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I’m in my office on a Sunday afternoon of the long weekend. I’ve just “finished” my thesis, which is to say I’ve filled in all the bits that say “WRITE ABOUT THIS”. That means if you just flip through it, it actually looks like a real goddamn thesis. 168 pages. 40,000 words. Just don’t read it too carefully.

Now begins 4 weeks of revisions, making it not read like shit, before I have to submit it to the external appraiser. I wanted to be at this stage 3 weeks ago, but I also wanted the deadline for the external to be much closer. Basically I just wanted to get it done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I have the extra time, but I also just want it to be over.

I still have a lot of doubts about this. I have no second thoughts what-so-ever about my decision to leave academia. The problem is I still have to prove that I’m good enough for academia (worthy of a Ph.D.) before I can leave. I am especially worried about my external. He is an expert in the field. He knows this shit. The rest of my committee doesn’t, at least not as well, and I think I can handle them ok. It’s this wildcard that will ask relevant, insightful, ignorance-revealing questions. And I will stare at the committee like a deer in headlights. Like a head in deadlights. Uuuuugggh.

Not more than one dissenter and I pass. There are six votes. Can I be a whip here and make sure I have the five I need? U, C, M, B, should all be for me. U I can’t read at all but etiquette dictates… C always asks tough questions. M asks sometimes tough questions but is at least nice and supportive about it. B asks questions out of genuine curiosity, which are the best kind. But K and L are both wildcards.

It’s probably not worth worry about too much, right? I’ll do what I can do and that’s all I can do. I think that means write, revise, get their input as much in advance as I can (because I’m soooo good at soliciting input). Read background material when I can’t write any more. Enjoy the summer. Please let me enjoy the summer. By the end of it I will either be a Doctor or a Dropout.

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