Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Academic Opinions

As noted below, I turned in the last chapter. I e-mailed Advisor to let her know I was leaving it in her department mailbox and that I was going to be out of town for the weekend. She e-mailed me back, to say good, remind me that she'd need to see it all together soon, that we needed to start bringing my committee in, and that I needed to find out when was the last possible date I could submit the dissertation to graduate in May. And beside the word "May," she put (or August).

I raised an eyebrow at that--I'd been thinking May and I want to push for it. But, since I've officially drafted all the chapters, I finally believe that I'm going to get the PhD, so August wouldn't kill me... I guess.

Here is where I need opinions. I want all my PhD friends to let me know if May is a reasonable goal--if I bring as close to my A game as possible. I still have to draft the conclusion (the intro exists in fragments); do whatever revisions she and the committee want; some serious crafting on my chapter 2 (because my original chapter five has been collapsed into it); and tighten up the bibliography and notes.

What do y'all think?


Anonymous said...

I would say it depends on the final date of your graduate school. If everything has to be done a month out (like here), that would mean you need to have defended and submitted everything to the grad school by April 15th, at the latest.

With that as a target date, I think you are pushing it. That is rougly 60 days. While that seems like a lot, you have to count the time your committee needs to read it before the defense, plus the revisions the committee wants in advance of that, and the others things you indicate.

I would suggest you push yourself as much as possible now, but don't feel too bad about a possible finish in August. Just don't string it out all summer. If you can be done with everything and defend in May do so. Then you'll have time to relax and enjoy your accomplishment in June and July and walk proudly acorss that stage in August.

Julie said...

I've been having the same back and forth in my own mind about graduating in either June or August. I finally came to terms with August, but am still pushing for June. In your case, it sounds like May is possible, BUT, everything (even those things out of your control re: crazy committee members) would have to happen right on time. Either way, the fact that you are so close is very exciting! CONGRATS!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm no PhDer, but I know bringing your A game would get you there IF everything was in your control. It sounds to me like everything isn't........August isn't so bad! It's right around the corner!

I'm just so......PROUD!

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Hey Elle,

Congrats on having a full draft of all the chapters! That's great. I think it depends on how many people are going to be giving you feedback for revisions and how many revisions your chair will request on the last chapters, intro and conclusion. I'm assuming you've been revising the rest according to her comments all along. It also depends on when you would set up your Defense and how long you'd have to respond to anything after that. I think May is doable depending on all of those things. You just don't know what the committee is going to request. I'd say shot for may and put your nose to the grindstone as if May is the date and then see how it goes.


Courtney said...

Advisor is tough. I had a very difficult go from turning in the whole draft (sept) to defense (Nov). I did it, but it was rather painful and I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with outcome. (Granted, I'm very happy I'm done! And that might not have changed had I waited until spring.)

Get with Anna, who will know all the nitty gritty on the dates things need to be done.

StyleyGeek said...

If it helps, it sounds like you are at the exact same stage to me. My list of stuff left to do for my diss sounds like yours, except subsitute "recrafting chapter five since chapter six was collapsed into it" for your "chapter two".

I am planning to complete at the end of July. (In Australia, we have to have international examiners, so by "complete" I mean send off the diss to the these examiners. They then have up to a year to examine it, and I don't get to officially graduate until they pass it.)

My main reason I don't expect to complete until end of July is that I am assuming (from other students' experience) that my committee will need at least a month to read the "final" draft, and that I will then need at least a month after that to make any final changes they recommend, and to get it printed and bound.

wwwmama said...

My first instinct was "you can do it!" but my next thought was...at what cost? And you don't know yet what response your readers are going to give you, so I'd just wait and see that first. And August really is no big difference from May, is it? I mean in terms of jobs or your next step?
P.S. I'm so jealous but also very happy for you!

Abadiebitch said...

I would pretend like the date was May, but make it for August. Then use the time to fine tune everything.

I am so proud of you for completing a draft. What an accomplishment. You have really done something big.

elle said...

thank all of you. i'm so sorry for the irregular contact right now--should have computer up by tomorrow evening.

anyway, advisor says, it's possible, if i make a big push starting right now and give up the elle-habits of procrastination and trying to make things perfect.

we'll see.

elle said...

oh, final draft would be due may 4; graduation is may 11

RachelsTavern said...

A couple questions:

Do you want an academic job? Do you already have a job offer in hand?
If the answer is yes to both of those, try to finish in May.

If you want an academic job, and plan on going on the market next year. I would reccomend defending in August on the Fall. That way you don't rush your committee or yourself too much.

I think it could look unfavorable to a job search committee if you finished this year, and didn't get a job. I have no idea if you are on the market or not. This advice is just for professor jobs, not other jobs.

You can email me with further questions.

RachelsTavern said...

Ok, that last email sounded like I was emailing my students. LOL!! Sorry, but if you do have any questions about the academic job market, I may be able to help a little.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and yes, pretend May, but really make it for August. It doesn't make a huge difference in the scheme of things and Rachel could be right, going to the job search conventions around Christmas having *just* defended makes you a hot property.

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