The end of the beginning

Graduate study in the humanities can be a lonely business. Enter my knight in shining armor, commonly referred to around these parts as the Praxis Program.

I think I’ve shared with you all before that I jumped at the call for applicants to the soon-to-become Praxis Program last summer specifically because the invitation promised that the Scholars’ Lab “apprenticeship” would offer ample opportunities for collaboration with not only Scholars’ Lab staff but also with other grad students. Fittingly, I began writing my application essay in the Victoria, BC airport, following my first experience at the ultra-collaborative and congenial DHSI. This summer, along with my gorgeous and talented co-pilot Brooke Lestock, I’ll be presenting the Praxis Program and our crowdsourcing interpretation tool Prism to DHSI 2012 participants during one of the Institute’s colloquium sessions. Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it?

Speaking of full circle: last Wednesday the Program held a lunchtime information session for potential 2012-2013 Praxis Fellows. Sitting up at the front of the room with my cohort, flanked by our fearless and supportive SLab team, I couldn’t help but feel ridiculously proud of what we, as a discrete group, have achieved so far this year. Now people want to be us. During the Q&A session, with the help of Bethany and company, we successfully fielded all kinds of questions about how we value the skills we’ve developed and the experiences we’ve shared over the past semester and a half. We were articulate. We sounded like we knew what we were talking about. Because we did know what we were talking about! Finally. Thank you, Praxis Program.

This past weekend marked the deadline for submissions to the 2012-13 Praxis Fellowship. Obviously we have to keep details confidential, but it can’t hurt to share that we received what I thought was a shockingly large number of applicants. And the applicants are stellar. It’s going to be terribly difficult to make decisions, but I’m excited about the process (as always!) and can’t express adequately how incredible it feels to know that I’ll have a hand in shaping the next generation of Praxis.

I envy the new cohort of Fellows, whoever they may be. To you, future Fellows, I offer the following sage (because I’m on the way out) advice: make the most of your time. I know I’ll miss it.

I leave you with my proposal for the 2011-12 Praxis team tshirt design, because I’m too happy about it to keep it to myself (n.b.: 99% of the credit for this goes to Brooke). Jeremy, is there any way we can get a higher-resolution logo? I had to steal this one from the blog.

shirt!

Cheers!

Sarah is a 2011-12 Praxis Fellow, former NINES Fellow, and a PhD candidate in the Department of English.

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