I’ve spent almost the entire day writing on my dissertation. Although the final results of this labor are months away from completion, my Friendfeed channel reveals many digital breadcrumbs from my research today. To take a short break this evening, I watched the 4.5 minute video Valerie Strauss shared in her Washington Post “Answer Sheet” blog post today, “So you want a PhD in the humanities? A laugh/cry video.” I’ve embedded the video below to start at the 3 minute, 10 second mark, as the fictionalized (but all too real) English professor gives counsel to an aspiring student considering the path of the terminal degree earner.

It certainly is interesting to contemplate the life of a tenure-track professor, from my current vantage point as an independent learning consultant (it will be two years in February!) and educational blogger. Health benefits, a retirement savings plan, and a regular income all sound quite appealing. At this stage in the game, I’m unsure what my next career move will be, but I know a PhD will open new doors that otherwise would remain closed to me. Whether or not those doors are the ones I want to go through remains an open question, as does an offer of employment by a university which won’t require a six hour, weekly, round-trip commute.

In addition to providing a sobering laugh, this video also inspires me to find a way to give Xtranormal a try soon as a digital storytelling platform. GoAnimate is a similar option, which some of my cohort participants in Shanghai in September utilized for their final visual literacy project. I’ve been thinking about encouraging the creation of “scenario skits” related to digital citizenship and balanced content filtering, for BalancedFiltering.org, and Xtranormal could provide a great solution for a distributed team of volunteer videographers to work on this project.

Enough reflecting and sharing! It’s time to get back to writing….. Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am to have a word processor?! :-)

NaNoWriMo Day 3
Creative Commons License photo credit: mpclemens

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