Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mission Accomplished

original art by Ally of Today is My Birthday!


You've all been waiting with baited breathe bated breath, I know, to hear about what's been happening over here at my house. Specifically with regard to... the dissertation.

After about 3 weeks of non-stop writing, researching, editing, reviewing, revising, and proofreading -- every spare moment spent thinking about "museum communities," "adult aesthetic education," "change management in arts organisations," and similarly riveting topics -- the thing is finally DONE! Sixty-nine pages, including bibliography and appendices, and my house is a mess! Poor Mr D. He's such a neatnik, and he just closed his eyes for the last few days weeks whole summer and soldiered on, weaving his way around laptop accessories on desks, opened books on chairs, scribbled upon drafts on every flat surface, and days-old cups of cold coffee lingering about. What a mec!

So I sent the thing off, pdf style, on Tuesday at noon. It's to be hard-bound and submitted to the Museum Studies Department at the University of Leicester. Yay for me! Six months five months three months 5 or 6 weeks of concentrated study. And bizarrely, I managed to turn it in a full 13 days before the due date. Impossible? You heard it here first.

But before I sent it off, I had my saint of a sister proofread it for me. Even though she only has one kidney, her proofreading skills remain intact. Who knew how "discernible" was really spelled? Do commas go inside or outside of quotation marks? Do footnote numbers go before or after full stops? Are article titles in quotation marks or italicised? Are the volume and number of a periodical italicised too? Or not? Yawn. I know. This is why she's a saint and I'm a ... tired graduate student.

Then there's the whole British English/American English spelling thing, which seems like a lark until you are spelling it "flavour" and feeling all posh and hoity-toity, and then you find you have to spell things like "programme" and "organise" and "analyse" and it's not so much fun after all.

Consistency ≠ expateek

So anyhoo, we're done. And when I say "we," I mean me and my husband and my children and my parents and my sister and her partner and my friends here in town and all the people I badgered with phone calls for interviews and probably the postman/lady and the people who I owe money to but have forgotten to pay and maybe ComEd and the gas company now that I think of it and oh gosh.

Who else? Anybody else out there needing acknowledgement*? Because that's another word that is just feckin' difficult to spell!

* Don't even start. It's spelled both with and without an "e."**

**And I still think punctuation inside quotations marks looks silly.



Hannah Rose said...

Labels: boring everyone to death.
The word verification that I have to type in for this post to be official is "sniagga." Tell me what THAT means, Martha!
Congratulations, goony balloon. We knew you could do it. I don't think coffee got ample acknowledgement; clearly the key player in this venture.
I love you! Have fun in London (Did you hear Russia is about to invade? I wonder how Annette feels about THAT)

@eloh said...

Some of my "Homeschool" on. We had B&E day (Breaking and Entering) and spelling reminders such as the word "assume". What happens when one assumes something? It will make an ass of "u" and me. They always remember there are two "s" in that word.

I'm forgetting how to spell! Some words my hands could spell that I never could, now they are starting to fail me too.

Violet said...

Yay for you! Having worked at universities for, lo, these many years, I know what an accomplishment this is. Congratulations!!

A big, and favorite, part of my job is proofreading and editing. I agree that punctuation looks wrong inside of quotations marks...I correct it but it makes my brain hurt every time.

expateek said...

eloh -- I think it's because we've seen them spelled wrong too many times... it just starts to get way confusing!

expateek said...

Violet -- then you must deal with lots of crazed students too -- my sympathies! I had about 160 footnotes, and I don't think I did any of them the same way in my first run-through!

Hannah Rose -- Russia's going to invade? Why, is Chelsea losing now?

corinne said...

Good for you to try to use English spelling and usage. I didn't even try, just informed my teachers that I would be using American style. Otherwise, I was afraid I would look illiterate! This past winter, I finished designing and laying out a 170-page anthology. Even I had two proofreaders, and wasn't supposed to have to proofread, I still found countless errors to correct. And I was trying to thread my way through my native American usage, the confusing remnants of having lived, read and written in England for 12 years, and the new-to-me Canadian hybrid of the two. Most Canadians are even more confused; when I ask them if it is program or programme, most of them are clueless. Congrats on finishing.

English Rider said...

I enjoyed this post. Congrats on finishing. I agree about getting bogged down in the consistency lark as far as U.K. and U.S. writings are concerned. Sometimes I disagree with spell check and sometimes I don't care. Many times I rephrase to avoid a word that has gone wonky in my head and doesn't look right on paper.

Palymama said...

Well...heck you're done! That's the great thing about it. And, now you're on a trip to London. Double good job. Congratulations.