 but this hasn’t been it.