Thursday, September 5, 2013

What it feels like to wait (again) for feedback on your dissertation

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Like Bellatrix in the gif above, simmering inside me is barely concealed agitation as I watch the days go by without really hearing from my committee. It has been almost a month since I turned in my second draft and the only comments I’ve received have been, “so far, so good, definitely much better than the first dissertation,” which would normally mollify me, but for the love of all that is good and holy, I just want this damn thing sent to my internal, and my external, and defended! AHHHH!  Let the world note that when people castigate PhD students for longer completion times, more often than not, they face delays beyond their control, at least in my university and in my field.  For nearly all of the people I know who are trying to get their dissertation to the defence stage, waiting for their various examiners to read and provide comments is what leads to this long, unbearable, interminable wait.

The silver lining in this dark cloud, of course, is that once I finally - finally! - get to defend my dissertation, I will throw the most epic, most debauched party the likes of which I haven’t seen since my early twenties.  My plan is to make my own yakka (which I last imbibed courtesy of South African friends at the World University Debate Championships in Stellenbosch) and dance and drink and carouse until the wee hours.  It isn’t so much being designated “Doctor” that I care about but seeing this challenging, tumultuous, yet ultimately rewarding chapter of my life come to a close. That this party will likely double as my goodbye party before I head to the West for my postdoc adds further incentive to make this soiree the best yet.

Before that, though, is the unbearable wait…