Gunlord’s Dissertation Saga, Episode 14 :The Countdown…Continues?!

I promised you a longer entry last week, brothers and sisters, and I’ll try to keep that promise. I don’t have any really bad news for you today, and depending on how you look at it, not even disappointing news either. But I am feeling pretty uncertain…

Here’s the lowdown. I sent my profs an email on Feb 27 (last week) saying I could show them what I had done immediately, but that I would like until the 2nd of March (this past Wednesday) to work on it. They…never emailed me back ;-; I suppose that’s not so bad, they might be busy or something. Still, I have no idea whether they were expecting a draft last week, this Wednesday, or if they were too busy to look at anything I could show this week anyways, so I might as well wait until they email me back before I start worrying a lot. In that spirit, while I got a lot of work done this week, I’m still at the “almost done” (like 95% done) level rather than the “100% done” level. I got about 2000 words written every day rather than 4000.

What that means is at this point, I have anywhere from about 3000 to 6000 words left on my dissertation before I can really consider my first draft “done,” and then I gotta clean it up a little–fix up my bibliography, check for spelling errors, etc. I also have to write up the email I’ll be sending to my profs themselves along with the .doc draft. I’ll be reposting most of it in next Friday’s entry–it’ll frankly admit that I know it needs a lot of work, but that I hope it’s still ahead of my main schedule even if it’s somewhat behind my personal schedule (I didn’t need to have a draft of the *first chapter* done until *next year*), what I’m proudest of, what I know needs some more work, archives I think I might look at to fix up what needs work, etc. etc. etc.

I’ll be doing all this, of course, while I monitor my email with the most delicate sensibilities. It’s possible my committee will come back to me with an angry, questing email asking why I didn’t hand in a draft by Wednesday. I think that’s unlikely, though, they’re pretty lenient, plus the fact that none of them replied to my email makes me think they’re very busy ATM (this time of year is usually busy, since spring is starting and all) and unable to give anything I handed in a good look, like I said. So I might as well take advantage of a little extra time. Thus, I believe I’ll very likely be all done and handed everything in by next Friday, and will be able to make a long writing/retrospective entry for you then. I won’t say ‘definitely,’ though, since I titled last week’s episode “the final countdown” and it ended up not being very final at all XD I think it’s likely I’ll be able to finish everything off by Sunday, very likely by the end of *next* week, but still, no promises this time.

As an aside, though, here’s a frightening story for earlier today that illustrates a piece of good advice just about anyone would do well to follow, whether they’re historians or anyone else: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK! I was polishing up chapter 3 of my dissertation today when my computer crashed for some unGodly reason! Thankfully, MS word recovered what I was working on, and my computer repaired itself quickly enough, but that was a huge scare. I would have lost a whole month of work if it was something serious. I promptly backed everything up to a nice flash drive, but I should have done that a lot earlier. Thinking about it, it’s incredibly easy…just go to the folder your work is in, ctrl+C the folder, and ctrl+V it into a flash drive attached to the computer. Considering how cheap even multi-gigabyte flash drives are nowadays, there’s no reason not to do that on a very constant basis. I say just about every week at minimum, but after today, I might do it daily!

Anyway, that’s it for this friday. NEXT friday will hopefully be my true victory post…

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