And Now to Get to Work

September was a month of settling in to life in Lithuania and traveling – both for fun to Krakow and for work at the conference in Italy.  (Okay, I’ll admit that Italy was fun too!)  I did do some work on my dissertation.  I had to finish writing the paper that I presented at the conference – and that paper is the basis for a dissertation chapter.

But today is the day that the real work starts.  As of October 1, I am implementing a plan to complete a full draft of my dissertation by next summer.  For the first three years that I was in the Ph.D. program, there was a fair amount of structure.  I had to complete a certain number of course hours.  I had a couple of required courses.  I had to set up exam fields in four subjects and fulfill each professors’ requirements.   After passing my comprehensive exams, I knew that I had to come to Lithuania to do research in the archives so that I could find documents.

But the writing part of the dissertation?  There is an expectation that a doctoral candidate is progressing but no deadlines or structure set by the department or advisers in order to do so.  It’s just up to me and my own self-discipline – which is, of course, why it is so easy NOT to write the dissertation.  There is always something else that seems to need my attention.  But I am determined to complete and I am looking forward to actually writing since this is what I love to do.  So here’s to October 1 and the first day of the rest of my dissertation!

* Don’t worry – I’ll still have time to post photos and stories from my Italy trip.

Copyright Jorge Chaim; from phdcomics.com 09/03/10 (click to see larger)

About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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