Well, hello again.
So where am I at?
When last I wrote, I was facing down the start of a ridiculous month of deadlines. I was, not to put too fine a point on it, panicking.
Here’s what happened.
I eventually gave up and went to my doctor and got antibiotics so that I could stop being sick. I just couldn’t shake it on my own.
I marked all of my students’ assignments and tallied their final grades.
I finished the draft of my dissertation and gave it to my supervisor on time.
The next week I wrote the first conference paper and presented it. It was well received. I wrote the second conference paper while away at the first conference.
Then I wrote my final language exam. I thought I had done well enough that I might maybe, maybe, squeak a viva rather than being failed outright.
They passed me outright. No idea how I managed that, given the mess I made of the final passage, but I’ll take it and run. That made for all four translation exams (two ancient, two modern) passed on the first attempt. I’m the only graduate student in my program to have done this.
The day after the language exam I gave my second conference paper. It was fine.
That weekend my supervisor sent back my thesis, which he had actually read, and read carefully, in two weeks (this is pretty much unheard of in academia). He sent it back with 28 pages of typed comments. Not one was “you have to rewrite this entire chapter/section because it is terrible”.
That Monday Q. went overseas for three weeks. I was on my own with E. for a week, and then had two weeks with grandparents there to help (my dad for the first, my mum for the second).
I worked 12-14 hour days on the dissertation those two weeks. My days went like this: wake up in a panic around 5 a.m. and work at the kitchen table until E. woke up. Then have breakfast with E., and take him to nursery school if it was a nursery school day. Then go to the library. Work until a bit before 5, with a fifteen or twenty minute break for lunch (as much time as it took to get down to the cafeteria level, eat a sandwich, and go back up to the stacks), then get home in time to cook dinner. After dinner put E. to bed and then work until 10:30 or 11 p.m. before going to bed. Repeat.
I am so grateful my parents were able to help. I wouldn’t have been able to get the revisions done otherwise. Even if Q. had been here, he would have had his own deadlines to meet, and I needed every single hour I could get.
I didn’t get every i dotted and every t crossed. This led me to have a massive anxiety attack one night when it became apparent I was going to have to make substantial changes to the introduction where I just lay in bed and cried until I fell asleep, but by the morning I had accepted this and could focus on finishing what I could finish rather than stressing about the revisions that needed more time than I could give them at that point.
But I got it done.
Q. got home on a Saturday night.
Sunday night I finished the table of contents and then turned the draft into a PDF.
Monday morning Q. went up to work, printed the draft out and delivered the hard copies to my committee members, while I did my last duty day at E.’s nursery school.
Monday afternoon Q. and I packed, took apart E.’s crib, and set up his new medium-sized bed.
Late Monday afternoon I picked E. up from nursery school. We had just enough time at home for a quick snack (making sure he didn’t go up and see the change in his room) and then my sister drove us to the airport. That night we flew down under, where we’ve been for the last month, and where I thought I’d have loads of time to blog except that it turned out my MIL scheduled pretty much our every waking minute.
It’s been a bit manic, to be honest.
We’re home now, jet lagged as anything (two nights ago E. slept for less than four hours total), but glad to be back.
Expect more from this space in the near future.