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I got all my thesis paperwork in on the last day of the semester, and submitted my application to the new program I want to join within an hour.

The next week I sent a reminder to my thesis committee about the letters of recommendation they had agreed to write (in our department letters are required from all thre members of the committee), setting a deadline. I received two "okay, it is submitted now" emails and a one "thanks for the reminder - I will have it in by the end of the week."  So, guess whose letter is still missing a week after the deadline?

My advisor's, of course.

I just re-reminded her, and hopefully she will be ashamed enough to make good on it right away.  Gah. This is the last thing I need before I am free of her forever, and letting it drag out this way is making me crazy.
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My ETD - Electronic Thesis Document - has been accepted by the graduate school for archiving.  I just checked in with the graduate school and my diploma will be mailed next week. I think I have a master's degree.
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Thesis revisions sent, with a note that "I am hopeful this is close to a final product." Now the nail-biting powerlessness may commence. Hopefully I will hear back from her no later than Monday, since I need to have the final document submitted by Friday to walk at graduation.
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I dont think I have a cold after all.  I think I have an allergy.


Also, my paper is almost kinda sorta ready to send to my advisor. I want to get it out by close of business today, but may be better off waiting until tomorrow morning (since I doubt she would spend the evening reading it).  I have done what I can, and am just waiting on feedback from the brilliant minds I sent it to...
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I have had some pretty unglamorous jobs.  Aside from the usual telephone tech support gig, where people would call and shriek about how I had broken their computer, I worked in commercial fisheries and on a farm (essentially rolling around in the mud for $7/hour). My personal safety was always an issue on the riverbank (I was less afraid of the bears galloping around our camps than I was of the men I worked with that first year) and I did my laundry in a five gallon bucket, with frigid, silty river water, but it was really pretty nice compared to sitting at this shiny box, in a warm dry room, trying to work on my thesis.

I mean, fish slime in my hair and carving pieces of meat out of struggling salmon? Not so bad. The mud bath that was picking carrots in the rain? It could have been worse.

Melanie, who is also working on finishing a thesis, and I talked about this when I was in New York.  Her question was, "Have you every actually dug a ditch?" and the answer is yes. 

Obviously I need to figure out some good bribes, cause my motivation is pretty much absent, and time is a precious, very limited commodity.  I am taking suggestions...
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Don' wanna work on the thesis.  I am tired.

However, I have been tired and had the don'wannas for a week, and I am running out  of semester. Hi ho, hi ho, off to IHOP I go. I will be the geek with the laptop and the earplugs eating cheese blintzes and typing away.
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We all know my concentration for round eleventeenmillion of thesis revisions is approximately nil.  I have a trick for making myself focus while running analyses, but it is *whispering* a little embarrassing. Playing the Dixie Chicks in the background, improves my focus. I actually just bought a new DC album off Itunes (bringing my total to: 2), in hopes of getting through these analyses tonight....
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A working definition of bravado:

Emailing the power point presentation to your committee member in New Jersey with the notation that: "I am looking forward to talking about my project with you tomorrow [at the defense]."
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It is a beautiful day. I think I am going to take the dog for a walk, shove a protesting cat-ten into the crate, and run away from home.  A night at [personal profile] joyce and [personal profile] madgenius's is just what I need.

And - I have all but three slides for my defense presentation filled in.  Of course the ones remaining are the three hardest (analyses and results, essentially), but it is good to have made some progress. I'm trying to put less on the slides so I have more to talk about, like I would teaching.  During my proposal meeting everything I wanted to say was already projected up on the wall, which made for a boring presentation. These people scare the hell out of me, but I am a good teacher, dammit, and am going to try and channel some of that spark into my defense meeting.

I hope you are having a good Friday, and that you get to do something fun tonight.
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I think the universe must have decided it owed me one this weekend.  I got to spend three days in the company of several of my favorite people, watch a truly amazing show, take dance classes from the stars of the tribal world, make serious progress on the knitting front (it is now possible, nay, likely, that I will have my sweater done in time to seam it together in class), and come home to happy animals and an email letting me know that the thesis "looks good [and] . . . is ready to go to the committee."

I am tired but happy, and very, very grateful.
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Yesterday, 16 months after the borough where my mom teaches freaked out and decided to stop participating in my research, they finally unblocked my email from their server.  I think I am officially still a persona-non-grata (Evil! She is evil!), but the old friends network came through and (as this audience knows) one tech person with the right passwords wields a lot of unofficial power.  I can now email my own mother from my main email address.  What a concept, huh?  (I actually found the whole thing pretty funny, in a 'beaurocrats-will-be-assholes-beaurocrats' sort of way, but it made my mother crazy).
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I'm in the desperate asking for help phase of frustration, and sent out an email to my writing group.  One of them sent back this great quote - I love it!

"The secret of achievement is not to let what you're doing get to you before you get to it." - Anon.

Also, I have crossed three items of the list-of-evil since my hopeless post.  That makes 4 total, 14 to go. Baby steps, etc....

And let's not forget this old favorite: "The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work." - Robert Frost. Time passes regardless of how I am spending it. I want to get the work done, so I can have my brain back.

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I have a 69 page draft of my thesis.  I am definitely embracing Ms. Lamott's shitty first drafts idea, but, hey, it's on paper!  And before my deadline (4 am, tomorrow morning, at the very latest).  I know it could be better, but it isn't.  What it is is a jumping off place for the revisions process, and a conversation starter for my advisor and me.  Need I mention that it will be returned to me gutted and dripping Microsoft Comments?  Nah, I didn't think so....

I am going to send the whole thing off and do a quick victory dance, then run into town.  These dogs need to run about 5 miles before we are going to be friends again....
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It is Thursday night.  I have spent two pretty much full days staring at the shiny box, working on my thesis.

I finished polishing the methods section and wrote up the results.  I figured out the two holes in the literature review (organizational justice and leader prototypicality).  I have a to-do list: "write org. justice section / rewrite prototypicality section / incorporate new articles / draft discussion / draft conclusions / fix up citations").  I have made myself a table of contents and polished up the tables, figures, and appendices. 

What I need to do is start reading and type.  This synthesis is the hardest piece for me - I can do it, but struggle to aim myself in the right direction.  What I need to remember is that the written (typed) word is powerful.  If I just start putting words on the page - snippets from articles, sources to cite, bits of connection, soon I will have a draft.  And once I have a draft, I can revise.  Revising is fun and shiny, its just getting the words down in the first place that hurts.  I need to remember Anne Lamott's advice and embrace my shitty first drafts and silence station KFKD (K-fucked) as it loops endlessly in my brain.

I really want to start messing with citations, since that means I am done. I am good at that kind of cross-referencing detail work, but it doesn't make sense to do that until all the words are on the page.  So, I need to write.  I want to knock at least the justice section and either the new articles or prototypicality off the list before I go to bed tonight.... That leaves me one hard piece and the discussion and conclusion sections for tomorrow (oh, and the citations, but citations are fun).  It's manageable, if I do it.  So, time to focus.


Spending this time thinking about school has also brought to my attention that I still dont know what I am doing 20 hours a week next semester, for my assistantship.  I am beginning to wonder if they pulled my funding and forgot to tell me.  On one hand, that would be disastrous - I would have to come up with enough money to live on while I defended the thesis, swing into the job search, and move, all with very limited resources.  But, I would also be free.  And tonight, free sounds good.... (Fortunately my landlord is unlikely to throw me into the street and my visa has a high credit limit, so I can speculate without too much fear.....).
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I rillyrilly hate literature reviews.  I mean, the good ones are a joy to read, but creating them is Not My Favorite.  Everything I need to include has already been said more gracefully by someone else, whose ideas I must now be careful not to plagiarize. 

I have made it through the first 12 pages of my Introduction and Literature review, and I think they are good(ish) as is. I deleted out some stuff which is no longer relevant and threw in a few additional linkages, but they seem sufficient, well-organized, and complete.

The next eight pages - which probably will grow to twenty or so pages - is less fun, since only three of the five constructs discussed in the original proposal remain, and another one has been added.  Lots of linkages to be pruned and recreated using new variables. 

And then, for fun, I get to go back in and add all the stuff that has been published since I wrote the damn thing (March 2005, so 21 months worth of publications).


And then, for even more fun, I get to  go write a discussion, based on the literature review, and make some conclusions. 

But, once I do that and update the reference section, I will have a complete draft to submit to my advisor.  I just need to quit with the squirreling around and focus.  Easier said than done, of course, but I am encouraged by the feedback from a friend in my program (she said I am doing a good job! She also has a huge list of changes to be made, but I am doing a good job!). 

Unfortunately whining about what remains to be completed is not getting anything done.  Must focus...


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