Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nose Back to the Grindstone

For once, I had impeccable timing. On Saturday, I read the last page of Breaking Dawn, then walked out to get my mail, only to discover a packet from my dissertation director with revision suggestions. I knew it was coming. I'd just been trying to push the thought to the back of my mind while I enjoyed a couple of weeks of recreational reading.

Of course, I would have loved to have opened it up and read the words, "It's perfect! You're done!" but I'm not that naive. Actually, it wasn't that bad. He gave me two choices. He said that my committee would accept it with minor cosmetic revisions, BUT he thought it had the possibility of being an exceptional dissertation if I'd make the revisions he suggested in a seven page letter and detailed marginal comments. The question is, he said, "How good do you want to make it?"

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh. Having a Type A personality costs you.

A friend whom I really respect and who has already been through this process told me early in my doctoral studies to remember that I don't have to write the perfect dissertation; I just have to get four signatures and the diploma. And he's right. I have no illusions of being able to write the perfect dissertation and I'm really ready to get that diploma. But I don't want to finish by doing the least amount of work possible. I want four signatures, the diploma, and the satisfaction of a job well done.

So now I'm looking at about a month of revision, and every day as I sit down to work I can think of about a million things I'd rather be doing. My self discipline is wearing thin.


Anonymous said...

o crap! im sorry to hear this & have no peppy talk to give. can you invent a bright spot to get you through this last month? are you teaching in july? let me know how i can help...if its only to listen. oox

Stephanie said...

Thanks! I'm sure I'll make it. Just ready to be done!! And, yes, I am teaching in July. Kinda looking forward to it, actually. Personal interaction, you know, instead of just facing a computer.

How's it going with you?