Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Friday, March 03, 2006
Wading and Waiting
Ugh. This week marked the beginning of a new case study, the second-largest of the dissertation (I already wrote the largest), and thus it also marked the beginning of yet another frustrating period of wading through foreign language documents. I have spent the morning paging through document after document, getting out my trusty light blue pen yet again to highlight important passages. This is the case study I started to write for a conference paper last year, and so a lot of the documents are already marked-up, which is nice... except that by now I've forgotten why I marked those pages up, and so it really feels like starting from scratch. I've written about ten pages this week -- far less than I hoped to write -- but there is a silver lining.

Just after Valentine's Day I made an "Ideal Dissertation Schedule" and sent it to both of my advisors. I needed something concrete, a real plan where I outlined what I was going to try to accomplish each day. I made the schedule through late April, when I hope to have a complete draft written and sent to my advisors. So far, I've been right on schedule -- until this week, that is. For today, my schedule says "Rough draft of Chapter Six done." That is not going to happen -- not even close, judging by the sheer number of documents pooling next to my desk. But here's the silver lining: when I wrote up the schedule, I forgot to schedule an entire week -- the week of Spring Break here at Doctoral University. So, although my daycare is closed for the bulk of that week and I'll have ST here at home, I have a LOT more time to finish this mega-chapter than I originally thought. Hurray!

I'll spend the rest of the afternoon reading these documents, then. I find that I am finally getting faster at reading them, which is good, and I'm finding that, in general, they support my hypotheses. That's a good feeling: even though I'm often told that "no result is still a result," it feels good to say, "I hypothesized that if Y, then X would happen, and you know what... it does!"

On a side note, ST declared last night that he wants me to make ice cream sandwiches with him. He wants us to make chocolate cookies and then fill them with chocolate chip ice cream. No problem, except that part of my Plan for Lent is not to eat between meals and not to eat dessert*. How will I possibly resist a homemade ice cream sandwich? I may actually see Christ this weekend, since it will take the sight of Him in my kitchen to keep me away from an ice cream sandwich. (And if I DO actually see Him, I'll blog about it. Really, I will!)

* For other blogging Catholics: is it true that you are released from Lenten obligations on Sunday, since Sundays aren't really a part of Lent due to the fact that they're a celebration of the Resurrection? I hope it's true, because I'm dying for something sweet. If it is true, I'm sure I'll gain 10 pounds on Sundays.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 3/03/2006 12:38:00 PM  
7 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 3:29 PM, Blogger BrightStar said…

    I have heard that Sundays are exempt from Lenten obligations. :) For what it's worth! (Also, I think it's more the spirit of the sacrifice than the actual days, and you are definitely sacrificing, so in the spirit of that, I think letting the sacrifice go for one day a week wouldn't make the other days any less of a sacrifice.)

     
  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    Here's a thought: why don't you neatly wrap up one of those ice cream sandwiches (in wax paper) to put in the freezer? Mark on it in pen, or crayon (or whatever works) your name, and some particular milestone that it will be eaten in celebration of (like complete draft written and sent).

    Then, every time you get tempted to break your resolve, you'll be reminded of that goal, and the reward waiting for you at the end. Yum!

     
  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    Glad to hear you have some "extra" time to tackle this case study!!

     
  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger MusicalMom said…

    Good luck with everything! Hopefully you'll be able to stay on track with that extra week thrown in.

    (And those ice cream sandwiches sound soooo yummy!!!)

     
  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    Wow, you found a whole extra week. How sweet is that! Speaking of sweet: As a lapsed Lutheran, I say go for the ice cream. :)

     
  • At 9:20 PM, Blogger La Lecturess said…

    I've heard this, too, although I also have some suspiciousness about its veracity (I think I only encountered this idea as an adult--I'm sure no one ever told me this when I was giving up chocolate as a kid!).

    But I say, go with it! If it makes it that much easier to sacrifice something, and if you feel that you're really honoring Sunday by releasing yourself from your obligations, why not?

     
  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    As I am not a Catholic I really shouldn't comment on the Sunday release from Lenten obligations but I shan't let that stop me. It sounds like wishful thinking to me (I am, however pondering B*'s theology on this one).

    However, as one writing a dissertation, I support articulatedad on the idea of celebrating your writing goals with sweets. Either way I definitely want to hear about it if you see Christ in your kitchen. He shows up on the darndest foods!

     
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