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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Timing Issues

Good God is thesis writing the most boring thing ever!! Today I was getting physically agitated from how tedious and boring it was. You know when you get that stressed/annoyed feeling in your head right between your eyes and your hands just feel numb? Yeah.

Unless something goes terribly wrong, there is absolutely no way it's going to take me three months to write the 4 remaining chapters. I've written my first draft of my last science chapter (project #3) in a week. And by a week I mean I started a week ago - but took the weekend, Monday and Tuesday off. So four days...of about 4-5 hours of actual work. And I've read it over once already and have made edits.

I figure it will take me about a week to write each of the intro chapters (one is a lit review, which I'm about half done already, and the second is an overview of the observational techniques used in the thesis). The conclusions/future work chapter will take perhaps a day. So, to be generous, that's one month to write it, which is the same amount of time it took me to write my masters thesis. So I guess that's pretty much on track when looking at my writing history.

Anyway, this poses a "problem" with timing (although I'm sure someone will say "that's a good problem to have", please don't!) - my initial plan was to finish by the end of July, go away for August, and then defend in September. But if I write, and only write, for 3 months I think I will go insane.

Now, I could finish my thesis early, but here's the problem: there has to be 6 weeks between when the thesis is handed in and the defense. Then, the corrections have to be submitted shortly after the defense. In order to defend and hand in a corrected thesis before we leave for South America, I'd have to hand in my thesis by the beginning of June. Considering that's a month from now (my projected time line to finish the first draft of everything) and that my supervisor will be away the last week of May, that's not going to happen. Plus, we're not going to move until the Fall. So I need to find something to do before then anyway.

So, basically I can either finish my thesis early and sit around...or I can just drag out the writing until July and hand it in then. Hmm...when/how/where to waste time? This might sound like a good thing, but that fact that I'm basically forced to stretch out this process is pissing me off. If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know how much I just want to be done this damn thing.

Another option, of course, is to find something else to do at work to break up the writing time. Perhaps I'll ask my supervisor if he needs any data processed, or lectures made up...or maybe I could take a class, go to the gym every day, knit, or just work four hours a day.

Any other suggestions for how to fill some extra time in the next three months?