Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Dance-Worthy Dissertation News

This just in from my advisor regarding my most recent chapter, which was my first effort at a substantial revision: "it's solid"! She liked it, she really liked it! Enough so that there isn't even an end page of comments for further revision. Rather, she's indicated what she calls "quirky asides" and some suggestions for presentation/arrangement. The thing I'm focusing on right now is her comment that the chapter demonstrated a "confidence with what other scholars have previously argued, their readings, etc., while balancing my own convincing argument and evidence." The best thing about her feedback isn't that she liked it though, it's the fact that I had a "feeling" about this chapter when I submitted it. I really felt like it worked, like I'd addressed the most important issues raised by other critics and worked hard to select and work through the texts that were absolutely the best ones for my project, and that I'd paid attention to the critical stakes of my claims at both the micro and macrolevel. I wasn't sure I could trust my instincts, however, until reading what she had to say. Now, I think I can proceed with the *final* body chapter, intro, conclusion, and revisions and sort of know whether or not I'm doing what needs to be done. That is, I have a better grasp or understanding of what kind of work and time each step in the rest of the process will take.

Most importantly, of course, is a) this chapter can go forward to other committee members and b) my timeline for finishing next May seems completely achievable! This is one of those rare days when I actually believe I know what I'm doing and will walk out of this department next year with something called a PhD. Maybe even for the first time since beginning the dissertation, I really *know* I can do this. Holy shit this is cool!


M said...

HOORAY! I had a similar, if somewhat less exciting, meeting with my advisor yesterday. So I will join you in your happy dance. ;)

mgm said...

Rock on, AcadeMama! That's awesome.