Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in review ...

Last year, I made two resolutions:

(1) To have a complete draft of my dissertation done by December 31, 2012


(2) To watch at least one film every month either written or directed by Billy Wilder (other than the ones I had already seen, such as Sabrina or Ninotchka).

I definitely saw both as do-able, but, as it turned out, #1 was actually almost accomplished, while I didn't even see one Billy Wilder movie. For shame, Mom-in-Progress, for shame.

So what is the state of my dissertation? I have approximately 9 chapters (yes, 9. I had some overly long chapters and my adviser made me split them and now I have 9). Out of these 9, 6 are actually in draft form and the other 3 are in varying stages, although none are complete. They probably range from 25-50% drafted. To give you an idea of what this means, last New Year's Day, I had one chapter completely drafted and then a variety of sections with bits and pieces written.

How did I actually manage to almost pull this off? First, I presented two papers - one in February and the other in April - which required me to write up at least two of my sections. Then, when returning from the second trip, I decided to cut and paste a 'mock-up' of my dissertation and found that I had approximately 110 pages written (mind you, not written well, but written). I decided to set a goal of writing 1 page a day and, shockingly, managed to mostly follow it for the next 3 months. There were bumps, such as the orientation for my online course, which pretty much ate up an entire month and then there was the last month of pregnancy (or last 6 weeks, since Rory came exactly 2 weeks after her due date) where my brain turned to mush, but I have over 170 pages written, not including tables and charts.

As for poor Billy Wilder? Maybe this year ... but probably not.

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