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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation Complete 
25th-Jan-2010 11:53 pm
Chicago: Signature Room Night Skyline
DONE.

(That is, of course, minus revisions of this final chapter, revisions that the rest of the committee will ask for, revisions I dream up in the middle of the night....)

But still. Monday, January 25th, 11:53:04pm, I pressed "save" and committed myself to sending out this draft of the last chapter and conclusion to Professor Fahey, and that really feels like ... something. If I wasn't so tired from the last three weeks (in which I've written ... okay, 72 academic pages), I might be able to say exactly what it feels like. In lieu of that, I feel like having a cold drink, watching a bit of a movie until the adrenaline fades, and then passing out.
Comments 
26th-Jan-2010 06:12 am (UTC)
Mazel tov!

How long is the diss at this point?
28th-Jan-2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

At this point, the baby weighs a healthy 289 pages, although this does not factor in the bibliography or a forward I'll still be writing.
(Deleted comment)
28th-Jan-2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Yeah, that kind of reward will maybe be more in the works for next week. Like I said, it's all been about recuperation thus far. And sending out a few more applications.
26th-Jan-2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Congrats. Hope the revisions go smoothly.
28th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks, man!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Yeah, they've been going more and more smoothly, chapter by chapter, as I've learned the standards of my director, who is a very well known editor in our field. But this last chapter was so quick and took so much out of me that I have no idea how it will go over for him. Still, I thought that for the previous chapter and he required only cosmetic changes. It's really all at a point where I just need other eyes on the project because I've been looking at it for so long that I can't see it anymore.
26th-Jan-2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. Congratulations! I hope the revisions go smoothly and it's clear sailing to your hooding and your doctoring.



Doctor? I barely touched her!
28th-Jan-2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know you feel my pain and my joy with your own recent completion.

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Like I just wrote to Clifford's other Doug Mc, the process has been getting smoother and smoother. It seems over-the-top to finally be making it to the end.

And no playing Doctor here: I hope I'm too smart to punt at first and ten on the goal line.
26th-Jan-2010 01:58 pm (UTC) - DONE
praise the Lord! wish I could read your dissertation-peace
28th-Jan-2010 08:55 pm (UTC) - Re: DONE
Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

I'll make sure to crow loudly when the book version comes out. :-)
26th-Jan-2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Congratulations!! If I were you, to celebrate I would go out and buy myself a few books. But maybe you have other ways of marking the occasion... yay!
28th-Jan-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Maybe there will be a bit of that, but the catching up on rest has seemed pretty celebratory by itself, so far. I'll fill in festivities here online as they occur. :-)
26th-Jan-2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! I imagine it's like the-last-day-of-finals feeling times a thousand. Go eat some ice cream!
28th-Jan-2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Curiously enough, I did have a sudden craving for some of the vanilla in my freezer when I finished on Monday night. But I was too wiped out to go to all the trouble of getting off the couch!
26th-Jan-2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
David Kruse commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation
Complete":

"Congratulations! I worked out tonight for the first time in a long time, so it
seems we both did something significant!

Just kidding...way to be Mike!"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c88a42G135eb01G20ab953Gd
26th-Jan-2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Christina Healey commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook:
Dissertation Complete":

"Awesome!! I've been waiting for this post. It is a significant moment, no
matter how many revisions you have."

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c88b4fG135eb01G20ab9e7Gd
26th-Jan-2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
Christopher Cox commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook:
Dissertation Complete":

"Congratulations, Mike!"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c8ce29G135eb01G20ad0dcGd
26th-Jan-2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
Erin Fitzpatrick commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook:
Dissertation Complete":

"congrats, mike! maybe this means we can have a celebratory coffee together when
i'm in town the first week in march. peace!"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c8f0cfG135eb01G20ad99cGd
26th-Jan-2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Emily Friedman commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook:
Dissertation Complete":

"ANASSA KATA!"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c901c1G135eb01G20ae334Gd
26th-Jan-2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Kate Boessen commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation
Complete":

"Sweet."

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c92704G135eb01G20b04a3Gd
26th-Jan-2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
Gregory Noth commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation
Complete":

"Congrats!"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c922d8G135eb01G20b0033Gd
26th-Jan-2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Judith Simon commented on your note "Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation
Complete":

"Now what?"

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php¬e_id=268664542678&comments&mid=1c93d2cG135eb01G20b1b8eGd
27th-Jan-2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Awesome
28th-Jan-2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

But yes, in my moments of consciousness since then, when I wasn't teaching, I've also been kind of looking at its awesomeness, but in a sideways kind of way, like it's some awesomeness in a case at the museum. And if that sentence isn't evidence of how tired I've been, I don't know what is.
27th-Jan-2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
That's your PhD thesis, right? Presumably editing then setting a date for the viva now? How long has it been in the works? I know PhD's take a lot longer in the states.
28th-Jan-2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Hey J, Thanks!

Form letter: My apologies for not getting back to you more quickly: I had no idea how much this sprint took out of me. I've spent just about every hour I could over the last two days sound asleep.

Yes, in graduate schools in the States, we tend to be pretty uniform about calling a Master's degree project a thesis, and a doctoral project a dissertation. I'm entering into the final editing and am looking toward a defense date in late March/early April.

I think that time depends on the discipline and the subject involved, and whether you came in with a project already designed. I had designed one in advance (in a general way) when I thought that I was going to do a doctorate in historical theology. Since I then opted to do one in more contemporary theology, I had a general idea of the field I wanted to work in (ecclesiology – the study of the Church), and so I could rank and pick my graduate school choices accordingly, but I didn't have a specific project in mind. I came up with a general idea of a topic or direction in the spring of 2006 and began my initial research and interviews. It took me about a year-and-a-half, while teaching for the first time at the doctoral level (and thus having to design new courses) to come to enough knowledge of the subject to prepare the final form of my Doctoral Dissertation Outline, which is something that has to be approved by your committee and by the graduate school. So it then took me two years to write the book, while still teaching for some of that time, and still doing a lot of "research as you go," of course. So by the time of graduation, it will be four years from initial idea that "X might be something worth investigating," to completion of the whole. I don't know about Solar Physics, but looking around at the faculties of Theology, that seems to be a pretty normal or even better-than-average pace for an entirely new monograph.
31st-Jan-2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
4 years is pretty good - three years is the official time for UK PhDs in terms of funding, although quite a lot are being extended to 3.5 or 4 years now. Even with three years funding, most people don't finally finish for 4 and end up finishing it on their own time.

The science PhDs I know of in America seem to take something like 5, 6, or even 7 years from what I can gather. Ages! Seems a bit silly. So where someone from the UK can be a doctor by age 23 or thereabouts, they're much older in the US once graduated.

We don't do much teaching - just a couple of hours a week of labs maybe. Sounds like you do a lot more of that. And ours is solid research for pretty much the whole time. I stopped at 2.5 years and started writing only, and handed it in three years on the dot, but most people keep researching and adding and tweaking right until the final draft.

Your terminology is interestingly backwards! A masters or final year undergraduate project for us is a dissertation, and only a PhD submission is a thesis, since that's what it is in the traditional sense of the term: "a statement or theory put forward to be maintained or proved". It has to an original idea or original work, that one of the conditions. Whereas a dissertation I think doesn't have that restriction, it's more like a giant lab report, or a write-up of work.
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