I almost don't know where to start.
This is like my 100th post and I'm down to the LAST DAY of work on the dissertation. I'm glad I did the postings. It's helped me get a handle on what I was doing and what still had to be done. It also puts 'time' into the equation of getting a big task done. Time transformed into narrative. Which, when all is said and done, is pretty much what 'life' is: time transformed into narrative. (by means of joy, hunger, experience, suffering, beauty, hope. . . .)
I'm feeling quite quiet. There is a lot still to be done, but I am very calm about it. I got through all of chapter 5 last night except for the part on "hope and meaning". And that part took me a long time to write, too, as you may recall. . . . Now it looks like much of it will be cut. It's just too much here at the end. Plus (and this is good) I've really already made the point I wanted to make in previous chapters. So I don't need to re-invent the wheel.
More good stuff: Magda really seems to 'get it' now, here at the end. She's not fighting me with where I'm going in the Introduction and Conclusion. I think that may be part of why I was so resistant to writing it: in the past, whenever I've tried to talk about my take on what the problem was, she has moved into her perception of where the problem - and possible solution - is. Although we both admire Paul Ricoeur, we do so for different reasons. It took me some time to figure this one out.
Her final email - returning her comments on the Conclusion - was "Again: well done. Good luck with the printing."
Now let's just hope it flies. I have several large hurdles to go (beyond the physical bit of getting the thing turned in): one, the difficulty of the inter-disciplinary approach wherein my primary academic credentials lie in a discipline other than the one I am submitting in; and two, the American versus Continental issue. And that second one is a bigger problem than many people would think.
But first: finish the task before me. For today:
- Ruthless edit of 'hope and meaning' section of chapter 5.
- Incorporate Magda's comments to Intro and Conclusion (actually, I think I'll do this before I do chapter 5, because it'll give me a handle on the really important big-picture points which will help me not care so much about cutting confusing clutter in the more detailed bits. . . .)
- Check footnotes throughout.
- Check formatting - titles, etc. - for consistency
- Adjust pagination start numbers for each chapter
- Print out one copy (American letter size)
- Go through and check footnotes with Bibliography entries (and correct)
- Go through and correct Table of Contents to reflect actual final headings and page numbers
- Final spelling & grammar correct (to whatever level that's possible)
- Print out 2 copies on A4-sized paper and package to go to Dublin. (oh - and make cd copy of files to go with him, just in case. . . .)
OK. This was maybe not such a good idea. Figuring even just an hour for each task - which is a pipedream - that's 10 hours right there. sigh.
It's gonna be a LONG DAY. And a LONGER NIGHT. . . .
But no. It's good to know what needs to be done. Now the trick will be to transform it into manageable bits, rather than staring - transfixed - at the HUGE AMOUNT THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE like a mouse hypnotized in front of a cobra.
Run, prophet, run!!!
and get to work.