thesis 2011: final countdown and the aftermath

March 28, 2011

Greetings, internet.  My thesis has been submitted!  At 10:45pm on Friday, I finally emailed a massive document to my committee, only a day and some hours later than I intended.  Ah, well.  It got there before the weekend, which was the really important part.  The preceding several days were, well … hellish.  Some of that probably came through on this blog, but not much, because I severely restricted my internet use during the final run-up to it all.

In an effort to channel the silly thoughts that often prompt me to post on here, I decided to keep a running list of things I was thinking about on paper, so as to minimize the time required to record them and prevent me from opening my browser.  Because I find them to be an amusing study in sleep-deprived, stress-driven brain function, I post them here for your enjoyment (also as an explanation, if you called me last week and I repeatedly ignored you).  I imagine it looks somewhat like a crazy person’s twitter feed, if a crazy person needed to write a graduate thesis under extreme duress. I translated and commented only where necessary, and the title was assigned during this whole project of sorts.

A collection of random thoughts that occur to me during controlled panic and under extreme caffeination

Wednesday, March 23
5:02pm I need to eat vegetables.
5:13pm Kid A is an amazing record.
5:37pm OK Computer might be better, or maybe I’m just in a crashing guitar kind of mood.
5:47pm But it’s all about that moment at 2:50 in “Exit Music.”
6:35pm It’s dire when I’d rather clean up a month’s worth of dog poop [in the yard].
7:39pm It amuses me to edit “North American Scum Properties” or “Pussy Properties” if I want to rate a song [in Rhythmbox].
8:05pm I love science. “High temperature” can mean 150 K [minus 190 degrees Fahrenheit].
8:16pm I’m building a fort. Made out of dishes and books, to defend my computer.
11:32pm I fail at self-restraint. Damn you, flash puzzle games!

Thursday, March 24
1:19am I hate everything. Everything except Placebo and chocolate.
3:26am The 20 minute nap: least satisfying thing in existence?
3:38am Still rocking that 2:50 moment in “Exit Music.”
5:00am 12 hours to go: gogogadget thesis?
5:06am Dear body, please regulate temperature better. 65 degrees should not necessitate a hat, down jacket, and a blanket. Body says: dear LQ, please sleep. I’ll get right on it then.
5:41am Time for another nap. I just wrote the word “stuff” in Chapter 3.
9am Oversleeping for the win! Pretty sure I won’t be hitting that 5pm deadline now (if I was going to before).
10:03am Things that are NOT OKAY: throwing up. If this doesn’t stop, I’m in even more trouble than I thought.
10:38am I need a hug.
11:47am Stay down, muffin, stay down!
1:09pm If it snows on my way home from the coffee shop, I will cry.
2:19pm Amazing how I can lose all understanding of something over a 20min break.
2:59pm I hate not being able to tell if something is terribly written, or if I just don’t understand.
5:21pm Want to die.
7:01pm It’s amazing how much better mindlessly formatting things can make you feel.
7:44pm Popcorn! Dinner of champions!
7:52pm Now, 60 K [minus 350 Fahrenheit] is “higher temperature.” Science!
8:58pm OK Computer: official music of Thesis 2011.
9:07pm Word has expanded its scientific vocabulary quite a bit this week.
9:50pm HOLY SHIT! I have leftover gooney bird [a delicious sandwich from my favorite brewpub]! WTF am I doing eating popcorn, raisins, and coffee for dinner?
10:07pm My stomach is cutting me off from caffeine. If I puke again, I really will cry.

Friday, March 25
1:06am I once read that eating strawberries is like brushing your teeth. No doubt this is a dirty lie, but it makes me feel a bit cleaner right now.

At this point, the log ends, because I fell asleep “for an hour nap” about 40 minutes later and did not wake up until the next morning at 8:30am, despite setting 4 alarms (my phone was shoved down somewhere in my bedding and the pile of clean laundry that was tangled in my bedding, which is not where it started, and I have no idea what happened to my actual alarm clock).  I woke up in a desperate panic, but chilled out pretty fast into THESISMACHINE mode, and was actually really productive and doing better, more efficient work than I had in a few days.  I consumed a lot of caffeine and only allowed the most cursory mental and physical breaks, and found myself totally disinterested in continuing this little log.

And then, more than 12 hours later, I finished.

I immediately got in a car and drove to the partner’s residence, where I collected a lot of “hooray, you didn’t die!” hugs and consumed half a bottle of wine in short order.  I fell asleep happy, tired, and a bit drunk, and woke up after 7 hours of sleep (why body, why must you never sleep past 9:30am?), napped half the day, and pretty much did it again, plus attended an excellent dance-party sort of show (March Fourth Marching Band, if you’re curious).  Then I played a lot of furious ultimate frisbee, slacked off the rest of the day, and today have been procrastinating with a vengeance.

You see, I still have to prepare for my defense.  Also, two projects are due/partially due in my classes tomorrow and Wednesday, and oh yeah, there’s a general questioning part of my defense that I am brutally unprepared for.  There’s also a paper we’re trying to get published about some of my thesis results that I desperately need to work on.  Yay?

But, that said, the worst is over!  Hooray!



  1. Congrats! Well done indeed, even if it was hellish.

    • Thanks! Now I just have to survive the defense this week.

  2. You are a winner!

    • Almost! The defense is scaring me, but if all goes according to plan, I’ll be basically in the clear as of Thursday evening. Thanks!

  3. Good luck tomorrow 🙂

    • Thanks! T-minus 5 hours (ohgodohgodohgod)

  4. […] assume that my grad stipend was paid out as an hourly wage for 50 40-hour work weeks a year, but we all know that’s not how many hours I worked), but it’s not enough to make me enjoy my job […]

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