I suppose that this post could be all about how my extremely cool, supportive, engaging and professional dissertation advisor has found my progress over the past several months very "promising, engaging and exemplary of what all students should be doing at [my] level". I could gush on and on about how wonderful our 45-minute meeting went yesterday, justifying the expensive flight I took to fly clear across the country to have this meeting in person. Honestly, I could even go so far as to brag. I could brag that 2008 truly feels like "my year" (as far as my work is concerned), and that my dissertation chair (who has never been anything but completely rigorous with me) thinks so, too. I could wax on about how he very matter-of-factly said that I should anticipate having a completed first draft by early fall and bowling my way to graduation in the spring or summer of '09. I could say that this thrills me, and it does. I could say that it scares me somewhat, too, to which I might counter that I love a good challenge, especially when the challenge is coming from within.
Of course, it is nice to have my hard work and diligence recognized. It's nice to know that I am taken seriously. The affirmation is important. It is perhaps healthy to note that my previous dissertation advisor (before our relationship demise) would not have squeezed out a token word of support under torture. I suppose I could write about the emotional and psychological suffering she inflicted on me as a result and how hard I have had to work to overcome it, but I'll just leave it at that.
The fact is, I really don't have a lot to say right now. I am spending the week catching up with friends over steamy meals at my favorite restaurants. For the people who love me, I have been narrating the recent adventures of my life, while listening diligently to their similar tales of triumph and whoa. Meanwhile, I have been budgeting my time to perform the necessary administrative work to keep the machine of my graduate career running. While doing this, I have run into various and sundry colleages of mine on campus. It seems as though in every single one of these encounters this week, I am left with the relief of having jumped ship. I am no longer in the heated race for coveted teaching and research positions that barely pay for groceries. Likewise, I am no longer in the gossip mill, even though I can readily assure you that I am still the locus of a great deal of speculation and gossip on their behalf. (Some things never change.)
As I told a dear friend of mine over lunch yesterday after a most bizarre encounter with one of my more-bizarre colleagues: "Yeah...I really think I left my ego somewhere in 2005". Being back in the folds of my graduate department for just a week has been a healthy reminder of that. I have a very solid idea of where I have been, and now a much better understanding of where I am going.
So, I may be silent for a little while longer. That is, until I have something of greater quality to say.