I'm sure that every dissertator (especially those Very Special Dissertators like myself who are on the, ahem, Longerish Path to completion) can relate to what I'm about to say. OK, here it is:
- At 5:38 PM Nik said...
Yes, this post incited panic in me too. But I like this idea to post a panic-inducing list and then post as accomplishments are made. And made they will be. Good luck!
- At 6:57 PM Rhonda said...
This is doable. You can do this.
A colleague was in a similar position last summer, and our very wise division head lent her a work study student as a research assistant. A good undergrad can do most of the formatting of footnotes and tables of content and all the weird spacing that grad schools insist on. Just wrangling with Microsoft Word takes a lot of time, and if you can afford to pay your most diligent student to do it for you, it will free up a lot of your pre- and post-defense time.
Sending very productive work vibes your way!
- At 9:24 PM Mimi said...
You can do this. You can. Do you need a writing group? I'll be your writing group: my tenure deadlines are approaching and I have a lot of writing to do to be where I need to be. Seriously. I did a Gina Hiatt support group thing and it helped me. We could be a cheap two person writing group. Write me.
You can do this. I know your panic. It's totally doable though, and do, you will.
- At 8:34 AM Amanda said...
Wow - I can't relate to the dissertation thing, as it's sorta a far-off dream, but I can relate to the self-loathing. And I know how debilitating it can be.
It happens to me when I go jogging and can't keep up with my partner. And once I start feeling just an ounce of self-loathing, it usually takes over and becomes the biggest obstacle to what I'm trying to accomplish. I tell myself all sorts of things like, "You can't do this" or "You suck at this and you'll never get there." And often times, those things I say to myself allow me to justify giving up. It helps to tell myself that I'm just running and it's just something that I'm doing. That removes any kind of value and emotion from the act.
So, you're just writing your dissertation. That's all. It's just something you're doing.
You can do it...I mean, you had a baby. I'm pretty sure that means you can do just about anything :)
- At 1:01 PM Scrivener said...
I totally relate to that whole second paragraph, still, even though I quit. But you can totally, totally do this. The absolute deadline might be the best thing for you. I hope your committee knows that you've got a job and that this simply has to be done or you lose it, and that wherever you are as of August 1 should just be good enough. Any chance you can just jettison chapter 1?
- At 2:35 PM Anonymous said...
Support!Support! I once said that you are my hero, and that is still so. Of course you can do this. I am in a similar position, only slightly less immediate. I have to finish the hell-child that is my thesis even though I hate it with every fibre in my body and soon,and in addition become fluent in crazy difficult modern language that I study the ancient portion of, before february or else I cannot apply for the permanent position that I am in temporary position of. Considering that jobs in my field are as frequent as blue strawberries, I have this chance, and this chance only. I am right where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do, and in order to stay in paradise I have to give birth to thesis from hell. One reason why you are my hero is because you write what I feel. And that makes my life and my struggling with (censored curses)-thesis bearable. It just helps feeling less alone, and less crazy, and less hopeless.
You can do this, and so can I. And you are not alone, cause I am here, cheering for you.
Love and support, Kicki
- At 4:11 PM Anonymous said...
You can do this. I would recommend picking Bookends over Endnote, getting started now on that process, and trying to get help with the footnotes and formatting. If you can't get a dedicated undergrad from your dept, how about hiring one on your own? It might be well worth the money.
Talk to your advisor and feel them out -- maybe they can run interference for you on the actual defense. My advisor told everyone there was an employment pressure and "asked" them to offer revisions suggestions that could be accomplished in a day or two.
True story -- I took roughly a year to write the first chapter in a history diss. The last chapters, written while I had to juggle two new preps, came out in a couple of weeks each. They were not as good, but they were done. You can do this too. Just get them done.
Give yourself a firm deadline on the article -- no more than X days on it. Then just move on -- the diss is the only priority -- and remember, you only have to finish it. This is your last piece of student work, not the first piece of your professional work. It need not be brilliant, or perfectly copyedited, it need only be done.
- At 10:25 PM What Now? said...
The end is in sight! I know that is one scary schedule you've given yourself, but there's also something exciting about the possibility of being done, of not having this albatross around your neck anymore. You can do this!
- At 12:19 PM Jennie said...
This sounds like a post I could write, if I had as much of my dissertation done as you already do. I was wasting time yesterday, mentally drafting my acknowledgments section. But not in the typical, "Without the support and inspiration of many people blah, blah, blah.." No, mine will be something like this: "The whole process of writing this dissertation truly sucked!"
That said, you can do this! I wish I was as far along as you. And having that firm deadline may be a blessing in disguise. My advice (take this with a grain of salt, because you do have more done than I do), after you finish Chapter 4, is to prioritize the unwritten stuff and then work on the rest of the revisions after all the chapters are at least drafted. For me work takes as much time as deadlines allow, so I'd rather be scrambling at the end to make existing chapters better than having to pull a whole new one out of my ass at the 11th hour. Hang in there, I'm rooting for you. I don't know you, but I can completely relate.
- At 9:32 AM Bionic-Woman said...
I could have written this post except for the deadlines and status of each chapter plus my dissertation has 8 (yes what the hell was I thinking?)
I think it's totally doable...and you'll get it done. Sometimes the longerish path means you actually took time to smell the roses. Hang in there.