Monday, October 03, 2005

Am I On Candid Camera?

I keep waiting for a man with a camera to jump out of the bushes and hand me tons more revisions to my chapters. I'm sitting here feeling quite stunned that I might have a revised copy of almost the entire dissertation by the of the end of the week. The fact that my advisors won't be giving me comments on Chapter Five (see previous post) until the defense effectively removes Chapter Five from the revisions process, obviously.

So, wow. I just finished Chapter Three. One advisor wanted me to read a few books and incorporate them... but part of me wonders if that isn't Book Manuscript kind of revisions. So I did a slightly half-assed approach, in that I sprinkled in quotes at appropriate moments to demonstrate I'm aware of this scholar. I might have to return to this issue after the defense, but maybe not. My brain just isn't engaged in that kind of thinking right now, and I realized I'd completely stalled out waiting for it to re-engage. And that's not helping... so I did the bare minimum and will now forge ahead. My approach has always been to take the easy way out and see if anyone complains. It's worked until now...

So, what's left?
1. Revise Chapter Four. Very few comments. Can probably fix this on Wednesday.
2. Revise the intro. Again, very few comments.
3. Write a conclusion.
4. Do all sorts of little things like standardizing footnotes, draw an organizational chart (any ideas here?? what software works for something like this? I need boxes and lines between them), number my pages, do the bibliography, etc. Time consuming, but not brain draining.

And then I'll send it off to various committee members, friends/colleagues, and, of course, my ruthlessly effective in-house editor (my husband.) I want to get a range of comments before the defense so I'll have some idea of where the discussion might go. I feel good that I'll have a few weeks to actually THINK about this topic as a whole...since writing a dissertation becomes, in part, an exercise in minutiae, and you lose the ability to see the forest through the trees. In fact, they could have grown an entire forest of new scholarship and I wouldn't have noticed.

But for now, I'm happily avoiding anyone bearing extensive revisions...


At 11:30 AM, Blogger jo(e) said...

Wow, that would be a cruel episode of Candid Camera, wouldn't it?

I am sure it is only matter of time before there is some kind of reality television show for grad students who are finishing their dissertations. Lock them in a house with only one computer and a few kegs of beer and see what happens ....

Sounds like things are moving along! Congrats.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Try MS Word:
Insert --> picture --> Organizational Chart.

There is a special toolbar for inserting more things, and if you click the 'AutoFormat' button you can change the coloring/line style, etc.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Kristiface said...

Well, congrats on the progress, at least. You're at the stage where you can at least see where the end might be coming-- that's always a good thing! Good luck!

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to draw my diagrams just using microsoft word drawing, where you put in a box, then add squares, text, and arrows.

Its the super-simplistic version of fancy drawing, but I go for simple.

(alrhtough I must admit the 10 minutes I spent drawing my model left me with a finished product that made me much happier than the months on the proposal which surrounded it).



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