The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Monday, June 26, 2006
Relaxed (All Caps) (Heading 1) (Center)
Until about 9:00pm tonight, I was having quite a lovely weekend.

After a hellish Friday, I had some time to myself on Saturday while T and ST went to a local parade, a church carnival (they crashed it -- it was a Methodist church and they had lots of inflatable slides and jumping castles ST couldn't resist), and a movie. It was fun to be in the house alone without anything pressing to do, so I took my time tidying the house, making the week's meal plan, grocery shopping, and finding a belated birthday present to send to little Hans in Germany. Before T and ST returned, I even had time to curl up with one of my favorite books of all time, Anna Karenina. I read this book for the first time in ninth grade and adored it, and it was my absolute favorite book until I read War and Peace, which is now at the top of the list. A new translation of Anna Karenina came out a few years ago and my MIL bought it for my birthday the year it came out. Thus far, it is a wonderful read; I'm enjoying it even more than I did the last time I read it so many years ago.

T and I were able to get out later Saturday afternoon to do some appliance shopping, which actually was no fun at all. We were completely overwhelmed by the options available, and thus far have only decided on a range and refrigerator. (Why is a bottom-freezer refrigerator with a drawer -- versus a swing-out door -- so difficult to find?) I think I've also convinced T that a front-loader washer is the way to go, although the price jump between top-loaders and front-loaders is considerable ($300 or less to $800 or more, just for the washer). After an exhausting two hours, we headed to Corinne and Ben's house, where we'd dropped ST. That was at 7:00pm, and as is usually the case when we see Corinne and Ben, we didn't leave until around 10:30pm! It is impossible to capture just how much I love -- love -- these people.

Today was mostly nice, too. After Mass we all decided to pack a picnic lunch and head to a state park for a hike. This was a fantastic idea, since the weather was heavenly today and a far cry from the stifling heat and humidity of the past few weeks. ST was thrilled to see a fawn in the woods, to be the first to spot a blue jay, and to witness a knock-down-drag-out squirrel fight. We ended our hike just in time; as soon as we got in the car, a line of severe thunderstorms began their journey through our town.

The end of the day has been considerably less relaxing as I spent it putting the finishing formatting touches on the dissertation, which I will submit to the graduate school tomorrow. (I should have submitted it weeks ago when it was ready, but I was hoping to do a first and final deposit after the defense since my defense was scheduled before the first deposit deadline.) It is possible that formatting the dissertation is more frustrating that writing the thing. Two abstracts! Four copies of the title page! Three single-spaces between figures and the text! Special margins! It was driving me insane, and I actually didn't have much to do since the dissertation was written in the template the graduate school provides. I think it looks pretty nice now: the table of contents is working, the table of figures is correct, and the bibliography is tidy and complete. God willing, I'll have an uneventful submission tomorrow.

After the submission, I'm looking forward to this week. Lunch with Corinne and her daughters on Wednesday, work on syllabi for the fall Tuesday and Thursday, and preparing for MIL's arrival on Saturday. I'm excited to see MIL, who I haven't seen since Christmas -- she's an amazing cook, is always full of surprises for ST (surprises that usually involve bugs, which he loves), and always appreciative of the effort we put in to please her while she's here. She'll be here until Tuesday morning. And after that? Well, after that the packing and the goodbyes begin in earnest.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 6/26/2006 12:00:00 AM  
3 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Lilian said…

    I'm glad you had a relaxing Saturday. I can't believe I haven't yet read Tolstoy (and literature is my field, even yet more unbelievable), but I hope I will someday, after the boys are older and readers themselves (oh, how I look forward to them being readers!!).

    As for appliances, I have front-loader (one of the "cheaper" models, from Kenmore - which is pretty expensive as it is) and to tell you the truth, I love to save water, etc, but I think it's not as effective... My SIL who has these old washer and drier at her house and whose standard of cleaning are MUCH higher than mine says that her washer is very effective. Oh well...

    I saw a bottom freezer fridge at Home Depot just last month...

    One last comment - Have you had a smooth top range? We bought one for our previous house and I just LOVED it. It's really easy to keep nice and clean. I can't wait to have another one. But maybe your house has a gas stove... (that's the case here).

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger MusicalMom said…

    When our ancient washer died, we bought the Kenmore HE4t washer/dryer set, and I absolutely LOVE them! The washer gets the clothes so clean. I think the sanitary cycle is wonderful--especially when one of the girls had an accident and I've got disgusting underwear to wash. Ugh.

    I also love how they are stacked, so that they leave me a lot of room in my tiny laundry room.

    However, they were very expensive. I hope they last for a decade, at least.

  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger Prof. Me said…

    Thanks for the comments, Lilian and MusicalMom!

    Lilian, I have a smooth top (radiant) range right now and I will NEVER go back! It is wonderful to have a clean cooktop all the time (versus the drip trays in a electric coil range). We're ordering a Kenmore smooth top range this weekend, I think.

    MusicalMom, yes, we're looking at the same washer-dryer you have, and also a model by GE. I can't believe how expensive they are! But I'll have a smallish laundry room, and so the stacking option is very attractive to me. Do you find it's difficult to get things out of the top unit when they're stacked?

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