The deed is done. The battle is won. Rest now knocks at my door.
Summer now knocks at my door.
How in the world?! has April turned into May, and May into June, with July stealthily encroaching? I barely remember any of it. For the first time since my one-day outing to the Cairngorms at the beginning of April, but really since my return to Scotland from Minnesota last January, I’m finally coming up for air.
Last Friday I reached my hard-earned goal of submitting my 106,000-word-dissertation draft to Professor Wright for review. Those 106,559 words are 2 3/4 years in the making. Collectively, they represent the thoughts that have consumed me for at least the last two years; whether in waking, walking to work, working, writing, walking home from work, or wearied from another day, these thousands of words are representative of my life in Scotland. (In case you’re unaware, ‘living in Scotland’ does not equal ‘every day’s a new adventure’. On the contrary, ‘living in Scotland’, at least for me, means thinking and re-thinking, examining and re-examining the same thoughts and ideas day after day after day after day after day after day in an incredibly mundane day to day existence. Somehow I feel like I know too-well the cow’s subjection to a monotonous life of chewing its cud. [Part of the subjection of creation (Rom. 8:20), I wonder?]) But, alas, Friday came and ‘SEND’ was clicked; thanks be to God.
Moreover, due to Professor Wright’s intense travel schedule these days, the turn-around time for submission-review-feedback was lighting fast. Yesterday played host to a 3-hour marathon meeting, where we talked through the strengths and weaknesses of the draft as it currently stands. His feedback was highly encouraging, and definitely confirmed my suspicion: there is definitely a light at the end of this long and winding tunnel. While there are seemingly thousands of bits and pieces to alter here and there, only one chapter (which I already knew) and a handful of smaller chunks of chapters require substantial revision. This is to say that, while there is a lot of work yet to do, none of it will be particularly difficult. The so-called ‘hard work’ is done. My original contributions to scholarship are in place, and my argument is clear and (I think) persuasive. I’m 25,000 words over the limit, but removing words is a whole lot easier than generating new ideas and research. It’s a good place to be.
It feels good to reach a milestone such as this, and even better to know that the work I’ve produced is quality. It also feels good to know that a Minnesota summer is quickly approaching, being at this point exactly one week from knocking at my door. Though I don’t yet dream of humidity and the Minnesota mascot, the Mighty Mosquito, I do anxiously await warmth, sun, and one of mankind’s greatest inventions—the hammock.
Move over mom, I’m coming home!