Friday, November 14, 2008

Comps Writing is Done, Only Defense Left

Three days of non-stop comps revisions later, and I have sent the final no-more-revisions allowed version of my comps paper to my committee. The full paper (including title page and references) weighs in at 51 pages, 14,010 words; the text itself is 34 pages, 10,386 words. I never needed to worry about making the official 10,000 minimum, although I still can't believe that my advisor gave me enough comments to add 1,500 words to an already long paper.

I got a little obsessive toward the end. It turns out that 34 pages takes a long time to scan through checking for typos, and then I needlessly fretted over the formatting of my references section (like my committee cares). This is considerably more vetting than I gave to my master's thesis. It may just be a deep psychological need for stylistic perfection, since this is my one Achievement for 2008 (there might be two, if a paper in its second round of submissions gets accepted, but I'm not holding my breath).

The downside to all this is, I can't quite celebrate yet. I can't say I'm "done", because I haven't "passed". That will be determined three weeks from now, in an oral defense. Which means that as soon as my brain is recovered, I get to start putting together the presentation and re-reading critical papers for any questions my committee asks to test my fitness for Ph.D. aspirations.

And, getting the final paper in on Friday (instead of Monday) doesn't mean that I get to recover over the weekend - it means I get to do all the work I was going to do over the past three days, and didn't. But my brain feels only slightly more functional than after the marathon weekend draft-finishing session, so all that work gets to wait a few hours while I surf the net, eat, and try not to involve anything that requires conscious thought.

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