Dreamcatcher Update

Well, the second half of June and all of July were pretty much dissertation-less. But I’m back in the saddle now. And I have a very firm deadline: I must successfully defend my dissertation but August 2014, a year from now. I know that the task is doable; I also know that it will require a certain degree of obsession that has been lacking in my approach to the project since… well, more or less since my original concept for the project went belly-up, and my ego took a blow from seriously effing up a few grant applications (Fall 2009, I believe).

Love, or fear?

Right this minutes that’s too deep a question for me to tackle, at the end of a long day reading and writing… I hit my word count goal, so that’s something at least.

I have to mark one huge accomplishment: recruiting my husband as my #1 ally for getting this thing done. He’s the one right now pushing me to put boundaries around my time and keep it sacred. He’s the one holding me accountable. And I so desperately need that.

I have 12 months ahead of me. I have a job and two children. I have a mountain of material collected over the past six years to finish organizing, analyzing, and spinning into a convincing narrative. I can see the shape of it in my mind. It’s like I’m sitting in front of an enormous block of stone with the sketch of a sculpture etched into the face of it, wondering exactly where and how I should angle my chisel to strike.

So, some goals:

August: Write research context and methodology
September: Theoretical frameworks
October: theoretical frameworks
November: Discourse analysis (document review)
December: Institutionalizing processes of inclusion for NLD youth
January: DREAM Activism disrupting the dominant narratives
February: Conclusions
March: Heavy rewrites
April: Heavy rewrites
May: nitpicky boring stuff like margins and citations
June: Polished draft to committee
July: Waiting for feedback
August: defense and production of final product; graduation

A year was feeling like a long time… til I parsed this all out. Gulp. Much to do.

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2 Responses to “Dreamcatcher Update”

  1. Esperanza Says:

    Wow, that month-by-month list is IMPRESSIVE! Writing it out like that is a hard first step. Congratulations on being one step closer to getting it done. YOU CAN DO THIS!

  2. Claire Says:

    Good luck on your year-to-the-finish line!!! Have you thought about working 4 longer days per week and giving yourself one whole day just for your dissertation? Or blocking out times on your calendar where you are unavailable to anything but your thesis? I know from the experience of my partner doing her masters while parenting and working that you have to do that. And Gimli will have to take the kids out a lot more or you will have to find somewhere to work undisturbed. Those were Susan’s biggest writing abd research related problems. Somehow she managed and still manages when she has to write in our cramped two bedroom apartment that has no office.
    Please ignore the advice if its redundant!
    Wishing you so much good “obsessed with thesis” karma for the year ahead!!!!

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