Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
Julie: Stylish Sister
Rob: Awesome Brother
Belle: Our Cat
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006
(Not So) Grande Finale, et. al
I think Chapter Seven is done, or at least as done as it's going to be at this point. It's a short chapter (less than 20 pages), which is exactly how I wanted it to be given that my other chapters are around 30 pages each and Prof. G. doesn't like long dissertations. I've had misgivings about Chapter Seven from the outset: on the one hand, it was going to be an umbrella chapter that rounded out the case studies, making them into a more cohesive whole. On the other, however, the cases themselves weren't that interesting, neither in subject matter nor in their ramifications for the project. My brilliant plan to combine the final two case studies into one mega-chapter was brilliant... or would have been brilliant if the last case hadn't been a dud. Today I pulled out the last case, deleted it, and decided to do only the less-boring alternative case.

The thing is, none of my chapters are "complete," and this is because I've avoided tacking conclusions onto most of them. I despise writing conclusions; by the time the analysis of the cases is complete, I'm tired and bored and want to do something else. However, now that I am faced with writing the conclusion to the entire dissertation, I can't just do something else: I need to go back and spell it all out in each chapter, and decide which important nuggets of wisdom I want to hightlight in the Grande Finale. As Prof. C. told me a few weeks ago, the conclusion to my dissertation is one of the more important chapters, since the majority of my committee members probably won't even read the case studies that make up the bulk of the dissertation.

Aside from the big conclusion, there are the revisions. And there are a lot of them. Some of them are easy to do, some of them will take a lot of brain power and rewriting of sections of text. I am glad, however, that Profs. C and G gave me their comments on Chapters 1-5 already, since I wouldn't want to waste more time waiting for them to finish reading. I just want to be done. I just really, really want to be done.

*****

On a lighter non-academic note, I am fortunate to be the noontime caregiver to the new puppy next door. He's only eight weeks old, and since his owners work some distance from our neighborhood they asked me if I could feed him and let him out each afternoon when I'm home. I was happy to oblige since this dog is so incredibly cute (and I'm not a dog lover by any means). The sad thing: this dog is not a good fit for our neighbors, and it's quite obvious. The husband (who really, really wanted the dog) is rarely home, leaving the wife (who doesn't like animals) to care for the puppy and her son (who is afraid of the dog because he's jumpy and likes to nip at people's hands). The sadder thing: they paid $800 for this dog at a local pet store (oh, how I hate pet stores!) and they won't take the dog back. But sadder still: the same dog (a "mutt" according to the vet who lives down the street from us) would have cost them less than $100 had they adopted it from one of our many animal shelters. Poor dog. Poor family (in more ways than one).

*****

On a totally self-absorbed note, my skin looks awesome. I would like to use this blog space to proclaim my undying affection for Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer. My skin is usually very clear, but a few weeks ago I started having a weird reaction to my normal product (Oil of Olay, which I've used for a decade now). After struggling to find something new, I followed a recommendation for Cetaphil on her blog, and I must say that my skin has NEVER looked better than it does now.

*****

And on the "stresses" front: T has begun the Very Important Task and has also sent out four resumes based on a contact he has made in the area (through professors in my department). Hurray for T -- I hope one of these options pans out for him! Additionally, I've lined up four houses in New Town for us to tour this weekend -- three homes about 5-7 years old, and one new construction. I so hope that we can have the same success as the family of my sweet friend ABDmom and find something we actually want to buy!

*****

After typing up this post, the dissertation is still there. Darn -- I half hoped it would just go away. But since it's staring at me (again!) I'd best get back to it.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 5/02/2006 01:14:00 PM  
2 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    I really, really want you to be done, too! I hate writing conclusions, too - they always seem trite no matter how much effort I put into them. Good luck with yours. You're almost there - it's the conclusion!

    So glad to hear T has started his VIT. My fingers are crossed for him! And for us, since we're both house shopping this week!

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    No, no... don't finish. Just leave it there. Doesn't it look nice?... I mean, print out a few chapters, and let them flop all over the floor, all messy like... done? Okay, good. Now, doesn't that look nice there in one heap? Don't spoil it with conclusions. Yech! You don't want to do that.

     
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