Happy 08/08/08 Y’all
Today would’ve been a cool day to have a baby. Or to get married.
Instead I stayed up all night trying to meet an 8,000 word thesis draft deadline (for a 9 am submission). Well, that’s a lie. I napped from 5:30 to 6:30 so as not to mentally snap.
Warning: this post is all about the thesis. You are excused from reading…if thesis-progress-or-lack-thereof-chatter bores you, please return to this blog after September 12. I know I said that posts would be scarce. What I should have said is that posts containing pretty pictures or adventures or anything non-thesis related will be scarce. But I can hammer out blog entries pretty fast when I need to vent. :) So here I am.
What with a trip home last week for grandpa’s funeral, and being miserable sick with a cough and fatigue since I got back on Tuesday (not to mention jetlag, though that didn’t really get me this time, probably b/c I all I wanted to do was sleep b/c of this cold), last night was the only solid/productive writing streak I’ve had (though I came nowhere close to the 8,000 word quota…)
I’ve discovered through this whole thesis-writing-thing that I’m pretty good at researching, and really good at looking at it and analyzing it for hours… without actually writing anything. Not so cool when what really matters is the thesis/output. I shall see to it that all-nighters do not become the only way I get words down on paper.
I’m actually chuffed not to have any more of these draft deadlines looming (just the big ultimate deadline). With these draft deadlines, I find that I become overwhelmed freeze, because I know that my instructors will want to see everything, which I cannot possibly write in the space of a few days. Still, I suppose the deadlines have at least gotten me start, and to write something. I know that the best way to steadily work, to break the thesis down into parts and to draft usable, logical & coherent segments, one section at a time… but like I say, if I had done that in the past few days since I’ve been back, I would not have had much more to turn in since the previous draft. (I managed to eek out just over 4000, which is what I told one of my instructors I was aiming for). I tried to strike a balance of detailed outline (lots of parenthetical stuff of what I intend to do, so they could at least see where I was planning to take the thesis) and actual usable stuff. They’re totally going to slap my hand for this what-they-perceive as a lack of effort, but they’ve been chastising me all along. I’m getting used to it. In the end it will all come together, and this is what truly matters.
After submitting the draft and reporting to two of my thesis-writing partners-in-crime / commiserators (one in Oxford, another in Brighton) I went to bed from about 10am to 2pm. After all, I’m still nursing a cold (the cough and nasal yuck seems to be nearing the end of its vicious course, though it’s not completely gone, thanks for asking). I may as well still be on Utah time. ;)
I have five weeks left to crank this out. My current goal is 600 (usable) words per day or 3000 per week, and to have all 162 of my adhesive/textile test pieces made, tested, and analyzed by Sept 22 (so I can write about it!), which would make me finish with at least a week left to proofread/edit, tune the bibliography and references, work on the appendix & glossaries, print, bind, etc etc.
Why I say this here, I’m not sure. Maybe I hope that telling the World of Zeros and Ones about my goals will help me stick to them.
Current mantra: I can do it, I can do it.
PS. Another thing I’m realizing is that as much as anything else I’ve done in my life thus far, completing a master’s program has been and is a big ol’ exercise in faith, both in myself and in the Lord.