Joel defends his dissertation today at 11 a.m.  I'm so very proud of him!  Today marks the end (well, until graduation at least) of five tumultuous years for him in graduate school. 

Once the dissertation is defended (successfully, but they rarely go awry), Joel will make final changes that his committee requests, and submit the document to the graduate school.  So, he will have a little more work ahead of him after today, but nothing he can't handle! 

As far as myself and my progress, I'm working on a few edits to my completed draft.  My expectations are that I will defend sometime this summer and graduate in December.

But, expectations are for people that only have themselves to rely on.  My expectations were crushed this year, time and time again.  Last August had you asked me what my intentions were, my intentions were to prospect my dissertation in November and defend in April so that I could graduate in May.  Obviously, that didn't happen and believe me when I say it wasn't due to procrastination on my end.  I prospected on Monday, May 10, 2010 and my hope was to graduate in August.  I wanted an August graduation for so many reasons.  Three days after I had prospected, my dissertation was already approved by the Human Subjects Committee (to determine if you are causing harm to participants) and four days after prospecting, my survey was online and ready to go.  That weekend I spent sending out e-mails to participants.  I spent an arduous fourteen days collecting data. It was not easy.  My expected response rate was slashed in half, and my expected response rate (10%) was meager to begin with.  So I had to work SO HARD to gain participants.  Within 14 days of starting data collection, I collected the necessary working participant responses (approximately 300).  Over Memorial Day weekend, I sat down and wrote the entirety of my results and discussion section and finished edits to my literature review that my committee requested.  Writing the entire back half of the draft in under 30 hours is an accomplishment. 

A week later, I received the bad news that my expectations about finishing in time for an August graduation did not match my committee chair's expectations.  And that's all I'll say about that. 

But the news was crushing, upsetting, threw me for a loop, and absolutely ruined my hope for walking in August.  I received this news on the first day of vacation in Hawaii, on the day of my friend's wedding.  I was mentally miserable to say the least.  I had turned down a trip to Europe to see my family, whom I only get to see once or twice a year (and we're a tight-knit family) because my expectations were that my hard work and diligent efforts would pay off in the end.  If I had known that working my ass off so hard for so long would not yield the results I was expecting, I would have (1) not rushed myself, (2) gone to Europe to see my family, (3) spent significantly less time stressing about data collection and writing, and (4) proceeded at a more leisurely pace. 

I'm still sickened about it.  The unfairness of it all, and there's several angles to the unfairness, really turns my stomach and leaves me with a feeling of distrust and disappointment.  I know I was asking a lot of someone else, but I ask a lot of myself and I expect other people to match my own expectations.  And therein lies my fatal flaw that I've been dealing with since I was much younger. 

But, I will be there to cheer on Joel as he graduates with his PhD (also was expected to be conferred in May, so his was pushed back as well) and walk hand in hand with my Dr. Boyfriend afterward. 
 


Comments

martha
06/24/2010 21:22

excuse me- I know you've got a ton of big-style stuff on your mind-but still say it's time for another pup photo-i am mind-infected
(in a good way) with labs.
I also saved 2 bees today that were drowning.but I can't hug them.
no way

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