Dissertation Update

The Original Plan…

The plan coming out of my year-end review at the beginning of May was to try and have a full draft before I start teaching again in the Fall. At that point I had a mostly finished draft of ch 1 and a large and diffuse ch 2 that would be divided into two manageable and logically structured chapters. Ch 2 would become a comparison of modern academic and medieval monastic culture, ch 3 would become an exposition on the liturgical practices that shape early medieval monastic interpretation. The hard work would be chs 4 and 5. Each of these would be split in half. Each of these halves would tackle a Matthean text, walk through representative modern interpreters, look at Ælfric’s sermon on the same, reconstruct and analyze the liturgical environment, then synthesize what I found.

To keep on schedule I’d essentially have to do one of these halves a month…

I just got back from a meeting with Fr. Director before he heads out of state for several weeks. He has looked with favor upon the results of my most recent work; while some minor editing and the reworking of one page need to be done–my first half chapter is complete.

Weighing in at a healthy 29 pages (and 109 footnotes) my analysis of the first pericope is done. And I’m still more or less on schedule.

Why We Rock…
(h/t Anastasia ;-))

I’m quite pleased with my progress since my review. It’s not been terribly easy going; I’ve been working 65 to 70 hour work-weeks and writing in addition to that, reserving my weekends for M and the girls. Of course, if you do the math on that you’ll see two things–first, I’m not sleeping a whole lot and second, I’m not home a whole lot. Most days I’m there for an hour and a half for dinner between jobs, then arrive back after midnight to write an hour or two before snatching some sleep and doing it all over again.

What this means, of course, is that during the week M is by herself with both girls during their entire waking hours (The hour/hour-and-a-half I’m home hardly counts as parenting…). And working on finding a job. And writing sermons for supply work. And paying all the bills, maintaining the household, buying all the groceries (with two wild ones in tow), etc…

I do try and give my entire attention to the girls and M on the weekends–but without sleep I’m not exactly my usual cheery self… I usually find myself spending the day with the girls and only getting to spend time with M in the evening when we’re both completely worn out.

This whole time has not been an easy one for M at all and she has done an amazing job trying to juggle everything she has going on. There is absolutely no way I could get half of what I get done without all of the work she puts into it. I literally could not do it without her. I don’t thank her enough for everything that she does–so here’s a big public thank you for everything that you do, M! I love you!

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3 Responses to Dissertation Update

  1. bls says:

    Sounds rough these days what with the time crunch and exhaustion. The only consoling word I can offer is that someday you’ll be able to look back on this. (I’m not saying you’ll laugh, mind you, but at least it will be in the past.)

    Congrats on the diss thing, though. And Happy Father’s Day, even though you’re a Really Tired Dad.

  2. Well, as someone who’s been to grad school and seen dissertators of all stripes, if you do the tough work of the rough draft now, your fall will be much calmer and easier.

    Congratulations on getting this far, and Happy Father’s Day.

  3. lutherpunk says:

    Though you feel pushed and pulled to the limit, one thing that is clear is that your children adore you, which has to bring some light to an otherwise dark time. And your right, you got a good one when you got M.

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