Wednesday, September 03, 2008

D-Day-- and it's also infamous, I think, or will be

Today is the day that I officially begin revising my dissertation.

Since just before Jack was born, I have been content to sit on my finished draft and be all smug about my progress, but today, I am beginning the work of revision, and in some spots, re-vision. On tap for today? Using critical theory to properly shape my theoretical perspective while keeping that theory accessible-- for me mainly but also for the few who might actually read the finished product-- or else I won't be able to use it.

Also on tap? Leinie's Red. Or maybe just vodka.

I'm freaked out to be looking at this project with fresh eyes because I just don't feel "all there" mentally. I have too much other crap to worry about, which really sucks for me because the only reason I am smart is because of my memory. Seriously, I am a master of recall, and I call things to mind very quickly. That's why I was able to sort through $5,000 worth of archival documents efficiently and pound out a 250-page draft-- it was easy for me to recall a quotation or bit of evidence, locate it in my ridiculous piles, and slap some other sentences around it. But that's my talent-- NOT analysis. And the task before me is all analytical. So not only am I doing something that I may not be smart enough to actually do, my awesome memory has been severely compromised by the amount of absolutely insignificant garbage it must constantly scroll through. I can tell you which six household cleaners and three spices I need from the grocery store, but I can't even remember the last name of the scholar whose Habermas critique I like best (Nancy something?). And I never ever could articulate why I liked her critique, even when my mind was sharper (Nancy Fraser! Ha!).

Picture interlude:

Jack always appears to have just been goosed.

Hehehe. I know these pictures will not be amusing in 10 years when we're on The Biggest Loser Families, but right now, pretty cute.

Jack looks so resigned--as he should. Resigned to being picked on and splashed all to hell for the rest of his childhood. He had just, you see, survived his first bath with Harry.

Well, I guess it's time to stop counting ounces of breast milk and start scouring the introductions of my favorite scholarly book to see how other people have grappled with their theoretical and methodological concerns. Is it bad that I may not have a critical method? Does "reading" count? Ah, crap.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I hate to be reminded how much actual work remains once a draft is "complete"!! Fortunately my advisor has been out of town for a week and probably will be out for another week, so I get to type away in oblivion like "I'm almost done, I'm almost done, I'm almost done!" It's going to hurt when he comes back.