Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Up for Air Out of My Bloggy Silence

My recent bloggy silence is due both to the trip from Urban Home City to Grad City with OPL and the fact that I am totally lazy and given half a chance to do nothing, I will happily do just that. I've been lazing around and taking naps and staying up till all hours and generally not behaving like a person who needs to prepare for a defense and pack her whole apartment in boxes. I've basically ignored the dissertation and the job and everything for -- oh, the whole of July. I totally suck. How is one to have a balanced life of work and the love stuff? I just don't know.

But now the oncoming train of the defense is bearing down on me. I'm supposed to present some opening remarks about my work. I have no idea what to say that I haven't said to these people a hundred times before. I think they want some kind of statement about what writing the dissertation meant to me or something. Waaaaa. Any of you readers who have done this want to pipe in? Please?! (Poor Peppy Advisor. The first time we went over it, I think I was in the first blush of loveydoveyness.)

There is an admittedly short list of things remaining on my diss: some citations to be unearthed from the deep, filling in the work cited, reformatting. Have I done these? No. I figure that my committee will give me some feedback at defense time, and I'll have to go ahead and revise anyway. But really, it's just that it's been hard to connect back into my work. I love it and reference it, but trying to get my head clear to do the work that would make me feel so much better and less desperate and clingy about OPL has been very difficult. All the same, he is very supportive. But mostly I just want to follow him around like a puppy dog. Why is that??? I'm a strong capable independent feminist! Darn it!

Anyway, he has to go back to Urban Home State to do some family and organizational stuff soon, so I'm sure I'll be trying to work through the fog of missing him. Sigh. Here's something that my great Similarly Self-Reflective and Fabulous Friend said to me early on: being happy is really hard because you're so afraid you're going to lose it. Wise woman. I think I should get back to work. Some small tune-ups to the diss and maybe some freewriting on the diss so I have some kind of something to work from for the defense opening remarks. OY!


Sisyphus said...

Laziness, I always say, is a good thing. So are naps. Unfortunately, I have no defense advice for you, as we don't do that as an official thing. I think, though, that you pull crap from your prospectus and your introduction and what-all. And somehow it magically gets done. Or becomes over. Something like that.

Will OPL come with you to fancy new place?

Anita DeRouen said...

I defended this morning (gosh, it feels good to type those words!) and I used the list of questions at http://www.muse.widener.edu/~egrozyck/REDoctoral/DefenPrep.html to jump-start my thinking for the opening bits. I prepared much more than I ended up using, but it felt good to have it with me.

I found the whole process to be relatively pleasant; it was more conversational than combative overall. Of course, all of my committee members get along, which helped immensely.

Earnest English said...

Sis: OPL is not coming with me to fancy new place because he has commitments. Okay, children. And he misses them terribly. So he's going to get an apartment and get some space and all that is a good thing -- you know, like eating lima beans when you totally hate them and really want to have a tantrum on the floor.

Dr. Anita: MAZEL TOV! Congratulations and cheers and good riddance to that grad student identity! Doctor! You totally rock! I salute you! And thanks for the tips. I appreciate it.

gwoertendyke said...

stepping back a bit, saying where your project started and how it evolved, suggesting possible paths forward, ie. what you hope to do for the book, a coda perhaps, they way you imagine it fitting into your field, questions left unanswered by you or those you feel you addressed in less satisfying ways....just some defense thoughts. i had 10 pages of writing with me, which included acknowledgments, but after about page three i spoke off the cuff mostly, dipping in for specifics when i needed them. overall, happy thing.

and welcome back, you were missed! love is scary.