March 20, 2008

plugging away

I spent yesterday combing through my texts on economic development, and trying to pick out the themes I want to talk about for the chapter More of the same this morning, and then a brainstorm about how to frame the chapter-that-used-to-be-two.

So I'm kind of burned out on economic development and back on the agglomeration chapter. I had started to reframe it as "everyday life" (hopefully I didn't get that from one of my peers in this field of study) as opposed to built environment, and now I am uncertain if I can make that work with "contested space." Maybe I should dump everyday life as an organizing principle? I don't want to be too derivative. I notice again and again how I've unconsciously (at least to me) absorbed so many ideas from my reading that I am always startled to re-read an article and notice that someone has "already thought of" my idea. When in reality I am sure I osmotically cribbed it from them, gah!

I read through the introduction chapter this morning and was impressed with how lucid it was. There is a lot less cleanup and editing to do there unless I seriously shift things around a lot in putting the whole puzzle together.

Speaking of which: one of the hardest things about writing a paper this long (I am expecting over 200 pages now) is that I can't keep the whole thing in mind anymore - I am so afraid I'll re-use materials, or worse, leave out a really good bit.

Posted by otto0114 at 5:05 PM

March 18, 2008

what I've read today

Really my brain is fried, but perhaps it would be helpful (for future weeks) to note the articles I've read today:

Lovering on discourses versus jobs
Stenning on PS mobility (Tr British Geogs)
Stenning on the history of NH and HTS (Eur Urban and Regional Studies)
Janus on how horrible NH was in the early years (E European Quarterly)
Ryder on Krakow as a growth pole (Geoforum).

I am trying really hard to articulate where I sit in all this. And the second Stenning article helped with a picture of the challenges for redevelopment in NH.

Posted by otto0114 at 4:53 PM

Spring Break!

Probably not the best use of my time right now to spend two days painting my sister-in-law's living room, but I don't want to be one of those people who says "no" to everything because they are so focused on their own careers/work/needs.
Grad school seems to create that kind of person - mainly because the younger the student at entry, the more susceptible they are to the academic bullshit that "your scholarship is so important, and making a name is so hard, that you must work non-stop at it, and get rid of anything in your life that doesn't get you ahead." Whereas those of us who came to academia from actual careers know that academia is a narrow little world and most business people have nothing but contempt for its cushiness - if indeed they even think about academia at all.

But back to work. Here's where my work stands. I have 3 chapters completely finished and revised, ready for the committee. Two more chapters are finished, but need minor revisions based on my advisor's read. Another chapter needs a major overhaul, because it is combining two former chapters into one, so there is a lot that needs to be done setting the stage more broadly and then incorporating transitions and connections.

Two more chapters are in progress right now, and that's the major focus of my work this week.

The last, summary chapter, is not started. (Although I think it probably has an outline and some notes already.)

My goal today is to figure out how to organize all the materials on economic development discourses, in order to figure out how to sequence the chapter. A bunch of parts of this are done; it's a question of making a logical narrative of them.

Posted by otto0114 at 8:34 AM