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Recent activity


I have a doctorate and am not a totally broken human being, so mission accomplished.

(N.B.: 43t was acting up, so it took me two tries to save the “Worth doing/willing to help.” Hmmmm.) 5 years ago

asterisk2. more. days.

I have an appointment on Thursday to turn the thesis in, which entails someone in the registrar’s office taking a ruler to the margins to make sure I conform to the university style (I am not making this up). If it doesn’t conform…uh, I really hope I can get another appointment before my job offer turns into a pumpkin. So it’s kind of a one-shot deal.

I’ve gotten all but one of my committee members’ comments on the thesis; I’m about halfway through implementing their (minor) changes, and they’ve signed already. The last guy is giving me his comments tomorrow and hopefully signing too.

almost done! 5 years ago


Still working, y’all. The offer letter with my prof gig came with a (fast-approaching) hard deadline for completing my requirements. The good news is that my advisor is very happy with where I am right now and thinks I’ll make the deadline just fine, assuming I don’t stop writing and start partying now. Just a little while longer!

(as a total aside, I’m currently eavesdropping as the Israeli guy and the Iranian guy who work down the hall from me are calmly and pleasantly explaining their seemingly shared views on Middle Eastern politics to our admin. assistant. I wish the UN were more like grad school.) 5 years ago

asteriski'm glad this process has so much integrity

Advisor: In all honesty, [Commitee Member #3] will just pretend to read your thesis and tell you it’s fine.
Me: I figured, but I need to act like I don’t know that and give him time to “read” it, right?
Advisor: Eh, probably.

Have I mentioned that I love Committee Member #3? 6 years ago

asteriski am so happy!!

I just had the bestest meeting with my advisor ever! It’s so nice to have energy! I can’t even remember the last time it’s been like, “I did this and this and this, and here’s why, and here’s what’s next, and oh yeah, I did this too, and this, and…” I was probably talking about that fast too. Ha! It gives me hope that I am turning into a good grad student after all. (“After how many years?” you ask. Shut up!) 6 years ago

asteriskthere is nothing quite like

sending an email to your advisor with the subject line “scheduling orals.”

Now I kind of want to run around the halls dancing and screaming “yippee!” but instead I’m posting here and will save the yippees for an even happier occasion. 6 years ago

asteriskwoot, met with all my committee members!

Committee members 1 and 2 are pretty involved in my work, but 3 doesn’t know much about it. But I met with him today, and he’s fine with everything, it sounds like. Time to schedule the defense. whee! 6 years ago

asteriskman, i need a drink

I just sent in my (email) application for a postdoc. This postdoc is, apart from the craptacular salary, pretty much the perfect position for me. I’ve given an invited talk at their lab, and I think I could help them a lot and learn a lot from them in turn.

Now, they’re looking to hire a few months before I’ll graduate, but they told me to apply just in case. So I’m not actually expecting an offer, but these are important professional contacts so I hope I didn’t send them a picture of a bunny instead of my resume or something like that. Although bunnies are cute. 7 years ago

asterisksoon (in 2007)

this will happen.

Fun exchange with Advisor:

Me: Oh, and [guy] from [awesome lab] raised the idea of my doing a postdoc there, all by himself.
Advisor: We’ll talk about that later. Right now, we have to just get you to graduate so you can be a fun colleague and not a problem.
Me: I too look forward to the day when I can stop being a problem.
Advisor: You’re not really a problem.

This is a great improvement. 7 years ago

asteriskthis WILL happen

in 2007! My ambitious goal of May looks like it may not be happening, but my advisor and I both want me out ASAP and won’t stand for later than December. 7 years ago

asteriskthe thesis begins

Using my husband’s finished thesis as a starting point, I created a directory for my own. I changed his name to mine, his department to my department, his committee members to mine, etc – and WOW, reading the title page was awesome!

I’m going to set an arbitrary goal of having a decent draft of the thesis done by 5/1/07, and defending by 5/15. Maybe that’s ludicrous, but the next step is to develop a writing and research schedule to get there. 7 years ago

asteriska little extra motivation

I had been thinking that graduating next May/June would be nice, but that it would be ok if that slipped to August. But I just realized today that my birthday is in July…and if I graduate in June, I will get my Ph.D. at the age of {nice round number}, but in August, I would be {nice round number + 1}, which is disproportionately more depressing.

This is the kind of stupid crap that actually spurs me to work harder. 7 years ago


I finally have to fill out my Reading Committee form, which is kinda due yesterday. For some reason it really freaks me out to ask people to be on the committee. There’s a professor who’s technically my associate advisor right now, who was the first prof at Snooty U who I met, and who’s normally a blunt, abrasive guy but who I get along really well with for no discernible reason. I try to minimize my contact with him so that he won’t catch on to the fact that I am not a junior, female version of him. He probably knows that by now anyway. So we haven’t seriously talked about research in like 3 years, and I’m asking him to be on my committee.


[UPDATE] Ok, dude ended up not replying to my email, which is totally weak and unlike him…so I asked this other professor who works a lot with my advisor on stuff unrelated to my research, and he said yes because he is nice and accessible. I really wanted the other guy because he’s very critical and would thus give my defense and thesis that needed air of legitimacy, but whatever, who needs legitimacy? 7 years ago

asteriskgraduating next year?

My advisor wants me to graduate next spring. My boss at work wants me to graduate next spring. I want me to graduate next spring. So if I have enough energy to get the work done, we’re all in agreement.

The caveat is that I’m not going to have time to TA while all this is going on. We’re working on ways to compensate for that.

I had sort of resigned myself to a career that was less than what I’d hoped for, because of my energy limitations these days. But I finally got the courage to tell my boss at work what my dream job has always been, and he thinks I am qualified for it and can handle it. Not to mention that he’s friends with the dean at one of the institutions I’ve had my eye on.

I will keep you all posted. 8 years ago

asteriskafter this paper

I’m going to sit with my advisor and map out the way out. Luckily, he wants me to graduate as much as (more than?) I do, so this should be productive and not too adversarial. 8 years ago


I’ve abandoned notebooks midway before because they were getting too grungy or because I was starting a new project, so this is the first one I’ve actually consumed cover to cover. It’s covered my work from 4/05 to 2/2/06! For some reason, this is the greatest feeling! 8 years ago

asteriskso close, so far away

I’m in my nth year of one of those Ph.D. programs where people really languish for a long time before getting their act together and finishing. My motivation has gone up and down, as has my health – but I’ve been here so long that I’m determined to get the degree and get OUT. 8 years ago

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