Yesterday my advisor called S in the morning to check in (he's on family vacation until the diss is due). I told her to tell him to call me because we needed to talk.
3 pm - when he promised to call
3:40 - when I called him
4:00 when he called me back
5:00 - when we got off the phone. I have 3 pages notes from the conversation. He wants major changes to Chapter 4 and hasn't read the intro and conclusions sections with any detail (although he promised to and send me edits, when he got a chance)
6:30 - when I finished my emotional breakdown with my mom. Of course the work stress angst turned into life stress, and my mom couldn't resist comparing businessman to my father, but overall mom gets a positive rating for helping me calm down and see things in perspective
7:00 - finished trip to grocery store where I bought microwave comfort food and Ben and Jerry's because our kitchen is to gross to cook
7:30 - finished my palaak paneer and walked the dog, talked to my best friend and managed to actually ask her how things were going for her and not to have another panic attack
8:30 - businessman came home and we talked for two hours. I did not cry. I was all cried out.
So basically yesterday afternoon completely smashed any notion that I was going to float through this whole process serene and unperturbed.
Today, I have spent my time working on the intro and conclusions (with no edits from advisor yet) and ignoring Chapter 4. My friend, raftgirl, has offered to proofread one of my chapters and here's an excerpt from an email I just sent her.
"Glad you enjoyed [the danish feminist poster].
I basically told [my advsior] that I would do what I could but given that the thesis is due in 4 days, he couldn't expect me to completely reframe the paper before it went to the committee. However, it sure sounds like he wants it pretty well reframed and really ready for journal submittal before the final version of my diss. goes to the library. Kind of annoying that he would wait to the literal last minute to give me advice like this - he's had one version or another of my paper for a month and I've been working on this project since my first year.... At this point I am realizing that no one is going to look over large sections of my dissertation before my committee sees it. I guess it kind of makes sense, in that it is solely a product of my work that I should have the full responsibiltiy for it, but I just don't trust my eyes and brain to catch everything. Running spell check/grammar check is helping - it's embarrasing some of the things it has caught - and we all know how bad word spell check is at actually producing an error free document.Have a great weekend. And someday soon, I'll have to get you to tell me about your PhD plans. (It is a lot of work, but totally doable)."
So there's two different first person perspectives on how I am doing. Interesting in light of the discussion someone (you?) pointed to over at wolfangel's on how we portray ourselves on our blogs. And I guess I am just sharing to let all the other grad students out there that no one, no matter how fastidious a planner, is going to float through the last few weeks emotionally unscathed.
P.S. All offers to proofread will be taken seriously. I will send you a document. But I need it back by Sunday afternoon.