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    Sobriquet 38.15

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    It's nice to be getting ready for bed at 1:45 when I'd been going to bed at three or four in the morning the past few weeks. I really hate waking up at six in the morning, but it does help regulate my schedule considerably. In any case, I did not expect to get a whole lot done today since it was my first day teaching at a new school, in a new town, with new students, and new material, but I managed to get some reading done during my downtime on campus and, despite a enjoying a nap that took up most of the afternoon, I did read a few more chapters in The Master of Petersburg. I also wrote two more pages of the dissertation, making today, by far, the most productive day I've had in quite a while. So, um, yay for me, or something.

    I am happy to report that the first section (of two) on Age of Iron is done. I'm not terribly fond of it, to tell the truth, but I think it serves its purpose in introducing the second, more important, section of the piece on the novel. If anything, I think I have learned that I will need to do some additional pre-writing for each mini-section. I really felt myself floundering at times with the first bit, even though the section came out more or less tolerably. I think that if I spend some time tomorrow ironing out a detailed outline, this section should go more smoothly than the last.

    The same old fears have been plaguing me, too. The big one, now, is that what I am writing is not good enough to be a dissertation. Not that I have any real idea of what would be judged "good enough," but I always worry that my work is substandard in some way. Again, I suspect that once my adviser takes a look at what I have done, once she gives me her impressions, I should have a better idea about where I stand. Until I get enough written to be worth reading, though, I suppose I will have to wrestle with the doubts. In any case, I reason, even if this first section is not my strongest work, I can rewrite it, tweak it, or otherwise rework it to fit with the pages that follow but, if anything, it marks the beginning of the dissertation, a crucial step I had been terrified of taking for as long as I can remember. So, I guess, something good has already come of the experience and, with my new approach to planning, it may have more than one positive result. We'll see.

    For tomorrow: Read another twenty pages or so in The Master of Petersburg, work on planning the next mini-section of the dissertation, and get the work I need to do for Wednesday's classes finished.

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  1. Definitely yay for you...you did much more work than you thought you would yesterday. That's awesome! I'm very proud of you, my friend.

    By Blogger minxy on 15 January, 2008
     
  2. yeah honestly i doubt ANY Dissertation is all THAT great. With the amount of pressure that is placed on most doctoral candidates, I figure a good percentage of them end up being the worst writing of their careers (not to belittle your work in anyway, I'm sure you're doing great) With that said, do your best and I'm certain it will be MORE than sufficient. Good luck! And enjoy the new campus!

    By Blogger ielle on 15 January, 2008
     

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