I’m finally scheduled! For mid-October!
There is exactly one hour and fifteen minutes when all of my committee members are available during a given week. So we’re making the best of it. My third reader may have to leave early, but she shouldn’t miss much.
So now I’ve bought plane tickets, booked hotels and rental cars, made arrangements to stay with friends, and asked for school work for the kids to take with us. I still have to make arrangements to miss things (soccer games, farmbox pickup).
The dissertation itself is nearly ready to submit to my committee. I have two chapters left to proofread, one chapter’s worth of figures to make, and two chapters to tweak for 2ndary advisor. Then I have to type in all my changes. My goal is to be all done by Friday. I’d better get working!
This morning I got notice from Primary that my conclusion was perfect (his word). So I made some copyediting changes and sent it off to Secondary this morning. I’m now for real, officially, all the way approved by Primary. I’m going to get to graduate!
Secondary has been quick to respond this week, and he’s been very positive about everything so far. He still wants some changes to Arc, but they seem minor. Primary is advocating for me to be able to schedule before Secondary sees my final changes to Arc.
Meanwhile, I’m working on making figures and proofreading and keeping my fingers crossed that Secondary re-reads FQ and reads the conclusion tonight and emails in the morning enthusiastic about scheduling the defense.
We’ve got some celebrating going on here at Chez Str!
It turns out my secondary advisor is aiming for “the strongest dissertation possible” one that’s “nearly ready to publish,” while I’m aiming for “I’ve spent ten years on a PhD and I’m ready to be done can you please me pass please.” There seems to be a disconnect.
Luckily, my primary advisor is planning that it will all be smooth sailing from here on out. I’m still holding my breath.
Work-wise, I have one more pass to go on the conclusion. Then, just proofreading and a few minor changes to strengthen the arc of the project and make secondary happy.
It turns out my secondary advisor’s promise to get back to me in “several weeks” turned out to mean about two. Glory Be! And to top that, he called my ER chapter “superb.” I’m thinking of creating a blurb page from his comments on my chapters. Three out of five have gotten the most positive comments he’s given on dissertation chapters, according to Primary.
And now the bad news. He wants even more revisions to Arc. I have revised this chapter more than 10 times; many of those times it was significantly rewritten. It has changed shape more times than I care to count. I knew my revision was risky–I don’t think I changed the argument as substantially as he desired, but I did frame the argument to justify its place in my dissertation. Alas. And to sink even lower, he’s mailing his handwritten comments, so I can’t know the damage yet. But–glass half full, now–I can use this time to polish up the other chapters so I’ll have everything else done and ready to go. And I still have twelve days to work things out so I can have my dream defense date.
Speaking of polishing things up, I should get started. (Note to self: Just keep thinking, “superb!”)
I was on vacation last week, but before I left, I sent a full draft to my editor for proofreading and my advisor for a formatting check. Unfortunately, I still have a few revisions left before it’s really complete, so this week I’ll be revising the Intro, Titus, and Conclusion. The Intro and Conclusion will be challenging; situating my work within existing scholarship and explaining my contribution takes deep thinking and a boldness I rarely feel. I think more about what I haven’t read than what I have. I’m typically not one to worry too much about what scholarship I’ve missed–I figure there’s always something, and if I’ve covered the major works that get referenced in everyone else’s introductions, I at least have a good idea of the lay of the land. But this time, I’m worried there’s some key text I’m missing that would make my dissertation shine. Really, I need to keep in mind that it just needs to be good enough. I’m not publishing it at this point. I’m just showing that I am a competent scholar.
After the revisions are done, I’ll get to do my own proofreading, and I’ll be using OmniGraffle to make fun figures. 50 or so fun figures. Which will take way longer than I want them to.
thank goodness my kids start school on Tuesday. I need to be wary of being lulled into complacency by the thought of six interrupted hours of work time and start working early.