Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm on three days now of almost no sleep. Ugh. I feel really crappy right now, but I need to stay up ---- I managed not to nap today, unlike yesterday, and I'm hoping I can just reset myself into sleep at night via sheer exhaustion. But man, I thought I didn't do much yesterday ---- I pretty much sat around today counting down the minutes until I could sleep today. I don't know how chronic insomniacs get anything done.

And my back hurts ---- part the tossing and turning, part hauling my computer in a satchel everywhere because I wasn't happy with any of the places i tried to work. I didn't even look at my chapter intro today (again), but I puttered a bit at the funky dissertation formatting, thinking that hey, I gotta get this done sometime anyway, and maybe another day away from the chapter intro will help me face it. Of course, I'll be really upset if I don't file in time for the summer degree just because I'm incapable of looking at the diss right now. But I'll keep chipping away at the mindless stuff and hopefully I'll manage to sneak some of the substantive work in there when I'm not looking. I still have to write the abstract that goes at the front, bleah. Oh, and what am I supposed to write in the acknowledgments? I don't know what I'm doing here ---- after all, I'm in a miserable mood and hate everyone and feel like I haven't gotten any help from anybody, regardless of the actual truth. Maybe I should have thought of this and written them up a long time ago when I was more enthusiastic? Or maybe other people don't have this problem --- I haven't seen any bile-filled, angry and non-thankful acknowledgments. I hated this part of the yearbook thing too --- where you got to write some sort of quote or comment as a graduating senior? --- yeah, I felt that I had to write something brilliant and witty and wonderful and then, I think, ended up not writing anything, at least for some of the things.

Anyway, I'm a total fuzz-brain today. Here's hoping that I will magically wake up rested and enthusiastic to get that intro and abstract and acknowledgment page all out of the way ... then I can print that brick of a dissertation and bring it in to the advisor! Or even the committee! BTW, I went looking at a past grad's diss for some formatting clues recently --- Dr. Hospitality, actually --- and accidentally ended up downloading the whole thing. (I thought proquest only let you see the first 14 pages? This let me see all of it for some reason.) Anyway, I noticed his diss was 368 pages long (no notes) and now I'm feeling all competitive and bummed that mine is shorter. I mean really, listen to yourself and your locker-room mentality there, Cog! And that's not even getting into the quality/quantity point or the ridiculousness of trying to get me to write anything more at this point of utter wipeout. Heh heh. And when I think of all the feminist critiques of these kinds of pissing contests, too...

Oh, and I got rejected for two teaching/tutoring gigs around here and am waiting to hear back from a couple more. After that I'll have to start looking at nonacademic type things. Fucking Schwartzenegger and the fucking budget stalemate! Whose brilliant idea was it to finance the way out of our last state budget crisis through borrowing and bonds, eh Gubernator? Yeah, you "put it to the voters," whoa, yeah, that's brilliant ---- may I remind you that Californians are overwhelmingly the ones who decided to borrow themselves some McMansions and are the main recipients of the whole mortgage meltdown? Way to ask the addicts to enforce fiscal austerity on themselves! Anyway, I've heard some of the departments just aren't filling sections that haven't been locked into the prior budget ---- as in they're closing the sections and booting the kids rather than fill the teaching slots with adjuncts they know they have around, because there's a very strong chance that they won't be given any windfall money in the budget to pay those adjuncts. If the budgets go through and trickle down to the department level fast enough they'll know what kinds of money they can play with and there might be a huge demand when they slot in all the dropped courses in spring, but that exacerbates the boom and bust, binge and purge, ups and downs of the course availability, which you'd think they'd notice was a bad thing. Whatever. I'm in a waiting mode --- if this one dept. is allowed to hire some adjuncts I should be at the top of the pile. Or they may just close the thing and wipe out the dept. Thrilling.

Ok yeah ---- I can see how finishing while unemployed and moving into an uncertain future where I don't have a temp job yet and I might not even get one could be exacerbating my final-lap anxieties. Don't know what to do about that though, really. And as soon as I get those worried about and under some sort of control I get to start up on the job market again. Fun fun! Sheeeeshyeah.


k8 said...

Re: ProQuest. Often times, if you are looking at a dissertation from your institution, you should be able to get the whole thing. This is often part of the package the school pays for. I can get anything from my institution and others in our university system.

Maude Lebowski said...

okay, i'm getting worried about you. first of all, you need to sleep. take some xanax or some melatonin and just sleep for like 12 hours. you can do it.

second, my ex boyfriend didn't even write and acknowlegements page. you don't have to. make a little dedication page that says "for my family and friends who helped me through this." done. there ya go. you can steal that little blurb verbatim, too.

third, after i formatted my diss, it added like 20 pages on to it. it looks a lot longer than it actually is. but you know what, i don't effing care. just because dude's is long doesn't mean it's better. you are smart, wonderful, witty, and brilliant, and even if your diss was only 90 pages long, it'd still be better than the other person's.

like i said before, if i can do it, you can, too.

i've declared myself captain of your cheeleading squad. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU WILL FINISH FOR THE SUMMER DEADLINE!!!!!!!!!!


medieval woman said...

I will join in cheerleading with Maude!!!

Gimme an S! Gimme an I! Gimme an S!

What does that spell???

Cool chic with a Ph.D.!!!! Wooo-hoooo!!!!!


Soon the JIL will be searchable (Sept 10) and you'll find an awesome job for next year - that doesn't help with THIS year, I know....

philo said...

I like your blog, sisyphus, and I am sure there are many lurkers (like myself) who can identify with your dissertation/teaching travails.

Sorry to hear about the budget woes impacting even adjunct gigs. That's awful! (I left CA for my current grad school town during the Gray Davis years...)

Good luck!

Dr. Crazy said...

I want to be part of the cheer squad, too!

Go! Fight! Win!

You can totally do this, Sis. The end is in sight. You are awesome. Yay Sisyphus!

(And yes, you must sleep. In fact, perhaps that should be the first item to accomplish on your dissertation to-do list.)

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, and for acknowledgments, it can be cathartic to write some anti-acknowledgments first, in which you write all of the snarky and hateful things that you're really feeling. Otherwise, there's pretty much a formula to acknowledgments - just look at few other people have done and plug in different names, if you really feel like you "should" have acknowledgments. But Maude is right: no need for them if you don't want them.