Last night I turned in my draft of my pre-dissertation paper (don't ask, it's just another hurdle) to my chair.  This is the paper I've been working on since I submitted my final pre-dissertation plan (another hurdle) in December.  9 months.  NINE MONTHS!?  Well, for the first 5 months, I worked sporadically - like once a month I'd read an article for it, and half-heartedly write a paragraph.  It just sat at the back of my academic closet, not getting much use and not worn to all the glamorous parties.  I waved my hand at it occasionally, promising I'd fit back into it soon, but just never really had the energy for it.  I was in my last semester of classes.  Then the follow month (month 6) I was preparing for my preliminary examination to be admitted to doctoral candidacy.  After passing prelims, my life became a little chaotic.  I was teaching a 4-week class (2 hrs a day of lecturing, 5 days a week), and during that time, I lost a family member which required lengthy travel.  Then once I got back into the swing of things (month 7), my summer class had ended and I started traveling for various reasons (a conference, a wedding...).  Month 8, or August, rolled around, and I started paying attention to it again, and realized I wasn't that far from finishing my complete draft (not a final draft, mind you, just a full draft with no missing parts).  School started, and once again I put it on a hanger at the back of my academic closet and promised it I would see it soon.  Three weeks into the new semester, I pulled it out of my closet, tried it on (it fit), and then proceeded to party in it day and night, evenings and weekends.  Some sort of inspiration bug bit me.  I partied so hard in that paper that I wore out the zipper and compromised the seams, but dang, I got my money's worth.  Right?  Right.  Anyway, after many attempts to start and re-start working on it, I finally had my rear in gear and worked really hard on it.  I e-mailed it last night to my advisor, who will hopefully have mercy on the beautiful document and have only minor revisions.  Whatever revisions (be they many or few), I have resolved to not let the paper fester.  As soon as she returns the draft to me, I will sit down and crank out the changes for her approval.

I have less than a year to prospect, collect data, write the results, and defend my dissertation, and I have resolved that I WILL HAVE MY PH.D. BY MY NEXT BIRTHDAY (Sept 5).  Watch out, world!

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