Wednesday, June 11, 2008


In case you haven't figured it out yet dear readers, when I'm not blogging here, I'm a grad student. Working on a joint phd in sociology and demography. I also teach a class or two here or there and work as a (extremely) part time research assistant for a prof, but my primary daily activity is working on my own stuff (especially my dissertation proposal right now).

Which brings me to my rant o' the day. There is nothing that is more excruciatingly painful to me than reading my own work. I love to write, I can just spew out pages and pages of stuff. In fact, I mostly wrote the first draft of my 60 page dissertation proposal over a period of 4 intense (but actually kind of fun) days. But when it comes to re-reading what I've written, and editing it so that it makes sense, I just hate every minute of it.

B is the opposite. In fact, so opposite, that it is his JOB to do what I hate. Right now he's working as a writing tutor, where his job is to read over people's papers for grammatical and clarity errors and such.

Meanwhile, why am I ranting about this? Well today is the due date for my dissertation proposal. I've decided to to spend the day reading over all 60 pages of my proposal for one last edit. I've made quite a few changes already in fact, in the 15 pages of it I've read so far. But now I'm back to procrastinating again, cause this sucks. I mean, my paper is interesting and all (to me at least) but agonizing over whether a committee member will take issue with the word "implicitly" is not my idea of fun times.

A week from today, my committee will all meet up for my dissertation proposal defense so they can talk about what I've written, give me feedback, and let me know whether or not I have successfully jumped through the penultimate hoop in my phd program. If all goes well, at this time next week I will be ABD- all but dissertation.

Regardless of the outcome, right after my defense I'll be going home to get extremely fucked up, either in celebration or dismay.

In fact I wish I could spend the next week fucked up and trying to forget that my defense is coming, but sadly I have a conference extended abstract due on Tuesday, and I really need to work some more on revising a journal article I received a "revise and resubmit" decision on. Ideally, I'll have that all done by a week from today, so that when I go on my post-defense mini-vacation/music festival with B a week from Friday, none of this will be hanging over my head. All this so I can improve my chances of getting a tenure track job when I graduate.

Well there you have it, a fascinating description of the daily life of a grad student. Now I just gotta go edit those last 45 pages...


  1. I hate editing my own stuff as well. Ew. Good luck and get 'er done.

  2. I love editing my own stuff but then again, it's all fun stuff that I loved writing. What you're doing sounds sort of like hell.
    But it will all be worthwhile soon, right?

  3. I hate editing my own stuff too!! I do however like editing other people's work. My friend once sent me her paper (back in HS) so that I could edit it for her, I completely reorganized it, and when she got an A i felt as proud as I would of if it were my own A. :)

    I hardly get A's, because I have no patience to reorganize anything I write. lol.

    Anyway, GOOOOOOD LUCK :)

  4. ms moon- I don't think it's quite hellish (I am a big geek, or I wouldn't be in grad school), and the topic is cohabitation- which is especially interesting to me given that I just started cohabiting with someone for the first time. :) I just hate that I've had to read through this paper 5 times while doing changes that my advisers want. But it's sent!

    Frumskeptic- I don't mind editing other people's work either, come to think of it- I give close comments to my student's papers which are almost like editing, and have edited some of my boyfriend's papers back when he was still in college. Why does it suck so much more when it's my own? I also find I have a much harder time figuring out what's wrong with my own stuff, while it's pretty easy to figure out what's wrong with my student's papers...maybe I just write better stuff :lol:


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