30 September 2012


'Theses are not finished, they are abandoned.' - guy I know quoting guy he knows
I submitted my thesis yesterday around noon. Printed it, put it in a box, and mailed it. Bam. Done.

This might seem like a bit of a change of tune from my last post. It was. I got an e-mail on Friday morning from my main supervisor saying that it was 'nearly there' and she had sent in the needed forms. 165 comments, all minor. Comments came from my second supervisor that night: four pages of typos to fix. I had done it all by the time I went to bed on Friday. Got up, printed it out once to fix all the main errors: formatting things, etc. And then it was done.

In the end though, I didn't feel like I had finished so much as just stopped. I could have worked at it for another hour, another day, another week. I just put it in the box and said I was done.

This was after praise from my supervisors about the quality of it. They said good things, used words like 'great' although I was supremely sceptical. I wanted to hear the truth. Tell me the truth. It's not great. It's done. It's not done, it's submitted. Now, instead of worrying about something that I can fix, I worry about things I can't fix. Last minute changes I made. Had I edited in new errors? How bad is it? Did I format that table right? I checked this, but not that.

I said during a presentation that theses need to be narratives of failure. Of course you didn't do it right. You're a student. If you think you did something worth writing home about, you're fooling yourself.

I was angry when I finished. I just wanted... something. To stop. To feel like I had stopped. We had pizza, everyone went to bed and I drank whiskey. I never drink whiskey. What now? Celebrate. Buy shoes?

Nothing. This process was so lonely, why did I think the ending of this part would be anything different. It's never felt good, why would the ending feel good. I go to work now, starting Monday. Marking, teaching, marking, teaching, and waiting for the viva.

I will feel better about it in time, I think. Just not now.