Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quick shoutout

Greetings fellow DBC blogging-mates and readers! Trying to change my MIA status. I went off on a vacation to Pakistan and made it a more or less Internet-free month. Suffice it to say it was blissful. But now I'm back and determined to churn out the remaining 2.5 chapters. So another update might not be imminent but I just wanted to shout out and see how everyone's been doing. Cheers!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Defending Proposal Soon

I have actual progress to report. Hurray! Spent this summer working page by page to fix a turgid dull repetetive draft of my proposal. Got the word back from my advisor a few days ago :

Your organization, writing, and conceptual framework are very clear. The proposal is in very good shape. I think you are ready to defend.

Shall I tattoo those words onto my forearm?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good luck

Just a quick good luck to all those English-types out there who are waiting on the job list to open tomorrow! 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fell off the wagon

Or should I say "fell off the wagon and trampled by the horses"? This summer was unproductive. I literally did 5 days of work. My Husband has traveled for 2.5 months since mid-May, my daughter has been out of daycare for 4.5 weeks between a trip to the in-laws and 2 rounds of illness, and I have just been plain tired-out. I know I spend much of my energy worrying -"I need to finish to go back to work because we need more money", "I need to go back to work because 15 months at home with a baby has made me insane", "I need to finish so that I can enjoy my life" - along with keeping up the house and doing ALL the domestic work and being constantly reminded by my husband how much this endeavor of mine is costing. My mind is so cluttered with all this worry that I can't concentrate.

My Mother suggests putting my daughter in fulltime daycare and leaving the house to work. I agree, but that requires a new laptop for my programs (most of my analysis is MatLab modeling) and for my duaghter to be weaned from breastfeeding (yeah, I NEVER excepted to do that this long, but that is how it worked out). So that may not happen before her 18 month mark- November.

Yes, my husband nagging me is not helping. And you would think, with him being so intellegent, he wouldn't be so stupid as to add to my stress. And we have talked about it. He seems to have convienant amnesia about our conversations. And I know he carries stress too- his job has paid for everything for 5 years. Then add a baby.

Okay, vent and pity party over. I just need to adapt to less sleep for the next year or so- I have to get this work done sometime and I need to take advantage of my evenings. Hey, I can hack sleep depravation, I had a baby for God-sakes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer Progress

To my surprise working on my proposal for a minimum of 8 hrs per week, more many weeks, has paid off. I have a decent version of the proposal done. My committee chair is presently reviewing it. I am sure it needs more work, but it is no longer the quagmire it was a few months ago. It is actually readable, if you like reading dissertations! :)

If you keep at it you make progress. Like exercising, it is painful at times but if you are consistent and persistent you see results. Like dieting, it is sometimes very frustrating but if you just do it you eventually reach your goal.

See that tunnel? There is a faint light way down there at the end.....

The numbering system starts over (Day 30)

As the post title says, I've started my dissertation clock again. I did not get the entire dissertation finished by the end of August -- and I knew I would probably not make that ambitious deadline -- so I'm starting over. This time around, though, I only have one chapter to write. This chapter is the "analysis" chapter, and I've probably got 30 pages of drafty notes ready to be shaped into something useful (and sort of linear). My advisor said to start planning for a November defense.

Damn. I had not written that before, and it sure looks (and feels) good. November. By November I'll be done with this. In the next 30 days, I will be done writing. The committee will read and offer suggestions for changes . . . and in November, I'll defend.

But today I have tried to write, but nothing much is coming. I'm worried ... but not about writing . . . about my daughter who now lives in Louisiana. I am reminded today that for most of us working through the process of a Ph.D. (course work and exams) then through the ordeal of a dissertation, we have lives that continue to spin and turn and change all around us, and sometimes we have to attend to that life. Sometimes, the dissertation has to wait.