At the Dark End of the Street

I’m done!  Mostly.  I think…

I’ve completed a full revised draft of the entire thesis.  It’s even under the maximum word limit.  Mostly it’s good, with some very strong sections.  I have sent it off to my advisor for last comments.


This will be the second time my advisor has seen the complete draft.  He gave me some excellent feedback last week, which I incorporated into this latest revision.  I hope he doesn’t come back with anything more, as I would really like to submit soon.  Ideally Friday.

I’m mostly happy with everything.  Part of me wants to re-write a chapter completely, but that would take another few days or weeks (possibly months since term starts soon).  It’s not that it’s a bad chapter, as I do make the argument fairly well.  It’s just that it was the first chapter I wrote, back in year one.  It’s of course been revised, since my writing has improved since then, as has the specific focus of the dissertation.  It’s not out of place, it could just use some polishing.  The good news is I think that’s the worst thing that can really be said about the chapter.

I’m sure once the viva comes around there will be plenty of other issues that my particular writing style.  I can start worrying about that soon enough, though.  In the meantime I have classes to start teaching.

Next Monday is the start of term.    My first class is Tuesday.  It’s the introductory lecture so I don’t necessarily need the full hour-long content, but I want more than just a five-minute overview.  I’ll work up something between now and then (right?).  I’ve found the first term to be the hardest in terms of teaching.  Part of that is because everyone is readjusting from the summer break, getting used to new people and (for first years) living away from parental security and making the most of the university experience.  I’m sure there are other things, too; the point being, teaching in term one seems harder than the rest of the year.

I can, if necessarily, take up to another whole year to submit my PhD.  Apparently I’m actually registered through 2015, and my current visa lets me stay until some time in 2016.  My fellowship doesn’t require me to submit by the start of term, nor do I have to pay more tuition fees if I take a bit of extra time.  It’s more a personal issue.  I want to be done with this so I can focus on the next task.  Yes, I know I won’t be done with it completely until there’s a book published (heck, maybe not even then!) from it, but I’m ready for this aspect to be done.  There are a lot of offshoots from the thesis that I want to start exploring.  There are a bunch of new, unrelated topics that I would love to start researching.  I’m ready to move on.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter every day.  I know there’s plenty of other work to do to keep me busy, but those are other tunnels.  I’m getting to the end of this one.  I think.  Hopefully my advisor thinks everything is all right and ready to submit.  That would be great.  I might even dance.

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