Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birth of a Thesis

I have recently given birth, and unlike many new mothers I can say unequivocally that I despise my child. Ok, it’s not a child, exactly, but a 170-page 36,000-word document that has caused me to exist on nothing but bananas and green tea for the last several weeks. Yes, I’m talking about my thesis, or as I affectionately call it, Hemorrhoid.

In the early stages of my Hemorrhoid pregnancy, I was excited. Yes, there were the usual bouts of morning sickness that comes with assembling my committee, making my topic as specific as possible, structuring my abstract and review of literature, but I knew it would all pay off in the end. I looked forward to the day little Hemorrhoid was in my arms, beaming up at me with my name in print.

Months passed and I realized this would be a difficult pregnancy. One member of my committee had gone MIA, another forgot all about Hemorrhoid and the committee chair put me on a diet that stretched my baby beyond anything I’d ever imagined. But again, I was excited. Thrilled even. How long is your typical pregnancy? Nine months? More specifically, 40 weeks? I could handle that.

Two years and some change later, I remained face up, legs spread as members of my committee used various instruments to pull, heave and even drag Hemorrhoid from my womb. A portion of Hemorrhoid’s bloody body was extricated in time for me to meet with The Big Man this week. The Big Man has the final say on all things thesis, and if he doesn’t like an aspect of your formatting – don’t come with a ‘…’ when you should come with a ‘. . . ‘—then it’s over. The two members of my committee and I hemmed and hawed over the measurement of page numbers at the bottom, the MIA member told me his middle intial on the signature page was incorrect, etc etc. Like all mothers in labor, I pushed and pushed and I pushed until it came out to the way it was supposed to be. I paid my $200 to have Hemorrhoid bound and copyrighted (a copy for me and a copy for the school) and I was on my way to the Big Man.

Well, what can I say about my meeting with The Big Man? A LOT, but I’ll keep it brief. The first thing he says is that my committee and I have been working off of an out of date checklist, which means that I didn’t have all the materials he needed and that my formatting was again, incorrect. And since said out of date checklist was created, the fees for the thesis have gone down, so in the amount I paid, I actually bought THREE copies of the thesis (Happy birthday, Mom) instead of my desired two. So I had to go back to work on my day off to do some hasty reformatting (took me six hours), switching to pdf, signing and faxing before I could send dear Hemorrhoid away.

But you know how they say never look back? Well I do, often. My dear pdf version of Hemorrhoid has blank pages in the file, a wrong completion date and page numbers with issues. I can’t make any corrections now, I just have to wait for the grad school to come back with their revisions and/or instructions for me to go straight to hell because Hemorrhoid is such a mess. It’s only fitting that everytime I turn on the radio, Cee Lo is screaming for me to … uh…. ‘forget’ everyone who has made my life a mess.

So I’ve been trying to listen to Cee Lo as I make mani/pedi plans for next week. World Tuberculosis Day is coming up and I hope to spend it with a tiara on my head, Hill Harper in my bed and Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ in my soul. And no Hemorrhoid is getting in the way of that.

Photo from


A said...

Congratulations on the bundle of grrrr. A face only a mother can love? :-)

Breathe - it's over!

Hey. I'm L. said...

Girl. I'm STILL working on my dissertation. This is some bullshit. I'm very proud of YOU and your success. Work it out!

ShellyShell said...

It's over! Congratulations! I'm sure you're happy you finally gave birth!