This “Don’t Fly Solo” board has been up in the hallway of our building since before I was hired. I took a picture of it back in December 2017, when I was here on a job interview. It was one of the most prominent signs (no pun intended) that this would be a friendly and fun unit to work in, which was one of the biggest considerations on my mind when I decided to accept the job (though the adventure of changing disciplines and the convenience of living closer to family shouldn’t be discounted).
Two of my major projects for the summer have been updating my website and submitting my tenure dossier for consideration. One specific thing I’ve been meaning to do at the intersection of these two projects has been to include a modified research statement on my website as well as a list of my publications along with links to PDFs for all of my research, ensuring that it remains accessible to everyone.
The past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about a memory from my junior year of college. It was the end of a semester, and on top of all of my own finals, I was teaching FREN 102 for the first time, so my end-of-semester was busier than it had been in previous years. I don’t remember all of this busy time, but I do remember specific parts of taking my online FREN 362 (French Civilization II) final while sitting in the office shared by instructors from the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Scandinavian Studies.
Like in many PhD programs, my comprehensive exams included an element that was intended to help me prepare for my dissertation proposal, dissertation, and dissertation defense. Building off of my research interests and experiences up to that point, my advisor wrote me a lengthy question asking me to define and describe simulation games—the intent, of course, being that at least some of this could be worked into a literature review for a dissertation.