AERA was crazy, as usual. It is really exciting and motivating to be there with all the "famous" people. And just to see the enormous numbers of folks who are in the field of educational research -- it was INSANE!
I was involved in one presentation at AERA - a paper I cowrote with other ETIPS folks. The discussant of the session is actually a current editor of a good journal - and during her discussing, she basically outlined what we needed to fix in our paper so that it would be in good shape to send into her journal. In other words, we were very fortunate to have our paper reviewed in real-time! This has never happened to me at a conference before. Needless to say, we are very motivated to get this article out!
While I was at the conference, I was aware that I am becoming more comfortable with my future. I know that seems a little silly, but I feel like I have been resisting naming, or even thinking about, potential job possibilities for me when I finish this degree. It is difficult for me to think about being a professor -- not because I don't want to be, or I don't think I could do it, but because it conflicts so strongly with my working-class identity. I feel like in naming a future profession, I am losing part of myself. I have been aware for a long time of this conflict, of this identity crisis. It has been very present for me for over a year now. But, I am working through it. Trying to figure out how to make peace with the future. Recognizing that a reason I am so attached to my working-class identity is because I spent so many years unaware of it (or at least of naming/recognizing it as such), so many years where I did not appreciate it.
That said, I am becoming more excited about the future. About being a professor. About being an educational researcher. I can do this. I enjoy my work now. I enjoy the field. It is time for me to start embracing my new identities, the ones I have been fostering for several years.