Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Saturday, May 7, 2016

#DevilDiss2 The Final Countdown

This week I need to finish revising CH 4 of #DevilDiss2, and complete CHs 5-6, and the conclusion.
I also need to read over my Kzoo paper, which I didn't need to write as it's the monstrous landscapes section of my Anglo-Saxon chapter, but DO need to put in human speak to present.

Last week I revised the intro, and CHs 1-3. I felt good about the progress, because I admit when I saw the notes for these final revisions I completely freaked about being able to complete them all in the three weeks I had. With teaching high school full time, a 630a-3p day, I'm brain dead and drained by the time I get home, so weekends are when all this work had to get done. And suddenly, it didn't seem like enough time.
But I made a plan- I scheduled out exactly what work targets I had to hit each weekend. I also copied and pasted my director's notes into my #DevilDiss2 notebook by chapter so they seemed manageable and I could stay focused.
So far this plan is working.
But I'm a little stressed about this weekend.
It's a lot to get done.
I originally wanted to have all #DevilDiss2 revisions done by Monday so I could print out the whole thing and spend my Kzoo travel time going over the whole thing one last time. While I'm a tech/digital girl, I always need to edit on hard copy. BUT traveling with a 400+ page manuscript is heavy. So I've decided that I'll be reading on the computer and fixing any last things.
I get back from Kzoo on Saturday, and that gives me next weekend to finish, then submit to my full committee by 17 May for my 17 June defense.
A lot of these last months, since the close-to-final draft at the end of December has felt like limbo.
I didn't know how good the draft was.
I didn't know how I was going to pay rent.
I didn't know if I'd get a job.
I didn't know anything.
And felt like almost every big thing was completely out of my control.
As a twenty-something I'm sure that's scary. At 40? I'm just tired.
But this past week has also been a week of good things. Cool things.
We set the time for my defense- so 11a on 17 June send good juju my way. When I send my final draft off, since so much of #DevilDiss2 has been shared and digital, I'm going to ask my committee if I can video my defense. It seems like the perfect end-note to the whole thing.

As overwhelming as this last push is, I'm trying to make time to appreciate the good things.
When I graduated with my M.S.Ed. I didn't attend graduation or get a party because I was busy moving from Brooklyn to N.C because that was the summer I moved home to help take care of Mom.
When I graduated with my M.A from Bread Loaf, my best friend Dion is the only one who came. And I cried like a baby.
Which seemed to surprise people.
When I got back to N.C I had to throw my own graduation party.
I don't know if my Masters didn't get celebrated by my family because Mom was so sick, and we were all focused on that or (what I vote more likely) that they just didn't understand the big deal of higher education.
My stepdad is not coming to my defense.
My sister is.
My best friend Dion is.
But it's a small group, and none are here. So while I realize this is one of the biggest accomplishments EVER it's been hard to see the forest for the trees a lot of the time. I also think my accelerated timeline contributed to this- there has been no time for resting on laurels and celebrating the small stuff.

But I'm trying. So this week when the email went out that the UNM Alumni Association had arranged graduation photos for us Wednesday and Thursday 730-930p I made a plan to go. Even though it was super close to my bedtime. And it meant getting duded up.
So I put on all my regalia, grabbed Nehi, and off we went.
The official photos get emailed to us next week, but on the way back to the truck Nehi and I stopped and took these. Nehi of course was a big hit with the alumnus there and the photographers.
I admit that I almost didn't go. As we inch closer to my defense I find I'm getting SUPER superstitious. Putting on the regalia before it's official seems like a jinx. As does planning any sort of celebration for after the defense (but come on, those devil themed cupcakes and red fruit punch won't buy themselves!)
I tweeted a few weeks ago about these fears. I would hope that if there were major issues, I wouldn't have gotten this far. I have faith my committee would have spoken up. BUT even if there are revisions, I have almost a month to do them. While I certainly WANT to be done come 17 June, I am prepared that there might still be minor notes. And that's okay because I'll take the weekend to celebrate with Dion and my sister, and then get back to work.

I'm trying to remind myself in panicky moments that I'm almost there.
My high school has asked me back for next year. And hope springs eternal that one of those last, late jobs comes through.
So I still feel like I'm in limbo, but at least there's a back up plan. One that buys me another year on the job market (Job Market- The Sequel!) and allows me to pay rent and Puppy Overlord kibble.
So for now it's head down, nose to the grindstone, stay focused.

Almost there.
It's the final countdown...

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