I am returning to the blog because I have officially turned in my dissertation to my committee. There will be a second, even official-ier submission in April, after my defense. But in any case, it deserves typing again.
I have officially turned in the dissertation.
It tallies in at 376 pages with notes and bibliography and is the longest thing I’ve ever written. It took me a day to put together the abstract and acknowledgments and table of contents and list of figures — and to make it conform to the seemingly petty and ridiculous formatting requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies — but finally, a week ago, I printed four copies (sorry, rainforests) and delivered a somewhat embarrassing stack of paper to each committee member. It looks like this:
Notice the many font sizes, some in bold. The Office of Graduate Studies? They mandate which words are in bold and which are not. And here is the dissertation in profile:
And, just for good measure, my dissertation in profile next to cat, for scale:
Okay, I suppose that is enough self-indulgent dissertation photography. One week from today I’ll defend and then collapse. In the meantime, I was hoping to do some hardcore trashy-television-watching, but it turns out my undergraduates want to be taught things. Perfectly reasonable, I suppose, seeing as I’m their professor. But really, it would have been nice to spend a few days in my pajamas eating pad thai and watching reruns of The Cosby Show.
Really, things don’t feel too celebratory at this point, not only because the defense is looming but also because the job situation remains unresolved. And as most carrots readers probably know, I’m a planner. I don’t like fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants spontaneity. Danny and I will most likely be moving back east sometime over the summer, but who knows. I have two leads on jobs in DC — not academia, but definitely interesting — so please light your candles or say your prayers or meditate in my direction. The thought of returning to DC makes me so happy that I’m terrified. Because if this doesn’t work out, it’s kind of soul-crushing.
But, in the words of my friend Lilian, I am willing to let life surprise me. If it isn’t DC, I will find something that will make me happy somewhere else.
Of course, I have made a little room for post-dissertation decompression. I saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which was not as traumatic as Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are but not quite as wonderful as I’d hoped. I will have to blog on that later. And tomorrow I’m getting my hair cut, which is good news, because at this point my split ends have split ends.
All of this is to let you know, my dozen loyal readers, that I plan on returning to the regular scheduled programming here on running with carrots.
Hooray dissertation is in!