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Monday, September 26, 2005

Hooray! (I think?)

I gave a copy of my dissertation to Advisor a week and a half ago, and since I hadn't heard anything from her I sent her an email yesterday to check in and make sure that the thing was okay to submit later this week.

She wrote back with a three-sentence email saying that she had "skimmed" Ch. 4 and sent an email to the DGS to say it was ready to be submitted. She added, "Full speed ahead. It is beautifully presented."

Several things occur to me here:

She's saying, I'm quite sure, that she didn't actually read anything (although I'm willing to believe that she flipped through the thing). Had she read any of it, I think she'd have made at least a passing comment about my introduction (completely new) or some of my revisions to Ch. 4 (quite significant).

This disappoints me, although maybe I should regard it as a compliment: she's a very important and powerful woman, very concerned with who and what she's associated with--and she trusts me and my work so much that she doesn't even have to read the final version to know that it will reflect well on her! In fact, she fucking loves my work! Well, maybe. But even if that's true, it's still a little disappointing.

Next, what does that "beautifully presented" mean? She likes the typeface? My margins are a-okay? She thinks my epigraph is awesome (which, actually, it is)?

I know that I shouldn't obsess over this, and that I should just be happy to be done and to have Advisor's approval, whatever it's based on--but, damn. I just can't believe that this is it, that life goes on, that nothing really changes as one crosses the line from being notdone to being done. Can't I get a thoughtful line or two from her, reflecting on the work I've done? A pat on the head? A big-ass party?

I've mentioned feeling like the middle child in her advisee family, but she herself is like the classic remote, withholding 1950s father that the child never feels she can satisfy but whose approval is the only thing she values. I do treasure every sign of her approval, and she's given me several of late--but always in the hasty, oh-yes-you manner of that email quoted above.

Ah, well. I guess I can always throw that party myself.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 9:16 PM |


Blogger RH commented at 9:38 PM~  

Did someone say party???

Blogger What Now? commented at 10:48 PM~  

Definitely throw a party yourself. And I would take it as a compliment that she thinks you're ready to submit and that there's really nothing she needs to add at this point. Okay, it's a disappointing compliment, but I think it's a compliment nonetheless.

(When I submitted, the only thing my advisor said was "Congratulations on meeting the deadline." I wanted so much more!)

Blogger Tiruncula commented at 8:26 AM~  

Yippee! You're done! There's an inevitable sense of anticlimax about doneness, whatever the vaguaries of one's supervisor (I was fighting mine down to the line about some footnote or other). You should definitely throw yourself a party and make an occasion of it!

Blogger Dr. C commented at 10:57 PM~  

Don't feel bad. We have an actual defense at my school. Only one person - my chair - actually was there. The other three were on a conference call ... and they were surfing E-Bay while I was trying to defend my very profound (ha!) work.

We should have a virtual party for you. ;-)

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