Sunday, August 17, 2008

End of Day #6: Racing to the (metaphoric) Finish Line

Hey, folks--  No one is logging in and saying much.  (That includes me.)  What's everyone up to?  How are you doing?  Now that school is about to begin for most of us, how is that impacting your writing?

For me?  Well, I'm getting there.  Today has been day #6 to my countdown.  I have two chapters and the appendices complete and approved (methodology and case studies).  The appendices get to "count" because there is so much in them.  :-)   I have strong drafts of the introduction and the literature review.  I have a weak draft of my "findings" chapter, and I have a few notes on a conclusion, but the conclusion is not going to be long at all (I may just wait on that).  Tomorrow I plan to finish my edits to the intro and lit review, then I'll spend the rest of the week on the findings chapter.  I'm not sure I'll make a Friday deadline to give the whole mess to my adviser, but I am sure going to try.  If I can't do Friday, I can do Monday . . . giving myself the weekend.

I will continue, though, to strive to complete the vast majority of work before classes start on the 25th.

But you know, overall, this has been a really good experience.  Of course I can moan and whine about how hard it's been, how my committee has all but disappeared on me, how no one has been there to hold my hand through the horror and trauma, but I'm not going to.  Writing a dissertation isn't supposed to be easy; it's not supposed to be done via committee or group consensus (in that others tell you what to write and you write it).  It is a solo effort, and it's hard work.

Because I have spent the past several weeks doing nothing but writing and thinking about my subject (pedagogy that supports underprepared student-athletes), I can tell you just about anything about student-athletes and their programs at Division I-A institutions.  I can also tell you how exhausting it's been to write all day long.  That surprises me.  There are days that my entire body hurts after I've been writing all day . . . like it might hurt after running a marathon (I've never done that so I can only guess at the comparison); there are nights that I can barely read (see), my eyes are so tired.  But I keep on.  One word in front of the next.  I will get finished.

OK, in the morning starts Day #5.    Even though I'm not logging in here to write each day, I do peek in from time to time.  I could use some "last push" vibes if you have any to spare.

Everyone else?  Log in and tell us what's up with you.  I miss hearing from everyone.


Abby said...

Ahhh Billie, YOU'RE SO CLOSE!!!!! Fantastic!

And it IS hard work. It's hard mental work and yes, somehow, it's hard physical work. Or at least it's painful physical work. I remember being able to feel the shape of my eyeballs in my head. I mean, that really shouldn't happen.

But you are so so so close and let me tell you, it feels so good to be done. Like you said, one word in front of the other and you'll get there.

Meagan said...

Hi Billie!

I'm so impressed with how much you've gotten done-- all that hard work is paying off.

I'm just getting back to working after a month of traveling and such. I hope to have half your motivation.

jerry'sdaughter said...

Positive vibes Billie. Keep going. And when you are in the thick of writing all day...oh I know about that deep exhaustion and sometimes pain that results... try to take some decent breaks if you can. Stretch. Walk. Anything other than isitting and writing. It helps a little and I don't think you really lose much productive work time.
You can do it you can do it youcandoit!

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