I Know What I Know

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Today has been interesting. As I’ve been saying recently, I’m going whole hog on the dissertation these days—mostly because my dissertation advisor mentioned the other day that I needed to get her “something.” I don’t think she realized that I’ve got four chapters in the bag. So I got her the introduction on Monday, promising her a revision of chapter one and the first draft of chapter two the next day. Once I got into it, however, I realized I had far more work to do than I had thought, and so I haven’t gotten her the two chapters I promised her yet.

So I stopped by her office today to apologize. She said, “Well, it’s just getting around time for you to begin getting me stuff to read.” Once I explained that I had three other chapters to get to her within the week and a half, she exclaimed “Wow! You’re nearly done! You’ve been productive.”

We sat around talking about a few issues I’m engaging, and I left her office smiling and thinking that I’m much less dumb than I had before I’d walked in.

You see, there’s always doubt. Always. You think you’ve got a good topic. You can’t find anything that’s ever been written about it. Now here’s the question: has no one written about it because no one has noticed it, or has no one written about it because it’s so bloody obvious that only a moron would think it’s an insightful observation?

There is, according to one of my friends who works as a visiting assistant professor (basically, a hired gun adjunct faculty member who is hired on a 3-year contract), a period of self-doubt that happens in the middle of writing the dissertation.

So that’s where I’ve been.

I’m taking a break now from revising chapter one again. I’m on page 16 at this point, and so there’s not much left. After that, it’s on to chapter two for a quick revision, and then everything goes into the dissertation director’s mailbox.

And to top it all off, next week this blog will be magically transformed into the all-grading-all-the-time channel. Yes. Yes indeed.

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Written by srogers

July 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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