Currently, I am living, breathing, and sleeping thesis.
It’s become my world. It’s the only thing that I really think about, outside of doing sufficient (but significantly less than I am used to – I have permission for this!) work at my job to earn some money, and remembering to wash occasionally.
There’s a good reason, though. Just before I went to Melbourne in mid-November, my supervisor set me a deadline: my entire thesis, other than the introduction and conclusion, has to be finished by the end of this year. December 31st, 2012. d day. As opposed to D Day, which will come in mid-February, and will require that everything be written, edited, referenced, and finished.
Or PhinisheD, I believe.
The reality of this situation has hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Today is December 5. There are 26 days left in this year, but I’ve only got 21 working days left.
This afternoon and tomorrow are dedicated to completely finishing my marking (-2 days).
This weekend, I’m taking some time off to go to a close friend’s birthday, and spend the only time with friends that I will really have until next year as I’ve decided not to do anything for New Year’s Eve, as my friends are planning on going to a three-day-long festival down south, and I can’t afford the time – or the money (-2 days).
I’ll take Christmas Day off (-1 day).
That’s 21 days. Three weeks. I’ll need to do things like finish my Christmas shopping and celebrate my sister’s birthday on the 18th and do my paltry 15 hours a week of paid work, and I suppose I’ll have to sleep, which means that really, there are very few working hours left for me in this year. I feel like this should be stressing me out much more than it is. Occasionally I let myself slip into thinking that it’s simply not possible; there’s no way I will finish my thesis in the next three weeks.
But then, why not? I’ve done the work. I’ve written and read hundreds of thousands (millions!) of words over the past four years. My note taking system is so chaotic that it’s really very close to nonexistent, but I’ve got a good memory for details and can easily recognise links between concepts now, and identify areas of my work that require more attention.
I feel like a broken record, as all I ever talk about right now is my research. I never really intended for this blog to be a research blog, but I feel like it might become that. A change has happened in the past couple of weeks. I actually want to put all this hard work to use. I haven’t been the most proactive student in terms of writing for publication and attending conferences, so I know I have a lot of ground to make up, but I hope that 2013 can be my year for doing that. I hope there will be sessional teaching work and the opportunity to publish and present my research findings. I’ve decided that I actually do really want a place in this academic life, and to do it really well. This hasn’t been an easy journey – far from it – but I really do feel like it’s going to be incredibly rewarding, and this is just the beginning.