August 2014
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Crunch Time

If you were wondering why I didn’t post for pretty much the entire month of January (you probably didn’t), it’s because I’ve been spending every free moment that I have working on my thesis.

It’s due on March 15th.

Yikes .

I have most of my research done and I’ve started putting it all into an outline. I should probably be writing a little bit every day. Because this bad boy needs to be 60 pages. Which means that I should be writing something like two pages a day in order to have enough time to do some editing and formatting and have my adviser take a look-see before  I hand it off to my thesis committee.

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  And I’ve very much been taking the tiny steps approach to working on this thing. I do twenty minutes of research here and there. I work for an hour or so after LJ goes to sleep. I read a few news articles before bed. If I have a free minute, I’m spending it on my thesis.

Let’s face it, I don’t have a lot of free minutes. Good thing I have an adorable little research assistant.

I'm helping!

I’m helping!

(Yeah, she mostly just flails at the track-pad on my computer and gets me to type in the wrong place and/or delete text that I didn’t really want to delete).

I turned in my degree sheet last week. Which means that I’ll graduate this May. If I finish and successfully defend my thesis.  And if I pass the language test that I took last week. And if I pass an oral exam on the historiography of civil rights with my adviser in April.

That’s a whole lot of ifs. Well, it’s three ifs. But they’re big ones. Kristian tells me that it’s a good to have a road-map, and he’s probably right. I just need to stop flailing about. Any and all energy spent worrying about getting the work done is just a waste of effort. Effort that could be better spent, yaknow, getting the work done.

If I don’t get everything done on time? I can probably graduate this Summer. But I’m trying my hardest to get it all done in time to graduate in May. Because I’ve been working on this degree for five years, dammit , and I want to put on a fancy robe and a silly hat and walk across a stage while people applaud politely.

Kristian has been great about taking LJ while I spend a few hours on the weekend knuckling down. And he’s started doing the same thing at night. My Mom graciously volunteered to take a couple hours this weekend and I wisely took her up on it. I’ll probably have Presidents Day to work on it. And there’s always the option of using a day or two of PTO if I get really far behind.

If  I finish this thesis while simultaneously growing and raising a tiny human being, it will be one of my proudest accomplishments. If I don’t finish my thesis on time? I can keep working on it. And my tiny human being is already one of my proudest accomplishments.

Deep breaths, Hope. You can do this.

9 comments to Crunch Time

  • That face. I know it’s weird for a stranger from the Internet to want to kiss your kid’s face… but I’m not ashamed.

    Anyway, I’m sending you lots and lots of good vibes and luck! Go kick that paper’s ass!

    [Reply]

    Hope Reply:

    No worries, I spend so much time kissing it, I totally understand the urge! She kisses back now, sortof. Mostly she just gums my cheeks. If I wasn’t her mom, I would think it was totally disgusting.

    I’m just about done with the first chapter! Still freaking out though. :(

    [Reply]

  • You can do it!!!

    [Reply]

    Hope Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Your gracious mother will be shoveling and cross-country skiing instead of watching your charming research assistant, I’m afraid. (Maybe trying some of her special, birthday hot chocolate, too.)

    [Reply]

    Hope Reply:

    No worries, we appreciate the help you give us every Monday. :)

    [Reply]

  • NancyH

    i think people who write theses(?) while holding a full time job and a 5 month old should get a special note on their degree. smartest mama-bear ever. :)

    [Reply]

    Hope Reply:

    I wonder if I can make them put a gold star on my diploma? :p

    [Reply]

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