I got curious today as to why the document produced as a culmination of the doctoral studies is called a "dissertation."
According to m-w.com, a dissertation is an "extended usually written treatment of a subject."
Seriously? The lack of comma usage notwithstanding, that is an extreme understatement. Where is the information about blood, sweat, toil, and tears? What about overwhelming exhaustion? Burnout?
I got an email from one of my classmates in the Ph.D. program. She was wondering if she should take a term off. It turns out that several people have decided the same thing. They are all overwhelmed.
I feel the same, but doggone it, I am going to finish this, and my timeline is for the end of the year. I want it over with, but I also want to finish this once and for all. Yes, I am exhausted--no, weary. Yes, I cry every other day or so because I am so tired and frustrated. No, I don't have a whole lot of fun, and I have a huge stack of books which I will be reading after I finish up. Every day is pretty much a blur. I hear about women who work and come home to relax and be with their families, and I think, "What am I, nuts?"
I remember when I was in middle school. My mother had never finished high school, and she decided that she was going back for her equivalency diploma. For months, she drove to Cleveland (which I know was a bit nerve-wracking for her), and she studied for the test at home. The night she took the test, she called from a pay phone to tell me she had passed and she was bringing ice cream home to celebrate. She was proud of her accomplishments and her ability to persevere.
I guess that event drives me to finish this degree. So here I go. I'm off to open the revisions my advisor made to my chapters.