3 Days to Write a Dissertation Proposal OR You don’t have the option to throw feces when your ass is against the wall

So I had a meeting with my dissertation advisor yesterday, the first since the new year commenced. Long overdue. Especially when you consider that I passed my comprehensive exams over 2 years ago and have yet to submit a dissertation proposal. Why is this?

I could detail all the reasons why I am still ABD (All But Dissertation, for those of you new to this lingo). My husband could fill you in on quite a few of them, as I’ve recited from the same script for so long now that he surely must have it memorized.

But the bottom line is this: Enough is enough. This is essentially what my dissertation advisor said when I told her I haven’t really done anything.

ME: “I got nothing.”

DA: “You can’t be ABD forever.”

ME: “Well…” (considering if this option is the most attractive)

DA: “Are you going to drop out of the program?”

ME: “No!” (without hesitation)

There is simply no way I will be a Ph.D. dropout. I have not earned less than an A- since college (and that was just one B or B+ in World Religions in 1997 from Professor Chakrabati at Elon…not that it made an indelible impression on me). Like it or not, I do thrive on academic achievement.

So there you have it.

I must finish. This was the sentiment of the meeting, and I got wrapped up in it enough that when my advisor said I should have my proposal to her by Friday, and then asked, “Can you do that?” instead of saying no, it would not be humanly possible, I said, “Don’t ask me. Don’t give me the option. I need to have it to you by Friday…or, let’s say ON Friday. End of story.”

So, while I would like to have a panic attack or go primal (or primaTE), I don’t have time. I have three days to produce the best I can.

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