23 October 2012

Progress on my dissertation

I have been working on my dissertation for a number of years now. It's been more than 4 years since I began analyzing the book of Ezekiel and thus slightly more than 3 years since I changed my dissertation topic to the structure of various chapters in Ezekiel. There has certainly been progress since I began, but it feels like it's going so very slow.

Not being done after 3 years of official work on a dissertation is normal. However, I started the dissertation project when I moved to the Netherlands - and that was 6 years ago. Although a lot has happened since then (language learning, writing two master's theses, teaching, working off and on to make ends meet, some publications, getting married, my mom passing away, moving (4? times), involvement in community), 6 years is a long time. And people rightly ask: so when are you going to be done? (I also wonder when I'm ever going to be done). 

I honestly don't know when I'm going to get done, and I've given up on setting a tentative date - as that gave more stress than motivation. When people ask, I've decided to say how far I am - and describe how long the process takes even when you've got a good draft (lots of checks by various people and editing happen before it gets approved - and only after several sets of approvals can there be a date set for the dissertation defense).

I also like being able to say how far I am - because then I can actually see and feel that I have made progress on this seemingly neverending project of mine. And I've included the progress goal on the side of my blog so that I can update it (at least once weekly!) so that I can share with others the changes/movement- and, most importantly, delight in the fact that there has been progress.

The final goal is about 200 well-written pages (with approval of my supervisor and co-supervisor). 150 pages, of which 30 are well-written and 50 decent, is definitely progress towards meeting that goal.

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