Archive for the ‘dissertation’ Category


… a lollipop.

This is what the Degrees Office gave me when I filed my dissertation on Wednesday. It reads “Phinally Done”.

I can read it two ways. One: as a sweet reward (probably what they meant). Or two: doing a dissertation really sucked. That one is from my chiropractor.

I started this entry feeling glib. But, the more I think about it, the more awed and happy I feel. But before I let loose: a realization that hit me when I saw the final manuscript, all boxed up.

All that worry. All that angst about am I good enough, is this good enough, blah blah blah. And really, a dissertation is just a tall stack of paper with words on it. Some pretty interesting words, I think. But still, it’s just words in print, not an all-encompassing reflection or me or even my intellect. Just some words and ideas.

Okay, some pretty kick-ass words and ideas, and a Ph.D. from a world-renowned research university. It’s time to bounce up and down and party.

Woo-hoo! I’m done!!!!!! Finally DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Six Years


… and this is what I have to show for it. My office, which I studiously cleaned when a guest stayed over, is once again disheveled. Like me right now. It’s 4:20 AM.  I just hope the degrees office doesn’t fuss over the tiny margin problem on the signature page. In less than five hours I’m off to file this baby!

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It’s been so long since my last post!! No pic today either. My apologies. Between diss stuff and contract research, life has been a nutty flurry.

My advisor signed off on my dissertation two Mondays ago. Should have felt great, but I get the inkling that he’s disappointed that I haven’t turned into another him. Then I drove down to LA to collect a signature from a mentor who moved to another university a few years ago. She’s an amazing woman and I’ve really missed her, so it was great to catch up for an hour.

And oh! I took my brother in law and his girlfriend to a fantastic restaurant in Koreatown:  The Corner Place.  Definitely recommend their cold/sweet/tangy noodle soup (Dongchimi Gooksu) and their barbecue.  Yum!!!  A bottle of soju went down great with the food, too.

Today, my third committee member — a sociologist/political scientist who I’ve always been afraid would say my work isn’t rigorous enough — not only signed off, but gave a great review. She all but insisted that I try to publish it as a book ASAP. So, my head is all big and puffed up now and I’m going to go for it.

On the crafting front: another stab at the Frou Frou cardigan from SnB Happy Hooker. Bought some cheap decorative cardboard storage boxes from Ikea and organized my gnarly yarn stash. I’ll start on Babette again when a shipment arrives from Knit Picks with some colors that I ran out of. I keep eyeing my sweater yarn collection — how did it get so big? — wondering what cardigan to knit.

Pics on my next post, promise!

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D-Day July 5

Ack! How did it get to be July? I had hoped to return from Yosemite with inspiration for my Intro. But in fact I didn’t think about my diss at all during the trip.

The only inspiration I got was to go backpacking in the wilderness. This was bolstered this morning when I caught sight of my legs in the mirror, noticeably shapelier after a bit of hiking and biking. (Vain, I know.) But I have bad memories of hauling 40+ pounds plus a guitar up a mountain ($#@%!@ hippy boyfriend!). Good news: the new thing is ultra-light backpacking.

TMI alert! The online procrastination degenerated into this: Any other small-chested women out there who are way too tall for petite bras? Custom bras run about $400 and look like the 1950s “foundation garments.” Desperate, ordered a ready-made style at Lula Lu. Their fit testers are all petite, but I’m crossing my fingers.

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D-Day June 25


Breezed through the edits for Chapters 4 & 5; how much better the chapters seem than I remember! Now I’m balking at writing the Introduction. My mind reels at the task of reconciling lofty theoretical ambitions with the messy, 70 year narrative I ended up with.

The diss is a ramshackle house made of random materials — the product of mixed method, a euphemism for whatever-I-can-find — hammered into a multi-faceted narrative. I myself hardly believe that it makes sense in toto, in its entirety. But in the Intro I must convince the reader, likely another overspecialized academic, not just the point of the next 300+ pages but also why it matters.

Okay, enough of that. Time to get back to work.

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It’s 2:21am and I just printed it out.  47 pages.  I wrote 22 pages in about three days.  In other words, it’s a total hack job.  Really.  A mess.  But I am handing it to my advisor tomorrow morning.  He hasn’t had much work to do in terms of serious editing so far, so I’ll have him go at it with this one.

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D-Day June 10

Can you believe I’m still not done with Chapter 6? But I’ve written 13 pages since Friday, a total of 41 pages. Woo-hoo! It was due last Friday and I am so out of time. So I’m going to slash the two remaining my case studies (already have four, for goodness sake) add a page of lit review, and patch it up to go out tomorrow night.

My jaw is like a vice and my neck and shoulders are a disgusting knotty mess of adhesions. That’s when gluey stuff builds up in the soft tissue and it just kind of… sticks and gets lumpy. Eew. I’m heading to the gym to some fresh blood into them poor muscles and limber up. Hot… tub….

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Found out today that the postdoc came through. Mostly. As long as the budget comes through, and as long as I file on time. When would that be? July 15. I hope, I pray.

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