Saturday, July 29, 2006

That sound you hear... just me banging my head against the wall.

Final draft of paper. Due Monday. All I have to do is address 2/3 of the 4.5 pages of comments from my second reader, which I'm about 1/2 done with, give it a final read-through and proof, and turn it in Monday morning.

Then all three readers (one of whom has never seen it before and who I can't talk to about it until the defense) will have 10 days or so to read it, during which time I prepare for a defense, in which they grill me and ask me questions which I may or may not be able to answer. The defence will happen some time during the second week of August. If all goes well, I'll hopefuly just have to address a couple small issues (or NONE? None would be good!), and then it will be done.

I am terrified about the defense. Kind of a once-bitten-twice-shy thing. The defense of my first generals paper was an ugly, brutal affair that I do not wish to repeat. I know this isn't the same thing. It's not even remotely the same topic, for instance, and the personalities involved are very different this time around. The people in the room are far closer to being on the same page than the previous group, and there is some consensus between the first two that the paper is OK, even in its present form. There are holes, certainly, as there are in any work, and differences of opinion on a theoretical level (as in, one guy prefers a completely different approach), but I think I understand where the issues are and generally how to respond to them intelligently and diplomatically.

But I am still terrified. Deeply. Totally. Sick to my stomach. I feel like the best I can hope for is to not make a complete ass of myself. I know it can't be much worse than the last time, but that doesn't make it any easier. Because I don't think I can handle that again, I really don't.

Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease let it be over soon.

Because as soon as this is done, I can then start formally stressing out about my (lack of a) dissertation topic. All the stressing about it up to now has been very informal, you see.

*thump* *THUMP* *THUMP*

Nothing to see here, move along...

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