Finding a Voice

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

guilty confession ...

I like Vienna sausages.

But only as a treat ... once in awhile.

I do not think about the ingredients.
That's the nature of a treat.
You don't ask what's in it.

That said ...
my cat won't even eat them.

She could be smarter than me.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 3:29 PM 3 comments

Monday, April 16, 2007

conferences in May

I just came back from a wedding in Alberta and am getting excited to head back there for conferences in a few weeks.

The first conference is "Research in Religious Studies" at the University of Lethbridge. On a whim I submitted a paper proposal after the posted deadline, and it was accepted! Turns out the deadline had been extended, so I emailed as many potential presenters as I could think of and, much to my delight and relief, my cousin Amy also had a paper proposal accepted! So we're going to Lethbridge for May 2-4!

Amy's paper in the Christian History group on Thursday morning, 11:15 – 11:45: "Martin Luther: Revolutionary Mystic?"

My paper in the Christianity in Canada group is on Friday morning, 9:00 - 9:30: "Oral Histories of Women from the Early Days of Briercrest: Personal Narratives of Five Women Involved at Briercrest College and Seminary prior to 1960"
The second conference is the CACSD annual, which moves from city to city, meeting this year in Calgary, May 14-16. I'm helping to organize it and am thrilled about conducting it with Open Space Technology. Will probably stay with my brother and sister-in-law for several of the days between conferences. There will be some set-up to take care of at Rocky Mountain College, and some friends to visit, and hopefully some business to do (i.e., Mannatech and Norwex). And on May 9th I'll have a phone interview with Incubator Records as part of the audition process with them. That process just keeps moving along ...

Then there's rest. I'm so exhausted from the last two weeks -- finishing my thesis, defending it, interviewing for a position at a college (unnamed for now), driving to Red Deer for the wedding, driving to Calgary to stay overnight on Friday, driving to Edmonton on Saturday, driving home on Sunday ... whew! Today I just laid low and visited with Mom and Dad, Aunt Linda, our friend Barb, Sisters Therese and Bernadette, and Erandi and Angelica (Mom & Dad's other renters). Time to go to bed. I'd like to read, but my eyes feel so heavy. Tomorrow I will set into thesis revisions, to be finished by Friday so that I can graduate with a clear conscience (and be that much further prepared for the Lethbridge conference).

Good night!

posted by Colleen McCubbin at 8:46 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

thesis defense: clear pass

On Monday morning Mom and I drove 5 hours to Caronport where I defended my thesis to a committee of three (Dwayne Uglem, Peter Engle, Sam Berg), with approximately 26 people sitting in. It was a wonderful experience and I received a clear pass. Dr. Uglem said several times that my research is "a gift to Briercrest."

I had some good advice from my friend Chelle, which she received prior to defending her Ph.D. dissertation:

Smile, and don't panic. They are on your side--they want you to pass.
Enjoy the defense. This is your work that they are talking about, it should be fun, at least on some level.
Be confident. You know your subject better than anyone else.
Don't be defensive. Take your time answering questions. Take a deep breath before the difficult questions, and defend your argument.
Beforehand, try to anticipate your weakest points and prepare answers.
Be willing to acknowledge when you have missed something, but never say "Oh, I never thought about that." Again, take a deep breath and talk about the subject at hand.
Remember that this is a conversation about YOUR work, remind them of that if necessary. Defend your work, not what you did not do.
Again, smile and remain your beautiful, pleasant self.

That's what I did and it was actually a lot of fun (including the "comprehensive oral exam" prior to the defense). And they really did want me to pass. :)

After turkey dinner with the Gabors and a little stop in Moose Jaw to visit Aunt Helen, Mom and I drove 5 hours home, arriving at 3:00 a.m.! This morning I felt more than a little tired and dizzy, but satisfied and relieved.

Thanks for praying and/or attending. Will make the necessary revisions next week and should post the polished thesis online by April 30th.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 1:00 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

thesis defense

On Easter Monday I will defend my thesis in Caronport. This is an invitation ...

... to pray for me in these final stages of defending and proofreading
and / or
... to attend the defense, which is open to the public (if you're in the area): April 9th,
4:15 pm , room 113 in the seminary
and / or
... to read the thesis later. Once satisfied with the final product (probably after proofreading), I will post it on a website. Check back here in a few weeks for news of this.

This description has been used to advertise the defense at Caronport. This is not the official abstract (summary):


Colleen Taylor's thesis asks the question, "What were the experiences of women in the early days of Briercrest?" Based on interviews with five women (including the Whittakers' daughter Jean, and Henry Hildebrand's first secretary), the thesis narratives bring forward stories of women that reveal themes previously unconsidered in writings by and about men. While the women's influence was often outside the classroom, they made immeasurable contributions to the schools and especially to the wider community.

posted by Colleen McCubbin at 5:16 PM 2 comments