Making Lemonade

So what is that saying about life, when it gives you lemons, make lemonade? I guess I’m wondering what you do when life hands you a plate full of shit. Shit salad? Flambe? Smoothie?

I had two weeks between when we got back from visiting family to finish my dissertation to submit for the last degree deadline this year. I did it. I finished the changes, fixed all problems, turned in everything, handed it all in to my advisor, bought the archival paper, saw the thesis advisor, and found out about the WHOPPING $1400 bill. (that’s what they charge you when you take 15 years to finish your thesis…) I’m sitting here all poised to print this puppy off and run it over to the thesis czar for checking and final approval.

And I haven’t heard word one from my advisor since I gave him the whole thing earlier in the week. Not an email saying he got it in reply to my email saying I dropped it off. Not a note saying that it is all awful and I have to redo the whole thing so get going, Stewgad. Not anything.

So it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to file for the degree for this year.

I suppose I should just say, what the hell, after 15 years, what’s another year? Is a ’10 degree really that much different than a ’09 degree? Somehow, it is. It meant something to me. It meant a lot. It meant that I could go away on Saturday with my head held high. It meant that I could start the semester knowing that I had a degree. It just meant I was done. And now, I won’t be.

And did I mention that the fucking university doesn’t take credit cards to pay your fees? So I have to somehow find $1400 in CASH to fork over to those fucking greedy bastards. As if I haven’t given them enough of my money over the years…

Oh and if all of this isn’t stressful enough, I’m supposed to have a book review and an article finished by tomorrow. And did I happen to mention that my Dad is going into rehab today?

Yep. Plate full of shit. Anybody got any good recipes?


I decided that instead of sitting here crying, I should get on touch with my advisor and let him know the time frame. He finally emailed back!! We’re meeting tomorrow at 8 am to hand over the approval forms! Then I have to run to the thesis office and get the czar to check the format. Then fix whatever she says, run to Spousal Unit’s big science thingey, print the sucker and hand it in by noon when the thesis office closes. Wish me luck, hope, dignity, and no new arriving plates full of shit!


3 responses to “Making Lemonade

  1. Yikes, good luck – I hope you get it all done in time!! And congratulations!!

  2. First, good luck!

    But, second, I do not understand the worry. Of course, different grad schools (and programs) have different rules. However, in most departments I know, a defense can be scheduled, approved, and degree conferal date set in just a few months or even weeks. Some departments require advance notice if the defense needs to be public. However, even in that case, don’t you have plenty of time? One thing I learned by the end of grad school is that all you REALLY need to receive a PhD is for the right people to sign the right pieces of paper. If you can get the right people to sign the right pieces of paper, nothing else matters – you have your degree. Please forgive me if I am missing some important details. But isn’t there plenty of time for you to get the right people to sign the right papers during the fall 09 semester?

    By the way, did you ever receive the paper I emailed you titled “The Function of the Schools”? I really think you would find it worth your time to read through to the end.

    Best of luck!

  3. Hi Phil, yes, I got it — haven’t had a chance to look, but will do so soon. Thanks for the reference.

    The big woop was that I wasn’t sure I could get the right people to sign the right pieces of paper at the RIGHT TIME. Yes, that’s all you need, but there are constraints.

    I defended in February, so needed to submit the revisions to my chair and receive his go-ahead to submit it all for the degree.

    My University only has 3 times of the year that it conveys degrees, January, May, and August. They don’t just convey it whenever you finish. So if I missed August, it would have been January, hence a 2010 degree. That would have been really bad, given how long it has taken me already.

    But all’s well that ends well. He signed, I printed, I submitted, and made the deadline! Yipee!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s