dear reader

It is, admittedly, hard to write this. Since turning in my thesis at 2:00 pm on Friday (70 hours ago), I haven’t written anything but an abstract, instant messages, phone text messages, a reply to one email, two very short comments on blog posts, and a short poem. This is not a lot considering how much I usually write. I have so many projects ahead of me, that sitting down to write something after writing such a long thesis so intensely ever the last few months seems to daunting.

Or, rather, I’m too exhausted. I’ve slept more over the last 70 hours than I’ve been awake. Friday night: 4 hour nap, then 12 hours of sleep. Saturday: 4 hour nap, then 8 hours of sleep. Sunday: 3 hour nap, then 9 hours of sleep. Actually, I woke up at 8 this morning only because I was so excited to hear on my alarm clock radio that Karl Rove was resigning. I brushed my teeth, IM’ed for a moment, and then went back to sleep for three hours.

That’s right, I finished my thesis on Friday. Others seem much more excited for me than I feel excited. At first, I wasn’t sure. Perhaps it’s my nonchalance about many things, perhaps it’s my exhaustion. I realized though, that when a friend of mine finished her undergraduate honors thesis spring term that she had talked about her funky feeling. I had the insight then to tell her that it sounded like she was going through a grieving process. Yeah, I think I’m grieving in a way.

On Friday, once I got home from turning in my thesis, I was wiped out, but then I started reading some of the documents from the graduate school, having a suspicion that I was supposed to turn something into them that day. Once I got to the fourth document explaining requirements (why aren’t all these things listed in the same document, clearly?), I discovered I was supposed to turn in my pretext pages to the graduate school. Oops. I had a few pages written and formatted (title page, table of contents), but not others (appreciation page, abstract page), so had to, in a short period of time (roughly an hour) write an abstract and appreciation page and format a couple signature pages. Sweaty, I turned them into the graduate school at 4:45 and asked, almost out of energy and breath, whether I could revise the abstract. She said yes (thank god!) and that they were only checking for formatting.

Some of the most perfect parts of my summer have been in the last few days. Saturday afternoon I woke up, walked to Interzone (my favorite coffee shop_, and read Harper’s Magazine over coffee. I didn’t bring anything else with me. I didn’t feel guilty about other things I had to do. I just read. Saturday night I was at a bar in Eugene dancing with friends, and I wasn’t concerned about the work to be done. I was just there.

I defend on Friday, and I’m excited, though I still have to prepare for it, of course. For those who are wondering, my thesis clocked in at 191 pages, including about 13 pages of works cited. Yes, that’s a magnum opus, and yes, it’s dissertation-length. In fact, I think it’s about 50 pages longer than my advisor’s doctorate dissertation.

So, what’s new on Michael Faris’s to-do list?
• Prepare for Defense
• Catch up on my work for OSUWrite, since I got behind by focusing on my thesis
• Prepare for the business writing courses I’ll be teaching in the fall
• Write my paper for the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference in October
• Study for and take the GRE and subject GRE
• Finish researching PhD programs
• Apply to PhD programs
• Finish a new issue of my zine

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5 Responses to dear reader

  1. Eric Stoller says:

    HOORAY!!! What time/place is your defense? (If it’s open for your loyal fans…) :-)

  2. Clancy says:

    Congratulations! Don’t be afraid to take a break from writing and sleep.

  3. John says:

    Congratulations, and good luck on the defense!

  4. Lisa Ede says:

    Hey Michael,
    I want to be the first person to congratulate you on an amazing defense and wonderful thesis!

  5. Laura says:

    Congratulations, Michael. Hey, you’re a hard act to follow! Glad to know you’ll be around campus, though, next year — so’s I can pick your brain!
    Laura

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