26 September 2012

Finished, but not 'finished'

I had an illuminating conversation today about my PhD, which will not, it appears, be submitted by the end of this week. My thesis is finished, it is submitable, and it will pass. Those three things are big things and I should be happy about them. My thesis is not yet printed and submitted for examination and won't be for another 10 days–2 weeks for a couple of reasons: there are (probably) still things I can fix. Things that make the thesis read better, make a better impression, and make the examiners reading it think, 'This is good' rather than, this is submitable. This changes the whole viva process, making it more likely about the problems that you can never fix with the thesis, but are excusable, rather than the problems with the thesis that are fixable and you will be required to fix after the viva. So, in my supervisor's eyes, if my viva is going to be in the last two weeks of November (which we have agreed on) and I have to submit 6 weeks in advance of that, then actually, my real deadline is 5–15 October. The end of September was just what I wanted, the date that meant I had finished in my funding period, but that's just a personal thing. Has no bearing on anything, actually.

So my supervisors will get back their comments to me by the end of the week and I will work some more, and then submit before 15 October. That's what will happen and I will feel bad, but not too bad.

I started teaching yesterday which was really nice. I am finally teaching literature, something I have always been qualified to do, but have never had a chance to actually do. I love it. We had a really good class, I think. I always hated literary theory, but I love stylistics. It's empirical, right? I have been planning my lectures  like this: text I like + form of discourse analysis = class. This week? Lexical cohesion + A hunger artist. Next week? On the road + narrative structure. Bada-bing, bada-boom.

And I'm back to hurry up and wait. Hurrying to wait.