Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

End of Semester Reflection: Sh*t just got real

In some ways it seems ridiculously early to be talking about the end of the semester. But we're on Thanksgiving Break, next week is the last week of classes, then it's finals week and we're finished. Done. So perhaps not so ridiculous.
This semester was not the great semester I thought it would be ending my coursework. I loved my seminar, but some of the people in it were just mean and nasty to be mean and nasty, so that ruined some of it for me.
The one class I was really counting on to help with my dissertation didn't because we weren't given any clear guidelines, or feedback, or grades for that matter, and we had a couple of BATSHIT crazy people in there (and that's not an exaggeration!). The other class had a lovely professor but was just a ridiculous amount of work for a non-seminar, so...I am happy to have the semester come to an end.

It was a successful semester so far as the dissertation though. My dissertation committee director has looked at a draft of the prospectus and had minor notes. I revised it and sent that back to her, and we're meeting after the new year and I feel good about it. It's a little meta to write the prospectus when I'm 1/3 of the way through the dissertation though. The dissertation is at 71 pages. Chapter one, physical description is almost finished, and chapter two, personality and actions is close behind. I have a solid outline for chapter three, Hell is empty And all the devils are here”: The Absence of Devils in Shakespeare, and a conference proposal for ACMRS in February based on this was just accepted, so that's great. I'm taking a class with my dissertation director next semester and she's agreed to let me write my conference proposal for MTSU's John Milton Conference (which will then become chapter four of my dissertation) for her class, so that's great.

I have information about what the prospectus defense will be (format, what's expected, etc.) and it's tentatively penciled in for third week of March after Spring Break.
Somehow seeing things on the calendar make it all seem real, and very close, despite it being three months in the future.

Spring semester filled up fast. I was so excited about only having two classes- a seminar because I'm using Old English as my language requirement, and the course on 17th century. The schedule looked so empty last week. Bu then there are the office hours, the core writing commitment, and suddenly it's a busy week. But still two solid #DevilDiss days. My plan is to send drafts of chapter to copy editor in January, revise in February during comps, and have chapter drafts to committee members in March (so pretty much right after my prospectus defense). Hopefully I'll have those chapters back by the end of the semester, so I can then revise over the summer. Second drafts of chapters to committee in August/September, revisions by the end of Fall 2015 semester, and then all of a sudden we've blinked and I'll defend my dissertation in January.
It's like time travel. Blink and it's months in the future.
I feel good about where I am with the dissertation. I feel good about where I am with publications. And I feel good about where I am with presenting at focuses conferences.
So what about you guys- how are you feeling about the end of the semester? Where you are with your program?