Thursday, September 5, 2013


When you work on something for a year, and then finish it, it's a big deal.  To exactly one person: you.

Having worked on this project for as long as I did, you'd think that I could avoid late night, stress-filled changes and re-writes.  But, you'd be wrong.  My thesis adviser had been sending my drafts back with the vaguest of critiques, and, it was only the night before we left for New York that I realized that the drafts she sent back were actually filled with specific, line-by-line notes, which I hadn't seen when I only viewed the document instead of downloading it.

But, that's another gut-wrenching story.

I finished my changes, sent a final draft back to her, and we headed to New York Wednesday night.  I intended to turn it in Thursday, two days ahead of time, until I called to check the office hours and discovered that Thursday was the due date.  Then, I called red alert.

Edie squirmed around the hotel room and didn't watch cartoons while I scrambled to finish the last set of changes from my adviser, then Edie and I walked to the Staples on 34th street where I paid a small fortune to print two copies of my 40 page paper.

Edie fell asleep and I ate a joyless lunch, my head kind of aching and my legs jittery.  We hopped on the train, the first of 3 to get down to Brooklyn College (a pain to get to from Brooklyn).  After an hour on the train(s), I hauled the stroller up the subway stairs and walked onto campus.

I knew my adviser wouldn't be on campus, and the ladies who work in the English office are notoriously unimpressed, but, I think, in my heart, I expected, oh, I don't know, like a balloon drop or a confetti cannon when I walked in.  Something to note the magnitude of the occasion.  The secretary gestured to the row of boxes and I gingerly laid my envelopes on top, unwilling to jam them into the already full mailboxes of two professors.  I walked out and looked down at Edie, who looked unmoved by the moment.

I didn't feel a noticeable sense of relief, which I wasn't expecting.  I get wrapped up in projects, and it takes me time to disengage.  But, I didn't feel that either.  I just felt . . . nothing.  I finished, and let go, and that was it.

I hadn't given it much thought when I opened the email that told me my thesis had been approved.  The bum ankle kept me from doing a celebratory jump, but my dad did buy me a box of See's candy, which is pretty much the same thing.


  1. good, I am glad you are done. now lets get to reading Harry Potter simultaneously because that is what is done in the autumn season.

  2. wait, that wasn't andy, that was me (Shiloh) which I am sure you realized, but thought I would clarify.

  3. BIG DEAL!

  4. high five (or ten!) !!!
    you rock!

  5. This is completely and absolutely awesome. Celebrate celebrate celebrate!!! It might take a couple of days for it to set in, but when it does, take full advantage and make someone bake you a cake!

    (Also, for reals—when did Staples and Kinkos get soooo ridiculously expensive? I never complain about gas prices because I don't see a point to the frustration, but I gripe like an old man anytime I have to get copies done at one of those money-guzzlers.)

    Now go read a bunch of garbage Dan Brown novels to wash the heavy reading out of your system!

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  7. CONGRATS!!! I had a similar gut-wrenching experience when I learned (via Facebook) that everyone had had their theses approved except me. Finally found the email IN MY SPAM FOLDER WTF BROOKLYN COLLEGE informing me that mine had not. Mine, much like (I think) yours, was very sociohistorical in nature and bc that's the dean's concentration (so I hear) I had a huge meltdown thinking she had found some inaccuracy in my research--only to head to the English Dept office and be told that I needed to re-format my appendix (seriously?!) and that, despite their directions, the document did not need to be bound, just stapled. Congrats on finishing!! it's such a huge relief :-)