Friday, December 31, 2010

The Race is On!

For several months now, my friends have been placing bets about which would happen first: Kermit being born, or my PhD dissertation being finished. Time is obviously ticking down to Kermit's arrival (one week from now at the very latest!) so the question is: what is the state of the dissertation?

I am pleased to announce that I finished a full draft of the dissertation, except for some formatting tweaks and other minor changes of that sort, sometime in November. I eagerly sent it off to my three committee members for review. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Total radio silence. Not even a short email acknowledging that anyone had received it.

So then I sent off a friendly reminder: "Did you see the 200 page document that I sent to you a few weeks back? Any idea when you might get around to reading it?" And then I waited. And waited. And waited. More silence. (Seriously, folks... nothing? Really?!?) I consulted with AdvisorB, who said that yes, he had seen both emails, and no, he hadn't looked at the dissertation yet, and yes, I should feel free to harass the other committee members to my heart's content. He even suggested that I threaten them a bit, though finding something good to threaten them with is tough, since I have exactly zero leverage in this situation.

AdvisorB's exact suggestion was that I send an email informing the other members that I would be in their offices on January 10 with the final form to sign, and if they had any reason that they couldn't sign it then, they needed to let me know now. I had to point out to him what a completely empty threat that was, because with a scheduled c-section on January 7, there was no way I was going to be in anybody's office on January 10. He then encouraged me to "play the baby card" and mention that fact to the other committee members, but I refuse to do that. (One committee member doesn't even know that I'm pregnant, and I seriously could not live with myself if I felt like I had only gotten my dissertation approved by my committee because they felt hijacked by my pregnancy.)

Meanwhile, AdvisorB promised that he himself was ready to sign it whenever, since he had already seen enough in previous versions and talks that he knew that he wouldn't have any problems with it. And I could feel free to mention to my other committee members that he had already approved it. One down, two to go!

So, I went with a milder, less-specific version of AdvisorB's suggestion. I emailed each of my other two committee members and told them that if they had significant changes in mind, they needed to let me know soon. Otherwise, I would be contacting them in mid-January and expecting signatures. If that would be a problem, they needed to speak up soon. It's kind of silly, because if they want to, they can completely ignore me and have zero consequences for doing so. But I sent the email anyway; I'd been waiting for more than a month at this point, and at the very least, I wanted to provoke some sort of response.

Committee member #3 wrote back very quickly, saying that he loved my dissertation, thought that it was an excellent piece of work, and was prepared to sign off on it whenever I wanted. Woo hoo! Two down, one to go!

Anyone who has been reading this blog should be realizing at this point who the one remaining committee member is. Yes, that's right, everybody's favorite: AdvisorA. I still haven't heard squat from her. And she's the only one who I can't harass in person, because she's 3000 miles away, and I'm not exactly hopping on an airplane anytime soon to go knock on her door. So, I'm still waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And getting even more pissed at AdvisorA, if that's even possible, for her complete neglect of the past two years.

Looks like Kermit is going to win the race....


  1. Hmm, I wonder if we could find someone on the internet that is local to AdvisorA to do the door knocking for you.

  2. My best friend only completed her dissertation because of a "biological" deadline. It sucks that it comes to that, but the waiting can be the worst part of the whole process (I'm still waiting for comments on my drafts and have just submitted a full draft.). Can you go to the department for more help with AdvisorA?

  3. I still think it counts as a win. You are almost done. Getting the draft submitted is the hardest part. Congrats that you got it to them!

    If AdA is going to be a pain, that isn't your fault!

    Congrats again.. I see light at the end of the tunnel! (Just like Kermit does ;) )


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