I submitted my dissertation manuscript yesterday to my committee. If you are unfamiliar with the process of receiving a doctorate, in linguistics it works like this: you research and write up what is more or less a book length, multi-chapter piece. You do this in consultation with your advisor (or in my case advisors) and your committee, who are also researchers with an overlap in interests with you (hopefully…sometimes the overlap is a little bit of a stretch. Although, not in my case.) When you’ve completed this book-length piece of writing, you officially submit it to your committee, the department and school and a defense date is set. Then, you defend you work and hopefully pass with only minor revisions and then that’s it. You’re a doctor.
So, this is a pretty significant milestone. I am nearing the end of this process. I did it. There is stuff we know now that we didn’t know before because my fool-ass decided to go out into the world and figure it out. I was just looking at the pdf of it and feeling overwhelmed. I did that. I made that thing. That exists because of me.
And, of course, not just because of me. I am a language researcher, so dozens of people volunteered to take part in my research. I had advisors and committee members who were constantly poking and prodding me to make it better, make it clearer. And, friends and family who have looked after me and cheered me on and distracted me when I needed it (and forced me to sit down and work when I needed that.) Ginger Kitty has been a near-constant companion through this last push in the process. As I was finishing things yesterday, he sat by my side the entire time, sometimes purring and sometimes snoring. I did a thing! But, I didn’t do it alone. And, that might be the coolest part of this whole thing.by