Thursday, November 03, 2005

Take away my degree, now

Many of you will learn that the most humiliating and frustrating part of getting an advanced degree is when some official from your school looks over your dissertation or thesis to make sure the document conforms to the university's guidelines. It seems ludicrous that after you have worked on this document for years (at least in my case), there is a little lady wearing taupe shoes in a windowless office, measuring your margins and page numbers with a well-worn wooden ruler. If the document doesn't pass muster with her, you don't get your degree. Naturally, this woman has no idea how humiliating and excruciating this process is for you. She also doesn't understand that none of us are professional word processors, armed with all the arcane secrets that our writing software holds.

So getting to my point: I am going through this process right now, having prepared the final final final draft of my dissertation, all 569 pages of it. After screaming at my footnotes to make them move into the correct spot on the page, they finally complied. I tore my hair out to get all of my images to fit within the Bizarro World margins required by my uni. Satisfied that my document was in perfect shape, I sent off a PDF of it for approval.

And the little Taupe Shoe Lady writes me back today to say that all looks good, except for the fact that I misspelled "university" on my title pages.


Anonymous zelda said...


8:38 AM  
Blogger Rebekah Ravenscroft-Scott said...

i apologize, but really, this post made my day. thanks!

12:18 PM  
Blogger Porkorama said...

Ha ha ha....I'm actually quite thankful for the strange margins and standards they have devised. You can imagine my delight when I found out you had to have a space between footnotes! I'm trying to learn not to write as concisely as I do...I think I'm finally managing it a bit. But it's still going to be tough to make the minimum. I'm in such a crunch I'm formatting from the get-go. I've finally figured out EndNote to the point it's useful.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Unsane said...

I hate that taupe shoe lady and I hope she burns in hellflames.

Yours sincerely
The Lord.

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