Coursework Completed

McGill Campus Autumn 2015
September 18, 2015

I haven't registered for classes this term. No, I haven't done anything drastic like dropping out of school. I am still enrolled as a grad student at McGill. But, I know that when I have coursework obligations: vocabulary to memorize, papers to write, and exams to study for... all that means focusing less on writing my thesis.

I'm keeping myself out of the classroom despite that there are plenty of course offerings that I'd be interested in taking. My advisor, Professor P., is teaching a course about Sufism that I know I would find fascinating. I could take more Persian or perhaps even make the jump to Turkish. I'm always happy to be sitting in any language class. But, I know that being enrolled in any class at all would be a distraction to making progress toward what I really need to get done: finish writing my thesis and wrap up this program.

Even without coursework this term I do have other academic obligations on my calendar over the next month. I'll be presenting at a conference in Toronto in October. Then, I'll attend another conference back in Madison, Wisconsin a couple weeks thereafter. As I have to be out on the road to attend both of those events and as I don't have any courses keeping me here in Montréal I'm planning not to return from those trips. Rather, I'll make a gradual return to Seattle to visit family for Christmas. Given my preferred mode of travel, naturally, I'll make it a long overland journey across the continent rather than going by air. Though, I'll sure need a lot of discipline to continue dedicating time to write my thesis while out on the road.

Realizing that I'll be away from Montréal this autumn--and eventually for good when I've finished this M.A. program--I'm making a point to call on friends who live in the area. Bonnie and Matthew have moved back from England to Ottawa. That's only a 2-hour drive from Montréal, so I've booked a rental car to go call on them this weekend. Listing the trip on a rideshare website means that the trip will cost me nothing, the costs of car and fuel being offset by what passengers who need a ride pay me to get to Ottawa. It's such a good system, essentially working out to free travel for me when I want to visit places within driving distance of Montréal. I don't know why I haven't taken advantage of it far more while I've been living in this area.

Next stop: Ottawa