Friday, September 16, 2005

Good News, Bad News, and Tuning Out

The Good News: I did it!!!! I just e-mailed off the introduction, which I'm pretty pleased with, in the end. Nice to feel that much closer to the end.

The Bad News: Yikes! Time to dive into the dissertation as a whole and first up: Chapter One revisions. I'm already behind Plan A Schedule (which, while tight, still meets my Advisor's revised timeline) so I've got to knock out this puppy this weekend to avoid stress down the road. So much for a brief celebratory respite after finishing the intro. With that said, I will make time tonight for a vanilla malt and some Daily Show taped earlier this week.

The Good News: My advisors (bless their hearts, as my mother would say) left really encouraging comments on the front page of Chapter 1, which gives me the courage to open it up and forge ahead. Some excerpts: "This is quite wonderful -- at once authoritative and lively. [which I confess is my all-time favorite compliment] Congratulations!" "Little room for improvement." "No writing problems." "Off to a good start." Etc. After getting these comments, lo' those many years ago, I really felt energized and ready to keep working on Chapter Two. So I've vowed if I ever supervise anyone who is working on a years-long project, that I will be Super Supportive in the early stages (i.e. don't drop the hammer at the beginning, even if merited) since getting momentum going is key.

The Bad News: the negative voices in my head are out in force at moments like this.

So... I'll just have to turn off those voices in my head. Every time I turn something in, I think something like, "Wow, what is it, mid-September? And when should this have been finished, why, yes, mid-June! And here it is, mid-September." But, I vow to you, I'm not listening to this voice today! (insert fingers in ears and yell "lalalalalalalalalaala.....")

I'm also turning off the voices in my head that will be slightly disappointed at the pace at which this entire thing in, my advisor's comments on Chapter 1 are dated April 14, 2003. I won't even depress myself further by beginning to count how many years it took me to get from prospectus to Chapter 1.

Water under the bridge. Lalalalalalalala....

p.s. My cat, who is nicknamed Varmint, spilled a half-empty can of coconut milk last night, which happened when she was (of course) up on the counter looking for food. Later I found her prospecting in the garbage and eating the papertowels we used to wipe up the coconut milk!!


At 10:19 PM, Anonymous physics geek said...

It all sounds like good news to me.
"I think you can, I think you can, I think you can."

You have your date, and you want to be done. Those are the two magic weapons.

Because frankly, revising your thesis can be a lot like prepping for teaching - it'll take up as much time as you give it. Of course, for the thesis you do have to answer to your committee in a way we don't (as directly) have to answer to our students....

Anyway - you rock!

And if those inner voices keep pestering you, just knock them out!

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