Prospectus Rough Draft #1

September 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

That is the name of the file in the folder “Dissertation.” It leaves little to the imagination, is somewhat long and maybe even a smidgen unwieldy. But it will assist me in the future to remember which document is which–I fully expect this prospectus to see many drafts, at least three, hopefully no more than nine, and they will all be properly labeled. Changes will be made at this stage that perhaps at a later stage should be revisited.

Regardless of the future tense, in the present tense, I am currently in a holding pattern. I e-mailed my first draft of my prospectus rough draft to my dissertation director only an hour ago, and I await her response with eagerness and anticipation. Yes, my topic has gone through an existential crisis these past several months, but I’m ready now and refreshed, and I believe both myself and my topic find ourselves imbued with a second restorative wind.

My friend Smitty and I were talking on the phone Tuesday night; it was our regularly scheduled weekly phone date. When she asked about my prospectus (she has already begun work on the second draft of hers), I began to mumble and babble a little incoherently about how it’s still sitting at 7 pages and how I still have to add some references and quotes here and there. And she asked me why I hadn’t finished it last week, like I originally planned. I made up some excuse or other (I always do), but she didn’t accept it. So, she asked me what my plans were for this weekend. I told her that I am spending time with my family. She responded, “That sounds nice. You’ll have your prospectus e-mailed by Friday evening, then.” I said, “Yeah…I guess I could probably swing that.” Not convinced by my response, she changed the deadline on me! “Okay, then you’ll have the prospectus e-mailed by Thursday. You don’t want to be worrying about packing and doing laundry while you finish editing your prospectus.” I attempted to disagree with her and beg for leniency, but she relented none. Sighing, I accepted the established deadline. Thursday.

Today is Thursday. After returning from my second class, and feeling utterly wiped out and exhausted, I knew I had to accomplish something, anything, and that Smitty would be checking in with me at some point in the next twelve to sixteen hours. So, sighing again, I opened my old exam notebooks, perused the hundreds of pages of quoted material until I found the sources I had originally referenced (and yes, they’re organized with tabs–the search didn’t take long), and then I began to insert quotes and citations into the document. Within a couple of hours, I was finished and reading and rereading and rerereading my document until I was satisfied that it was at least typo-free enough to submit to my director with little embarrassment.

And now, I sit in my office, waiting for Robert to return from class, and waiting for my director to open my e-mail and read the little bundle of mess that is my prospectus rough draft. But, in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my Labor Day weekend! 🙂

P.S. I must clarify: I do not expect for her to read the rough draft nor even open my e-mail before next Tuesday. Administrators need a long weekend too, you know!

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