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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Could I borrow a pencil?

Today I set out to go to my local tea shop, read the NYT, and then read through a hard copy of my dissertation proposal to look for holes, logical leaps, etc.

I read my paper, drank a very unsatisfying tea (something was wrong with it, but I didn't complain), and then decided to get to work (once all the annoying Wicked people left - argh). Opened up my bag, and found that I had not a single pen or pencil in my bag. Darn you shrinky for actually being organized! I have a pencil case where I store all my writing implements (and my lipbalms and glosses), and I had just the day before gone through my bag to find all the wayward pens and pencils and put them back in their case. I then, apparently, took the case out and put it on my desk to use when I worked on friday.

This totally derailed me. I was saying in my head, "What do I do now? I can't read through my proposal without being able to write on it!" Although I thought of just going and buying one, that seemed too huge a task. So, I went grocery shopping and then went home.

In my defense, I was also getting a headache and had no drugs with me.

I have been trying to get a sense of how long my proposal and my dissertastion should be. Because I'm a competitive idiot, I gathered (from our library catalog) a sample of 29 dissertations in my department. The average page length was 104.06. 35 was the shortest, and 220 was the longest. On some of them, I noted the actual page length and then how long it was if you removed the references and appendices. This caused a jump of many pages! For example, one was 124 pages total, but 85 of those were the text. Another was 98 pages; 50 text. 85 pages; 33 text, etc. It seems like on average 50 pages are references, tables, vitas, measures, irbs, etc. My proposal is 74 pages, and 60 some-odd of that is text.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger lucyrain said...



At 1:06 PM, Blogger luckybuzz said...

Yeah, 35 pages seems kind of...short. But it does amaze me how much these things vary by field and by department, too.

And that not-having-a-pen is a drag.


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