Friday, April 9, 2010

This thing just keeps taking longer than I thought

I finally was able to have an unhurried phone meeting with my adviser - hallelujah! When I can get a hold of her, she really is helpful.

Maybe too helpful. She had all kinds of comments about stuff I should add, further measurements and tests I need to do. Oh, and it should probably be around 200 pages, at least. I've probably got about 120 right now. Ugh.

As she said, I probably could get it done quickly, if I had to, but she wants me to have "a really kick-ass dissertation" so it's worth taking an extra month to get it done. But I'm fairly certain her one month will at least double, if not turn into August.

I wonder if I told her that I never plan to get a job in linguistics, she'd feel better about it not needing to be completely kick-ass? Somehow I don't think that'd be the best idea.


  1. might not actually be a bad idea. i went to a talk recently by an English PhD about getting jobs outside of academia and she said she got out in 5 years only because she had a talk with her adviser around year 3 about how she (her adviser) would never need to have to write her a recommendation so how could she graduate as long as possible. i guess it might not be good to burn bridges if you don't need to...
    and i guess once you miss the may deadline what's a few more months ;)

  2. It sounds like your advisor is rather junior. You do NOT need a kick-ass dissertation. You need a kick-ass first book. No one except your committee and a handful of other dissertators are going to read your dissertation (with rare exception -- for some reason my dissertation developed a cult following, go figure!); everyone in the field is going to read your book if it is good enough to warrant publication by a leading academic publisher. You just need to finish your dissertation well enough to be awarded three letters to go with your name. This is what I have told grad students on whose committees I have served and what I told my own daughter. All are professors now. The dissertation is just a huge paper with some peculiar requirements that you need to get past in order to get on with your life. It is not your life in the way that future books will be. So, how has it gone? It is August. Did you finish? And why would you not want a job in linguistics? (Just curious; linguistics is my field.)