Monday, August 21, 2006

Update: 16 Days Left on the Dissertation

  • Write Abstract
  • Write Acknowledgements
  • Write "Contributions of Authors"
  • Compile Table of Contents
  • Finish writing Introduction chapter and draft and format Figs 1-3
  • Get reprint permission from publisher of Chapter 2
  • Complete revisions on Chapter 3 from A, C, S
  • Get and complete revisions on Chapter 4 from G, S, S
  • Get and complete revisions on Conclusions chapter from G
  • Compile and format bibliography
  • Compile and format appendix
  • Proofread pre-text, intro, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, conclusions
  • Format chapters uniformly
  • Format Chapter 3 figures
  • Format Chapter 4 figures
  • Compile complete PDF and paginate
  • Send to committee

Well, it took me a lot longer than I had hoped to cross something off the list. But it's the last piece of substantial writing that I need to do. Let's hope that there isn't substantial rewriting involved when I get things back on Chapter 4.

Yesterday wasn't at all productive because I tried to work at home and it was too darn hot and I didn't feel like doing work. Then my stomach, the dog, and writer chica all interrupted me in succession when I actually decided to get serious about working. Not that I minded.

Today was more efficient when I was actually working, but the day involved a thesis defense (I can do way better than that!) and a long catch-up coffee with NewGirl. Henceforth, NewGirl will be called the amazing, super-productive, take-charge enthusiastic girl, or, more likely: Enthusiasm! (Yes, the exclamation point will be necessary). She deserves a new blog name not only because she is approaching the one year mark of grad school, but because NewGirl did not adequately convey what I love about her personality.

But despite the asides, I did manage to finish the text for Chapter 1. It requires three figures, which if I arrive early tomorrow morning and work quickly, I will manage to get drafted before my advisor leaves for the plane. One is done already, and the other two should just require some modifications of files I already have.

Now I am going home to steak and corn-on-the-cob. I'll bring my Jump Drive and folder of necessary edits to Chapter 3, but don't expect me to get anything done. We'll probably watch Serenity.


turtlebella said...

Good luck, but actually there's not that much left to do!!! yippee! I would advise getting someone to read it for proofreading purposes. In their insanity, committees LOVE to point out your typos, as if it reflects on the scientific merit of your dissertation. Would be nice if you could avoid that as there is no way to "defend" against typos!

aurea said...

Hey, I just found your blog! Good luck finishing your dissertation.

I'm also a woman in science, and next year I hope to be where you are now.

StyleyGeek said...

No, typos are GOOD. In my M.A. defence, the examining prof focused entirely on the typos, and didn't debate the content at all. It meant an extremely easy defence for me, since he was never going to fail me for typos, and all I had to do was say, "Oops. Yes. I'll correct that in the library copy."

Saoirse said...

You're almost there. Good luck.

jo(e) said...

How exciting to be so close!

Dorid Lovely said...

wow, almost to the end... congrats!

it's depressing when you get OFF schedule. My daughter (working on her MS in Biology) was thrown back a whole year when the animals at her study site died as a result of the bad weather here... THREE DAYS BEFORE THE END OF HER RESEARCH OBSERVATION... now she has to wait until next June to complete her research, and then all the evaluation of the data and the writing. I feel for her... but that's the way it is in the sciences...

turtlebella said...

Okay, now forced to share my own typos focused dissertation defense. I had one very famous, not very nice and totally tactless person on my committee. His very first comment to me during the defense was about typos. I said, of course, I will fix them. But he just couldn't let it go, no matter what I said. He just kept focusing on how disappointing it was and how I was clearly not committed enough to this dissertation because I had left off a semi-colon (the lack of a singlesemi-colon seemed to have really upset him). I kept trying to move on, get to you know, the science, but he was having none of it. Finally I got mad. Really mad. I said, "I can't believe we are talking about a f*&#ing semi-colon!" All hell broke loose then. We had to take a break! Apparently while I was out of the room the rest of the committee members told him he was way out of line. And it turns out there was all kinds of tension between the committee members and him due to things not related to me at all. Beautiful. My first reader then promised me that the rest of the defense would focus on the science.

I think it's really quite annoying that committee members think it's at all appropriate to talk about typos for any but the briefest amount of time. It's just a waste of the grad student's time, as well as the other people there who want to talk about science. But apparently it almost always comes up. And it's just plain sad that they can't take the time to come up with something more interesting to talk about!

Writer Chica said...

Doing great, ScienceWoman!

How was the corn-on-the-cob? As good as here?

Thanks for letting me interrupt you the other night. (still nothing to report)

psychgrad said...

Wow - good job Turtlebella. I almost blew up at one my comps committee members who did not provide feedback prior to me defense (as required) and proceeded to ask a bunch of "out of left field" questions that I could hardly even bs.