Abd

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by Michael K., Jan 8, 2008.

  1. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Just out of curiosity, I'm seeing a lot of people in history PhD programs in this thread. What fields are you guys in? I'm looking to do East Asian.
     
  2. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Latin America, though I am hardly a historian anymore.
     
  3. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ....because being a BigSoccer mod trumps real-life qualifications? :confused:;)


    I wonder if there are other comp lit / theory people out there in BSland.
     
    Nacional Tijuana repped this.
  4. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Funny that there should be a few new responses in this thread, as I've just trundled an armful of books from the library. After months of inactivity (moving, new job) it's about time I got back on the dissertation beam.

    Communications/Media studies over here, though my diss has much to do with cultural theory, urban studies, and sports as anything else.
     
  5. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    The idea of a dissertation for what I want to study actually doesn't scare me nearly as much as the brutal language requirement. Most PhD programs that let you focus on East Asia require reading proficiency in classical Chinese and Japanese at minimum before even letting you write the dissertation.
     
  6. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll be ABD in about 1 1/2 months, and "months of inactivity" is something I'm looking forward to. Not years, mind you, but some down time.

    I started my PhD right after undergrad, and I changed departments and was "held back" a year, so I've already had 1 extra year of grad school. I'm a little burned out--and I was always the guy who said it wouldn't happen to him. Epic wrong.

    Next year is my year of funding with no teaching strings attached, and I can't wait to move out of Durham! :D
     
  7. fischerw

    fischerw Member+

    Sep 15, 2004
    Joplin, MO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can't wait for some "inactivity" myself. I should become ABD next fall, but I've got a LOT to do between now and then.

    Seriously, though, when I become ABD, I want to give myself at least *some* time to sit on the couch and watch movies.

    I'm in a Latin American history program, by the way.
     
  8. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Update:

    Got myself a defense date after months of trying to coordinate things. Woo hoo! Late next week is my defense. While waiting, I've polished 4 papers into articles, much to my surprise. I've submitted one, will submit another tomorrow and then 2 more after getting feedback from my committee next week.

    And that's after a cross-country move. :)
     
  9. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My update:
    I'm sitting in the library doing a translation (but getting paid for it, plus a publication in a peer-reviewed journal), and I'll be ABD in about a month!

    Until then, I'll be the haggard-looking one who needs a shave...
     
  10. Dominican Lou

    Dominican Lou Member+

    Nov 27, 2004
    1936 Catalonia
    I should be ABD by the end of this school year.

    Currently getting my committee ready (or my Dream Team, as I call them) and gathering up a reading list for my qualifying exams.
     
  11. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I write a page, or a couple pages, or maybe a little bit more a week. I've got to ramp it up a bit. No pressure except the self-induced kind, but I've got a loooooong way to go.
     
  12. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Make sure you write... anything... 15 minutes every single day.

    [/biggest m'f'ing hypocrite on the gosh dang planet] :D


    So I'm defending my thesis next week, and I'm sleeping pretty well... no stress.

    Wake up this morning to an email from the most unknown entity of my committee: "URGENT. Must speak to you ASAP!"

    6 hours of friggin' torture waiting for her to call. I had no idea if she was calling to inform me of major revisions or what.

    She misplaced my thesis, couldn't find it; send a copy right away. Whew.
     
  13. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Defended today. Got grilled. Got thrown under the bus by my advisor.

    He... um... failed to tell me that he found structural inconsistencies w/ the application of the theory I put forth.

    He doesn't "do" theory, and I think he was just pissed that I got uppity and theoretical, and/or didn't see concretely the problems and/or didn't know how to articulate it.

    So he just waited for the rest of the committee to point them out.

    Who the **** knows.

    But it shouldn't have gone to committee. I sat on the thing for SIX MONTHS. And NOW they inform me that I need to reorganize and clarify certain things.

    DICK!!!

    At the end of the meeting, two committee members were annoyed that this came out of the blue and stayed to ... you know... guide me. Their having spent 30 minutes doing my advisor's work probably saved me about 2-3 months of work.


    I guess the moral of the story is to touch base w/ your committee. Keep them abreast of how you're doing. Had I done that, they probably would've pointed this out.
     
  14. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    Don't drink beer but like cheese
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hell yeah. My wife did that on an informal basis. She actually "interviewed" her committee before selecting it (sneaky :)). But, she did screw up a bit and only got her dissertation to her committee on the last possible day - one person was even out of town, so the secretay said "I'll say it was delivered on time." But, the biggest comment the wife got was not on the thesis or the information, it was how it was written - she wrote it in a way that was both interesting and showed her thought process. She literally said "...and I wondered why [it] behaved that way. So I went back and looked at my data. I saw..."

    And when she presented, she was polished, but used casual language occationally.
     
  15. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wow. I'm sorry to hear that.
    What next?
     
  16. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What an awful story, I'm really sorry to hear this. Do you have the kind of relationship witih your advisor where you can bring up your (legitimate!) concerns about being thrown under the bus? What does your timeline look like now?

    I hope I don't encounter problems similar to your own...I'm actually in a theory department, and on my prelim committee i have 2 philosophers, 1 literary historian, and another guy who famously repudiated theory in the early or mid-90's. I'm really hoping this won't cause problems, but after my exams I may rethink my committee....
     
  17. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    It's good that you have a couple of people that give enough of a shit to help you out after this. Like you said, keep them abreast. Don't know what to tell you about your advisor, though. Good luck not punching him out when you meet him again.

    Is that last guy named Frank, with an Italian last name?
     
  18. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, that's him. Nice catch. :D

    He's a great guy. I just worry about radically conflicting world views on my committee, in light of the above story....
     
  19. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My guess is that if, erm, Frank was going to be a problem he would've left Duke a decade ago, or just quit serving on committees and things like that. The fact that he's still, you know, doing his job, suggests that he will do his job on your committee. Now, the other guys... Good luck.

    Actually, this could be a great thing for you. If you can negotiate the clash of world views you will probably get the highest pass possible, and some killer recommendations for when you apply for jobs.
     
  20. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Revise, resubmit to my advisor. Once he says, "Yea," the rest have agreed to sign off.

    I've looked at the dissertation again, and went through the first half w/ a fine comb looking for the cancer. It wasn't as wide-spread as I thought, but it IS significant. In just one weekend I've identified roughly 60% of the problem, while observing that dagnabbit... I actually have their arguments embedded in the text, but I was so thrown off by getting broadsided that I couldn't remember the details to justify myself.

    But it's aiight. It gives me an opportunity to highlight those arguments w/in the dissertation, and having had to think about the fact that 4 readers missed these critical points, it actually has made me think of even more arguments for my case, which will now be incorporated into my "new" thesis.

    Like I said, the comments and criticism were entirely valid, but my adviser should have brought them up several months ago at a minimum, and maybe even two years ago.
     
  21. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Does UCLA not have a fourth member who comes from Graduate Studies to ensure the process happened fairly vis-a-vis the candidate? This sort of major oversight on the part of an advisor should be noted by that person.
     
  22. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    My fourth member is a dean from graduate division, coincidentally.

    I think the only recourse I have right now is to bite the bullet. The only thing I've truly lost is about 5-7 months to get this sorted out.

    But all is not lost. I was able to polish and submit 2 articles, w/ 2 more to be submitted over winter break.
     
  23. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Prelims start next week. Written exams on Tuesday and Thursday. Oral isn't until November 11, however.

    The worst part of this is reconciling the anxiety fostered by the process with everyone's assurances that prelims in our program aren't a big deal. That somehow makes me worry more.
    I can't wait till this is over. :D
     
  24. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm glad to hear you're making it through that ordeal and that all is not lost. I hope like hell I don't have to go through anything like that when the time comes.

    As for me, here's the good news: I got another couple pages done today, and combined with other work I did this week...I feel like I'm finally rolling again for the first time since early summer. Up till now, with job hunting, moving, and starting to teach taking up my time and attention, I just haven't been anywhere near this thing.

    The bad news: As great as another couple pages is, I've still got a long, long way to go on it. I'm maybe a quarter of the way there, and I'm hardly parsimonious with words. Knowing me, I'll just write and write and wri...

    The (potentially) ugly news: I don't know, man. I've been here for almost 3 months and I haven't really been out once. I literally have not met one person in this city except for my colleagues (of whom I only ever really see one), and while splendid folks, they're not the people I'm going to be hanging out with a couple times a week. I've just been reading and sitting inside my place, trying to save money and seeing no point in walking the hundred yards to the bars, when I can have a quiet beer at home much cheaper. (Also, I just haven't had much need or desire for booze tbh). I guess I'm just taking this as part of the territory with Being in Academic Life, especially while at a small liberal arts college (which I really do like) and getting the dissertation done one of these days. I have absolutely no reason to think that the next eight months are going to be any different than the past three.
     
  25. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am officially ABD. Finally. A year late. But I did it.



    I'm tired.
     

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