Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good Enough

I'm rewriting my thesis. All the parts exist (except for a conclusion, and it's not like that's important...), but they don't flow, and there are still gaps in the literature that need plugging. I'm hoping to get a complete draft ready before the end of semester, which is about ten or so weeks away. For someone who only works two days a week... Well, it's not a whole lot of time, even with my weekend tinkering thrown in.

Still, it will be done.

Someone asked me a couple of days ago if my thesis matched up to my expectations: was it better, worse or about par with what I had thought it would be. I quickly realised that I don't really know. Partly because it's still a bit much to take in at once to really make any kind of call - individually I know all the chapters are ok, although could be much better, but it takes a bit of effort to step back and see the thing as a whole.

But the main reason I don't know is that I've never really had a realistic expectation for what sort of a thesis it will be, or what kind of a scholar I could be. I have expected that when examiners' reports come in, they will either be hand-quilled in golden ink with lucrative publication contracts stapled to them; or tattooed to the backs of rabid dogs, the whole-hearted rejection of my work coupled together with demands for my existing degrees to be revoked as well. In my saner moments I realise that neither of those things is going to happen.

...I think.

So, clearly, the thesis itself isn't the only thing that needs work. As I buff and polish my argument I try to negotiate with myself along the way, reminding myself the thesis isn't actually a measure of my worth as a person, and that it isn't going to be awful, and it isn't going to be great - but it will be good enough.


  1. Good read, Sanna. I'm going through the same stages, and telling myself the same things. Hopefully, it will be finished soon, and we can finally start doing something else.

  2. Thanks Can, I'm glad I'm not alone! :-)

    And yes, am looking forward to the luxury of planning my life without the necessary prefix "After I've finished the thesis..."

  3. oh good luck! i really enjoyed the last couple of months of my thesis - especially the process of rewriting - as it all really came together and i pushed it up to a new level. and the euphoria of handing it in was unparalleled! but you're right - it's partly a process of realizing it is good enough, and finally letting go. i gave myself an artificial deadline by booking tickets for a holiday to america (only when i really knew i could be done by then, but i guess without that i could have stretched it out for a week or two...).