23 days to go…
I spend much of the day trying to force myself to work despite the panic slowly rising inside me. I fail. A call to the parents sorts things out – there’s nothing like some good advice from your family to help you put things in perspective.
All in all, I think I’ve made good progress with the thesis. All of the results chapters are done with the exception of one, Chapter 5. I have a mostly-complete introductory chapter and a pretty solid theory chapter. That leaves the concluding chapter and references. I feel like I’m on track considering the remaining time.
Chapter 5 is one of the oddest challenges I’ve faced so far. In theory, it’s the easiest chapter – the best and most publishable work I’ve done, which is currently out for peer review. Since I’ve already got a (darned good) manuscript on it, it should be an easy chapter. And yet… it’s surprisingly hard. I think it’s because I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to really do this one justice because I know that it may well end up carrying the rest of the work. At the same time, much of the manuscript was written collaboratively and therefore isn’t entirely mine – so I need to re-express the same ideas in a way which is much closer to how I fundamentally understand things.
Still, it’s exciting to have that “nearly there” feeling, and as ever once I get going on the chapter it starts to fall away pretty quickly. I reckon it’ll be done soon.
My supervisor hasn’t read any of the words yet. I will know when he reads the first sentence, because I chose to start it with the words:
Since the dawn of time…
Frankly, I think the introduction is going to be a masterpiece and getting that sentence through past both my supervisor and the examiners would be my greatest achievement.