Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dissertation Boot Camp Test Run

You didn't think it'd be *all* drill sargeants and pushups, did you?

On Saturday, June 6, we did a test run for the Dissertation Boot Camp, which will run Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 (to give the most people a chance to attend, we may have different sign-ups for the different days - let's see how the RSVP list goes).

The schedule for the test run was as follows:

8:00 a.m. - Begin by writing out your goal for the day.
9:00 a.m. - Work, work, work.
10:30 a.m. - Yoga session with Nancy Sassaman
11:00 a.m. - Work, work, work.
12:30 p.m. - Lunch / phone / internet break (Sushi)
1:00 p.m. - Work, work, work.
2:30 p.m. - Outdoor "Affirmation Frisbee" break
3:00 p.m. - work work work


We met at the CGU Writing Center and made camp in the two tutoring rooms, each with butcher-papered tables. The rooms were stocked with candy and junk food (turns out, too much!) and the kitchen was stocked with coffee, tea, juice, and sushi.

We learned that sushi + wasabi = alert grad students.

We also learned that Cheddar Cheese Pringles are pretty much carbohydrate meth. So we're going to skip them next time.


The rules:

- No cell phones
- No internet*
- No talking

* Because using the internet is sometimes necessary during writing, we designated a time during lunch that allowed internet and phone use. The idea is: if you feel you have to get on the net, write down what you want to check up on, then move on. When the internet break comes, then you can look it up.

Fay had a fun variation on the internet rule: every time she was tempted to use the net, she drew a heart next to her laptop. The hearts added up pretty quickly!


Although we originally planned to have a "quiet room" and a "background music room," everyone wanted music, so we left the doors open and used iPods and a docking station to play classical / instrumental / wordless music (including Mozart, Irish trad, and cellist Zoe Keating).

This worked really well, so when we do the real deal, everyone should bring their iPods and their favorite writing music.

The group turned loose on the back lawn for energy / stretch breaks. We were incredibly lucky to have the talents of Nancy Sassaman to lead us in a yoga session underneath the oak trees.

Imagining what life will be like when the dissertation is done...

Nancy has agreed to come and do another session for the real Dissertation Boot Camp in July, and we are so thrilled to have her!!!

Nancy demonstrates "Happy Baby" pose, a great counter-pose to "Been Sittin' On My Butt All Day Typing" pose

The lawn behind the Writing Center is ideal for picnicing, group frisbee, and hopefully....croquet. If the Writing Center can get ahold of a cheap croquet set, there will definitely be some mallet-whacking at the next Boot Camp!

So, mark your calendars: July 25-26 2009: Dissertation Boot Camp.

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