Thesis Countdown (Parte Final)

Thesis bound, turned in, etc. ! My new resolution: To stop thinking that putting French words into my writing will make me sound clever, because I do not speak French. I speak Spanish. And perhaps I ought to pepper my prose with Spanish…

Wednesday night, I put the edited chapters (fifteen pages cut! Dios mio!) together into a single draft, printed it, and began doing copy-edits and making notes for cambios pequenos. On Thursday, began doing those edits and ‘small changes,’ which turned out to be less pequeno than anticipated–how long does it take to re-write a paragraph? Too, too long! Demasiado!

Also had to go through and re-format footnotes and bibliography, which (for a bibliography-hostile person) takes mas tiempo than expected–if only I’d bothered to really learn the Chicago Manual of Style earlier–!! Had meant to bind the thesis on Thursday evening, but found myself lingering and lingering over the edits, re-reading compulsively to catch errores, etc. This ‘lingering’ lasted all Thursday night (why couldn’t I just let it go, hmm? Did I really need to throw in that Coetzee quote? That weird footnote?), culminating with my *finally* wrapping things up, hastily choosing a title (which I now think is the sort of title that I’d snort unkindly at if I found it on someone else’s thesis… ugh) and printing at about 4:30 in the manana. (three different printers were tried before I found one with both paper and ink). This is the point where my thesis advisor would look concerned and say, “Ruth… you *cannot* work like this” (No puedes trabajar en este manera!) True, very true.

A complete, unbathed, unfed wreck, I drove a borrowed coche to Kinkos at 5 in the a.m. and was helped by a very kind man called Anatoly, who initially ‘joked’ with me and claimed it was impossible to get the thing bound by 4 p.m. Haggard and bleary-eyed and totally oblivious to all ‘joking’, I nodded quietly and then watched him (wonder of wonders!) scurry to the binding machine and produce three copies of my thesis in about five minutes. Thank you, Anatoly!

Then drank a large cup of coffee, came home, slept for several hours, ran to MaJaHa to turn the thing in, came home, cooked, and then slept for a good twelve hours. (“Ruth… you *cannot* work like this!”) Am so glad to have the thing birthed and turned in, though I did end up sort of hating it during the final days–I hope the hatred was *mostly* the result of my having stared at it for too long.

In all, a good semana‘s work.

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