Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Hurts So Good…

I don’t generally write about the progress of my dissertation in any detail.  It feels unprofessional, somehow, or at the very least not particularly interesting to anyone outside my field.

But for the past couple weeks I’ve been paralyzed by a particular chapter.  It’s been keeping me up at night; it’s been making me sick to my stomach; it’s certainly been driving Brent and my family crazy as I – to put it gently – haven’t quite been myself.
I awoke two days ago completely out of sorts.  The night before, I had finished a troubling memoir on the state of public education in the 1960s.  After a quick run and six hours at a coffee shop that afternoon, I had ten pages written and thirty of notes, but nothing seemed to fit quite right.  
Yesterday, after another early morning run, I booked it to school to pick up a couple sources and then headed to another coffee shop.  Eight hours later I had three more pages written, 25 pages of notes, and I’d plowed through a second, far more troubling, memoir on America’s education system. 
I got up at 6 AM today a ball of nerves.  Stories of teachers beating up students and students shooting teachers swirled through my dreams.  And still, I didn’t feel any closer to knowing where my chapter was going.
And then – progress!  Working from home today, I sat and wrote for thirteen hours, with only two 30 minute breaks.  The story poured out, argument and analysis abounded, and by 8:30 PM, the chapter was done.  Finito.
Right now, my head is pounding and my eyes can barely focus.  But no matter.  It’s over.  
Five chapters in the bag.  One to go.
After four years of graduate school, the end is near.  I can feel it.  And let me tell you, it feels oh so good.

5 responses to “Hurts So Good…

  1. RunningLaur May 30, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Remember this feeling – it’ll all be over before you know it. Way to crank out the chapter.

  2. Amanda May 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Congrats on getting throught that difficult chapter!

  3. Denise May 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Way to go!! I’m glad it came to you. I’m sure it’s frustrating when you get held up…

  4. N.D. May 30, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    You’re doing great! I think it would be really difficult, I can understand where you are just from doing my paper for my masters, scary!

  5. Angela and David Kidd June 1, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Congrats! I don’t envy you at all. I would be a disaster working on a dissertation.

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