Monday, April 25, 2005


Good news, friends. My last internal chapter has just been approved by my advisor! He's sending me his comments this week and I'll have some minor changes to make, but it's essentially done. Although I was pretty sure it was crap (or at least not up to my own personal standards), he said it was "the best section yet." Weird.

I had written my conclusion without much guidance from my advisor as he had dropped out of contact for about ten days (very much unlike him). When I told him what I had done (all 10,000 words of it), he told me that it essentially needs to be cut in half and my favorite part of the whole dissertation doesn't really need to be in there. Maybe I'll cut it out and keep it for an article after my defense. I do really like it--the section exposes a bias in the scholarship, a bias that in the end has no foundation. Maybe the advisor doesn't like it because I'm a bit too "attack-dog" in that section, calling out various scholars by name. Huh.

At any rate, I must find my Anti-Prolix Muse and chop down my conclusion this week. *sigh*

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Complete Lack of Focus

So this blog (my end of it), has become an example of my general tendencies with...well, just about everything (except chocolate--how could one ever lose focus on chocolate?). I get really obsessive about something and then I move on. Wait a, there is a second exception. The dissertation! I never became obsessed with that. I NEED to become obsessed with that. If only it didn't require months of obsession. I have not written anything since being free of that horrible job. I've been busy with TAing and bureaucratic stuff. Taxes. That sort of thing. But tomorrow I have one of my dreaded (but oh so necessary for me) meetings with my dissertation advisor, and I PROMISED that I'd have a new chunk to show. Something "fat" is what she asked for. Sheer volume. I meant to write all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I am only now preparing to write. I am so good at planning to do stuff. Man, my "to do" lists are works of sheer genius. Detailed, nuanced, elegant...incredible finesse. If in addition to that I was any good at delegating, which I'm not, I would make a good business person.
So, enough of this...gonna go look to see if my muse is hiding underneath some dirty socks or behind the stove.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I'm getting lazy and tired

This weekend I think I will finish my last chapter, leaving only the conclusion to do. I've been writing bits and pieces on the conclusion all along, so I don't foresee any great effort to crank that out. It would be great if I could just write Conclusion: QED and be done with it!

In writing my last chapter, I've noticed that I've gotten very lazy. I don't track down and mention every reference I see. I don't engage every possible argument or make every possible analysis. I'm ready for this thing to be done and I'm only doing slightly more than the bare minimum. When I told this to my husband, who finished his PhD two years ago, he asked if there was going to be another chapter or section between this one I'm writing now and the conclusion. In other words, he thinks that if there is something to distract my readers after this kind of ho-hum chapter then they will forget about it by the time they get to the conclusion! Who just might work!

I'm just getting kind of bored with this subject. It's been a rich mine for great information and I can imagine myself using the dissertation for articles or hopefully a book, but I'm ready to move on to something else now.

I guess I'm just suffering from the grad school equivalent of "Senioritis"--scoot through the last phase by the skin of your teeth, just get the job done and get out of there!

PS: I just wrote my 401st page. I should "win" just by sheer volume!