My mom asked me yesterday whether I thought I was going to be done with my Ph.D. in time to participate in commencement next June. She told me how she didn't manage to finish until August, immediately started teaching, and never went back for commencement the following year, and now, 30+ years later, she wishes she had finished up earlier so she could have done the whole pomp and circumstance.
It seems inconceivable to me that people could already be thinking about me finishing. I've barely give it any thought, because it seems like I still have so much left to do. And when I look ahead in my mental calendar I see a summer full of teaching my first class, doing other outreach activities, and of course, more field work. I see a fall looming with three conferences and all of the attendant poster and talk prep that goes with them. Somewhere in there, I've also got to do a bunch of work for a grant that I'm a PI on, but that probably won't be part of my dissertation. So even though it's only May 2005, I feel like I'm not going to be able to work on my second and third papers until January 2006. And then to finish in only a few months? And that means I'd seriously have to be looking at jobs and post-docs starting this fall, and I'm just not ready to do that.
Argh! I'm stressing myself out just writing this post. I'm going to go back to my helium systematics and keep working on my first paper (not to mention that conference talk I'm giving two weeks from today).