Wednesday, August 06, 2008


To graduate from the University of GradShitTownVille, I had to fill out a "release form." I think the title of the form referred releasing equipment and keys back to the university. But I really think it referred to releasing me out of my pen.

But I knew that another release would happen. I would have to experience the emotional release that would come with leaving GradShitTownVille. I half-expected that I would cry across Nebraska like I did when I was driving east. But it didn't happen.

Instead, it happened in Powell's bookstore. In the children's section. I had been there just a few months before with my friend Moira and her little daughter. We were traveling together in Portland for a conference. Now I was in Powell's alone, far far away from my good friend and her little daughter. While GradShitTownVille had brought so much challenge into my life, it had also brought great friendships. And I cried looking over the Newbery award winners.

The tears mean that time of FemaleCSGradStudent is done. Thanks to everyone who helped me graduate successfully. Every post, e-mail, and comment propelled me forward.

I introduce you to my new blog

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What really happened

Day 1: Defend. Unconditional pass.
Day 2: Pack belongings with help from two friends.
Day 3: Boyfriend and I shove belongings in an 8 x 6 x 5 container.
Day 4: Close on house. Make minor revisions to dissertation.
Day 5: Deposit.
Day 6: Leave. Drive.
Day 7: Drive.

Currently: Relaxing in a hotel room 1100 miles away from GradShitTownVille.

Admittedly, my previous insane schedule was replaced by an only slighly less insane schedule.

Now....clearly the name of this blog is all wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2008

All but the "d"

D is for defense. It went well.
D is for deposit. 1 more day in hell.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Ready, Fashionably Speaking

Hair: ironed. I don't look like Dotty Dog today.

Good luck necklace from my dear friend Iu.

Cute, short sleeved top, white, from Banana Republic. A medium. With camisole. Mrs. Clock would approve.

Navy linen trousers.

Dansko wedges, in toast.

Rage: firey.

Two hours to go.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


One of my greatest frustrations with research is the politically driven vocabulary. Often, mediocre researchers use their own made-up terms to describe simple concepts; they seem to do this to claim these concepts as their own invention.

Look over there, it's a brown horse!

No no no. What are you talking about? As I published in 2001, that over there is a four-leg sepia callubuster or FLSC. From now on, you really ought to refer to it that way.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a really good piece on how to write with style. He advises to "keep it simple" and "sound like yourself." Moreover,

The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child.

I think this is why my dissertation writing style offends academics. I grew up in blue collar. I use simple words and vulgar metaphors. I won't talk about FLSC's. I just talk about brown horses.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dear Diary

Four days to go.

My body is a Six Flags Amusement Park. Roller coasters of emotion tear through my clenched guts: tears over missed friends, panic about signatures, anxiety over moving boxes, anger over lost years, terror of a new job, joy at being almost done.

My mind is a Pomeranian. Ditzy and fierce, latching on to trivial thoughts with the jaws of my neurons and grinding them down for hours until they are nothing. I thought I lost my sweater on the train on Saturday. I worried for two hours about how I would ever find another black sweater as cute as that one. Then I found it under my seat.

I have this tight schedule that many doubt I can complete:

Fri: Defend.
Sat/Sun: Pack.
Mon: Close on house. Deposit.
Tues: Leave town.
Sat: Arrive in Portland.

People ask, "What about revisions?"

Fortunately, I wrote my dissertation for me. It's written in an informal, conversational style, a collection of 13 essays about my research. It was fun to write. I make metaphors between my work and blackberry jelly. I compare my advisor to Oscar Madison.

I say "fortunately," because my dissertation is just a diary. A couple of committee members read a couple of chapters about two months ago, but since I gave them my full draft three weeks ago, I've not heard a single peep. Given the history of my group and the defenses that have come before mine, I don't expect revisions. My advisor cashes out of his students once they get a job. I have seen him six times in the last five months.

I don't know what will happen this week.
But I hope to be home soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letter from Dad

A letter from Dad came in the mail today:

I am so glad your prison sentence in the state of hell is finally going to be over. You have finally reached your goal you had set for yourself so many years ago. It will be well worth the effort and grief you had to go through. The grief part should never had to be a consideration if there weren't people in places of authority that make you wonder how they ever got there or why they are allowed to stay. I am very proud of all that you have accomplished in that hellhole on your own.

Nice. I'll admit, though, it wasn't always on my own. There was desperation and loneliness. There was destructive behavior. But I also had an army of people to help; it just wasn't always the people it perhaps should have been.