My thesis in grad school was about the Oyster Wars of the Northeast, and how the media of the time sensationalized them. As I was reading over my thesis, I was reminded of this quote.
"I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded: dead."
Even though I totally disagree, the man makes an interesting point.
My thesis is almost done, just getting the last bits together. Compiling the appendix, getting my citations in order.
I will officially be done at the end of September, a month away at this point, but I'm still nervous. With the research and writing done it's all the little bits that need to be tied together. My appendix of articles are PDF's, and I'm not sure how I go about labeling them in a pleasing way. I think I also need to firm up the format of my citations.
The amount of work it still needs will not take me even close to a month to do, maybe a day or two, but it still weighs on me. And this is the hard stuff to get done. The little stuff. Whomever coined the phrase "the devil is in the details" must have been nearing the end of their thesis.
My thesis is going fairly smoothly so far (actually a little ahead of my self imposed schedule) but it's amazing how the technique of marinating can be applied to writing. In order to marinade something you steep it in a highly seasoned mixture until it takes on the desired flavour. When it comes to writing, and I'm assuming the same technique can be applied to many other things as well, things go far smoother when you let things sit for awhile and settle, marinade. Or I guess an even better metaphor would be the practice of letting a freshly cooked piece of meat sit for a few minutes to let the precious meat juice settle back into the meat. If that stage of the cooking process is rushed once the meat is sliced all the juices run out and you're left with a dry, far less tasty piece of meat.
It's very important that I have a moist, tasty thesis so it's going to rest for the weekend. The current plan is to take a red pen to it sometime next week. Then take it to Prof. Glick (my adviser) the first week of August for more fine tuning. Ah the humbling process of editing, nothing quite like it.
(The above lyric is from the song SpottieOttieDopalicious by Outkast, big tune.)
I did not throw up on the podium. Awesome.
I actually really enjoyed my panel, the other two papers were really interesting. I was the second of three papers, and although the tips of my fingers were tingling all through the first paper when it was my turn I actually felt pretty good. The first few paragraphs were a little shaky, but once I found my stride at about page three it was pretty smooth sailing.
Alice Julier, who mentored me through this paper was there to watch, and my good friend Lilly (www.consuminglilly.com) was also in attendance. There were about thirteen people total who watched me give my paper, any more and I think I would have been way more nervous. The paper itself needs a little bit of tweaking to make it ready to be published in a journal, the possibility of which is incredibly exciting!
The rest of the conference was really interesting, there was a ton of really fascinating research, as well as a few flops. All the people I met were wonderful and I find myself back in Boston ready to get my thesis done. There are some very important questions I need to answer surrounding my thesis, like how long it's going to be as well as how long I am going to take to to write it. The timeline question being really important becasue of my immigration status. I need to answer these questions by the end of the week.
Looking forward to going to next year's conference in Indiana.
I'm leaving on Thursday for the conference in Pennsylvania. Last week I was excited but felt pretty confident overall, this week I'm definitely nervous. Still excited, but nervous too. Nauseous excited would be the most apt description.
Being my first conference, and having a history of being a particularly bad public speaker I've been reading my paper out loud for the last few days. I am just this afternoon starting to feel more like myself when I read it aloud. Funny how writing something and speaking something can feel so separate. After all the tweeking my paper has gone through (Thanks Alice!) I'm pretty confident in it, which feels good. The paper is on gender dynamics in professional and domestic kitchens. Which seems to me like a topic that I would not necessarily have done my best work with, so this paper was a nice surprise.
When I ignore the fact that I have to speak in a room filled with strangers I'm really excited about spending a few days surrounded by food academics. It's going to be interesting to see what other people are researching, and talk about where people think the field is headed.
I just hope I don't throw up on the podium during my paper or something mortifying like that.
Wish me luck.