Or a Dissertation is Like a Baby…

Announcing the safe delivery of Dissertation-Baby, weighing in at 225 pages, black and white, Times New Roman 12, double-spaced.  I truly feel as proud as if I’d given birth to another human being (which, God-willing, I will do in the middle of September).  There are so many parallels in the process and product of both the writing and birthing process:

1)       A loooong gestation period in which things start to come together in an as-yet-invisible form, but with lots of hope and excitement and sitting around.

2)      An extended labor process in which said baby enters the world in recognizable, though as-yet-unfinished, not-able-to-stand-on-its-own form.

3)      Lots of tears, pain, wondering if or when it’ll ever be over, when it’ll be able to stand on its own, to give you some space to live a normal life again

4)      An experience of testing yourself over and over again—your strength, self-confidence, stamina, faith, patience, energy, commitment, your sense of identity

5)      Learning through the process that you had more in you than you ever knew

6)      An immense feeling of pride at watching your baby go out into the world, and a strange feeling of nostalgia for all those days of stress, pain, tears, and temper tantrums after all!

So I have until May 5 to prepare for the two-hour oral defense in front of my three committee members and two outside readers.  But for now, I’m just going to relax in the feeling that there’s nothing I have to do today!  Yippee!!  Thanks to all of you (you know who you are) who supported me throughout this whole process.

*The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland

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