Heading for the Finish Line
Posted September 25, 2010on:
Last week I wrote about my dilemma as to how to best present my results. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but not a lot of writing got done this week. Some of it is anxiety about wanting to do it right, but a big reason is just being too dang tired after a day at work.
This morning I had a crisis of confidence, so I reached out to my Twitter network, where I’m connected with many folks who are either working on their dissertation, have completed a dissertation, or know someone who has. Within minutes, I got 4 responses (sorry the avatars didn’t come through. One of these days I’ll figure out how to post a twitter stream!):
Later in the evening I received this:
Theresa survived her husband’s dissertation. Karen is a good friend who is also a writer, Lee is currently finishing her dissertation, and Will is currently in a doctoral program. Melissa and I share a love of flowers and have “exchanged” pictures via twitpic. Last week Lee posted an exasperated tweet and I was able to give her some encouragement, so her reply is especially meaningful right now. 🙂
I decided to just let everything go, as I had a meeting with my chair scheduled for the afternoon; I always leave those meetings feeling better than when I got there. I packed up everything (4 binders of data plus my laptop) in a box-on-wheels and headed out. I showed her everything I had done since we last met, and talked about my ideas for presentation and organization. As usual, she helped me to focus and organize my thinking so that I feel much better about the whole thing.
The really big news is that we set out a timetable so that I can finish and defend this semester! My defense will be around December 9, which means the dissertation needs to be in the Dean’s office just before Thanksgiving, and to my committee early in November–about 6 weeks from now.
Consequently, I really need to buckle-down, stay focused, and write my brains out. Which also means I need to limit my on-line time. But it will be worth it in the end. I will periodically check my @Mentions on Twitter, and scan the updates on Facebook, but I won’t be engaging in much conversation, or “liking” many posts, comments, or pictures. I may even try a digital sabbatical. Maybe.
Keep me in your thoughts–send good writing karma, positive energy, vibes, prayers–any and all are appreciated. I’ll try to post progress updates.