Preparing a Thanksgiving dissertation

Writing a dissertation feels a lot like preparing Thanksgiving dinner. You can’t do much of anything until the turkey thaws out, and at the risk of insulting anyone by comparing them to frozen poultry, that step reminds me of selecting committee members. It doesn’t make much sense to start the green bean casserole or sweet potatoes at the same time as the turkey, but those are still important elements that can’t be overlooked later on. It helps to jot down a menu or shopping list, just like it helps to record brainstorming ideas and potential source materials for future reference.

While the turkey is smoking (or in the oven, if you prefer), you need to tend to it now and then, even while you are working on other dishes. That’s the step that I feel like I’m at, right now. Over the weekend, I received feedback on Ch. 1 from my committee chair AND feedback on Ch. 2 from my advisor. I’m also working on my first draft of Ch. 3. What all this means is that I need to send revisions on Ch. 1 back to my chair for her approval before sending it to the rest of my committee, as well as send my initial edits on Ch. 2 to her for review. When I’m at a stopping point on Ch. 3, I will send it to my advisor for the first green light (and second-draft revision suggestions) before sending it to my chair for further review. My chair will send feedback on Ch. 2 probably around the time that my advisor responds to Ch. 3.

It very much feels like I have food in the smoker, oven, stovetop and microwave, all at the same time. Here’s hoping that nothing burns or boils over! 🙂

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