About once a week, I'll put up a post for those of us in grad school looking for support around our work. Maybe we can use this time to talk about our feelings and for those of us who might benefit from it, some goal setting might be a good idea.

So, let's use this time to actually discuss where we are in our program and what we have to do. I'm in a 5th year of a PhD program in Social Work. I've completed my course work, my preliminary exams and am working on my dissertation (right now, gathering data through intensive interviewing—I'm a big proponent of qualitative methods).

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Besides my dissertation, I have a multi-year contract to work full time as an instructor at a graduate school—which means I have excellent benefits and can afford cable. But it also means I work a significant amount.) I am also in my 40s—this is my second career and some of the challenge is that you invariably don't have the mental energy of a 25 year old, which makes things like all-nighters and epic study sessions very challenging at times.

I worked before as a court clinician, which meant that I had to have a high degree of competence both as a clinician and evaluator (I also ran the group program) but also a really good grasp of systems—that's the essence of social work—it's about being able to manage multiple systems simultaneously. I've also worked a lot with families and with people with severe mental illness. Basically a bunch of random shit. I've had two jobs for much of my career.

With that said—one of my alternate interests is around teenagers and aggression and I'm also writing and almost done with a paper that my advisor says looks really good around trauma reactive aggression with teenagers. I already have plans for my next paper, which will be around methodology.

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So as far as my dissertation, besides gathering data, I am working on presenting my pilot in April (which I completed last summer) and I'm trying to work on the literature review and take as many field notes as possible. But it's hard.

I try to make weekly goals, but it's hard. I am going to try to send out at least 20 emails for recruitment and read at least 10 articles for my dissertation by next week. That seems somewhat reasonable especially as I have like 50 papers to grade.

What about you? I will bump this for the evening folks

BTW: I did this in response to earlier requests—anyone can post a post about it but if you do, think about using the tag so we can know where to find these posts. Thanks