I know that somewhere in my mind I am getting ready to start shutting down my PhD. I know that because the exact same thing happened at a point during my Honour’s year and during my Master’s. It starts with a general day-dreaming about the ‘next project’. It moves on to writing a front piece for the thesis, eventually even acknowledgements are written and the formal proposal for said ‘next project’ is started. This all happens, of course, before the thesis itself is finished. It started in my MA almost exactly a year before I was due to submit. I submitted six months later and was awarded a pretty good mark. It’s started again, and again it’s almost a year before I’m due to submit (in September 2013). I decided I would have a full draft ready for editing by mid-August. Then June. Then before I go away in May. Now I’m determined to have it done by March. That will give me a good amount of time to edit. Although anyone who thinks they need six months to edit is… wasting time?
I will say one thing, though. I never hated my MA, and although I wasn’t in the greatest rush to read Aischylos’ Eumenides at the end of it – after having read it basically daily for the previous eighteen months – I never fell out of love with my research. And I don’t hate my PhD. In fact, I still feel very enthusiastic about my research. I think it’s good – and I think it will lead quite well into what I’m currently obsessing about for post-doctoral research.
Really, it’s just the getting though the last little bit…
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye