the academic circus


I would be shocked if anyone was still here, but I feel like this needs to be part of this blog, anyway:

Friends, I survived my defense last Friday, and I am now Dr. Luckybuzz.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Some small random revisions and I think I can get it submitted in the next week, and then…wow. Hard to even imagine life post-dissertation.

And I miss this blog, so maybe I’ll pick it back up…

Okay, so I got the (Ex)Advisor’s comments on my chapters in the mail today.

I had to open them up and skim them right away, just to make sure that the last (or first) page didn’t say, “…and that’s why you should withdraw from the program immediately…”

Fortunately, I didn’t see that phrase anywhere in my quick skim.

I’ll say this for the (Ex)Advisor; the guy gives good comments. Five pages, single-spaced–PLUS annotated printouts of the chapters in question.

Good things, from my preliminary quick-skim:

  • He thinks I “write well” and that the chapters “read easily,” which is good, I guess (unless he’s calling me simple?).
  • At no point does he advise me to quit, or suggest that the whole project is a giant load of crap.
  • Despite dropping the ball often and failing me in certain ways, he’s a very nice guy. I appreciate that his comments are critical, but always constructive.
  • He’s such a good freaking writer that even his comments are interesting. (On the other hand, he’s *such* a good writer that I am frequently stunned into a temporary writing-silence when reading his work.)

Not-so-good things, from my preliminary quick-skim:

  • I sent him the third completed chapter a few weeks ago, but he’s only read and commented on the two I sent in December. I’m not sure if there’s a delicate way to ask if he’s read the third chapter and has comments on that, too–or if I should give it another month or so before I nudge him on that.
  • The revisions? They will be many, and large. They will, as I suspected, be rewrites, more than revisions.

So, now what do I do? Do I keep picking away at chapter 4, even though I have no idea what I’m doing there and no direction at all on it? Or do I start to address the revisions/rewrites of chapters 1 and 3 (the ones he’s commented on)? I suspect that some of the issues he’s seeing in these two chapters will be things I’ll need to address and change in chapter 4, as well, so maybe going back to those chapters first makes more sense? Honestly, I have no idea. I know a lot of y’all have dealt with/are dealing with this kind of thing…advice?

  • I still can’t believe I did the Big Damn Conference completely sober. I’m feeling kind of proud of that, but I repeat: never again.
  • Fancy-Ass Conference Hotel overcharged me every day of my stay. I spoke to multiple people about this, and yesterday I spent about an hour standing at the front desk while they tried to figure out what to do–it was on a debit card, so apparently they couldn’t just give me my damn money back. Whatever. Long story short: I rode home on the Greyhound last night (my original plan, though now funded by mom) with 50 cents in my pocket and a very large negative balance in the checking account.
  • As of today it seems that the negative balance thing might be fixed…fingers crossed.
  • I came home to discover that GB’s very late paycheck from his last job had arrived. Can you say “nick of time”?
  • GB started work yesterday at a temporary contract job that pays enough for us to actually live on. The job is only for about a month, but they’re offering him *lots* of overtime. Which is great.
  • Although this means we’re staying here for Thanksgiving, since GB will be off on Thursday, but working Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…
  • I miss him already.
  • The meeting with the Advisor went much better than expected. Not only did he not break up with me–he was very nice about how difficult the move’s been, very supportive of the baby thing (I played the pregnancy card early in the conversation), fine about my plans to push finishing back to 2009, and pretty much okay with the fact that I *still* haven’t sent him a damn thing. He thinks that forging ahead with the Press thing is a good idea, too–though he did ask that I please send chapters to him before I send them to the editor. Seems fair enough.
  • For my presentation, I wore black pants, a black jacket, and a kind of lavender-y shirt in some kind of slinky synthetic blend. I think I looked pretty good. Thanks for all the help on that.
  • And, like I said, not passing out was an awesome achievement.
  • Okay. I should work. This is my first day having the house to myself all day…and so far I’m not doing so great with it. Will I get ANY work done today? We’ll see….

(Yes, it’s another whine. Just keep on walking if you’re sick of my shit already.)

It was 80 freaking degrees today.

I know. I just heard the collective sigh go up from all of you: “Is she really whining about THAT?” Yes, friends, I am. I am a rain-girl. A fog-lover. I am Fall’s greatest fan. And you know what? I totally freaking love snow.

80 degrees. In November. I am not down with this.

Now I’m depressed, sad, lonely, stressed, worried, tired, hungry, AND hot.

I believe–I want to believe–that things will be better after this weekend. GB gets his Bar exam results on Friday. I present my crappy paper on Saturday, and I will probably also see The Advisor, who I am pretty sure is going to break up with me at this conference. I meet with Editor-Person on Sunday. Sunday and Monday nights I get drunk off my ass hang out all sober-like and enjoy having my scary parts of the weekend over. And then I come back from Giant Conference in time to go have Thanksgiving at GB’s parents’ (which is good, though if you know me, you know that not having Thanksgiving with friends? Sucks ass, in my world), then we have a doctor visit/ultrasound/sequential screening, which will hopefully put my mind a bit more at ease–and will mark the end of this goddamn first trimester. So yeah. I’m thinking that by December I should be feeling better.

And the average high temperature here in December is supposed to be 69 degrees. It better be.

  • Tonight was a farewell dinner for The Advisor. It was sad, and kind of awkward, and there wasn’t nearly enough alcohol, and The Advisor is dodging me.
  • The Advisor is partly dodging me because he neglected to submit a letter of recommendation for a summer grant I’m applying for. The situation is rectified now (he got the letter in under the extended-deadline wire), but I can smell the guilt wafting off him.
  • I’m having worried and anxious thoughts about moving. I still think it’s a good idea, and is kind of exciting, but I’m concerned about leaving the campus (and missing out on opportunities around here…I think there will be some grad student hiring going on that I’ll miss out on), and whether I can finish next year, and how to pay for all this, and how to support my sorry slacking ass, and if/when GB will get a job, and where we’ll live, and, and, and…
  • GB’s mom gets in tomorrow afternoon, followed by my mom Friday morning, and GB’s dad Friday afternoon. Did I mention ~450 square foot apartment? With four cats, and me and GB, AND the ‘rents?
  • But GB is graduating from law school on Sunday! Go GB!
  • Unfortunately, GB absolutely hates everything having to do with commencement. He’s participating reluctantly because the family is already on the way and I want to see him in regalia. Poor GB.
  • Still…go GB!
  • It seems that there’s a possibility that I haven’t been paid (all semester) for one of the three jobs I’m doing this semester. If this is true, this is excellent news, because the back paycheck will be a god(dess)send and will pretty much fund the move. Fingers crossed, blogfriends!

[/soup Nazi voice]

Yeah, so, I didn’t get either fellowship for next year.

Okay, I already knew I hadn’t gotten the first one, and this second one I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting. So it’s not a huge surprise. (Though I’m feeling a little petty about the fact that I’m a smidge bitter about two people I know getting this one…I mean, no, I’m totally happy for them. Totally. Right.)

Looks like I may be racking up the student loans for one more year, though a fellowship would have been nice to help with the whole relocating-across-the-whole-damn-country-again thing this summer when GB and I move back to California.  And here’s hoping there’s a peachy job just around the corner there for GB, because someone’s going to need to support my sorry, non-fellowship-winning ass next year.

An update at BPAL, *and* an acceptance email for my paper proposal from Big Giant Conference. And it’s not even noon.

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