The Waiting Game…

I have no fabulous updates to give. My draft is still with my advisor, who emailed me on Monday to tell me that she glanced at it, it looks good, but she was swamped until today. So here it is, almost 3 pm, and no word yet.

With some sleep and the passage of time, I have come to the conclusion that I do NOT like the draft. Yes, it is well written, but I do not feel it tells the story it is supposed to tell. In the literature review, I addressed single-sex school research, and, in the U.S., most of that research is on girls and how single-sex schooling does or does not contribute to advancing their ambitions/interests/achievement in math and science. While interesting to some, this really does not relate to my work. I feel I need to talk about boys schools and the research that speaks to what peculiar places these are. This means taking the literature review abroad to Australia and the UK, where quite a bit of work exists on the subject.

And then there’s the project itself. While I appreciate my advisor’s desire to get me through the program and graduated by next year, this means gathering the data for the rest of the school year.

It is March tomorrow. We only have 12 school days in April, given vacation, a Catholic school conference, and Easter. Then May. Then summer. It seems too rushed.

Are these excuses I am making to prolong this process? Everyone who knows me knows I don’t do closure well. Do I just not want this doctoral experience to end, exhausting and life-sucking as it may be?


But I also am in love with my topic enough that I want to do an EXCELLENT dissertation. Not just a good one. FABULOUS. And I fear that might not work out by trying to squeeze it in now. Next school year would be better.

But then there is the conventional wisdom that says, “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.” Very true. “Your dissertation is not – and SHOULD not – be your life’s work.” Also true.

This has always been my problem – I go big or I go home, and there’s rarely a middle ground for me. I don’t know how to “just get it done”- it has to get done better than anyone’s imagination. And I actually don’t care to change this aspect of my personality, despite how unnerving it may be at times.

With it, so many things are possible.


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