Smugness

Sorry for the posting hiatus, all. An old friend turned up at an ungodly hour on Tuesday morning, and stayed until Wednesday evening. Which was lovely in all respects, and involved a shopping trip resulting in a new umbrella and knee-hi socks with skulls and crossbones on them, but it was not particularly condusive to thesis-related progress. Normal posting will resume on the weekend.

As well as being pleased with my socks, I am pleased with myself for a couple of other things today:

academia,smallI have half a draft chapter due tomorrow, consisting of one manuscript description. Parts of it are quite definitely not going to happen- the DREADED TABLE mark two, concerning the Latin section of the MS, will not be appearing any time soon, for example. Other parts- such as the manuscript provenance- are proving too interesting for their own good.1 But nevertheless, a draft of some kind will be done by 6pm tomorrow, if I have any say in the matter.

Smugness the First: meanwhile, my friends in history have just handed in their proposals, with varying degrees of certitude about what it actually is they’re doing. English students are meeting on friday to ‘workshop’ the 250 word thesis statements they handed in last week. And here’s me with my half-chapter.

I can’t decide whether to smugly tell everyone that I’m writing already, or to keep my trap shut now, and four weeks from the deadline wander around waving my complete draft, which would get me lynch mobbed by stressed history students.

Or I could have some modesty and a little perspective, and remember that I have twice as much classwork as said history students, so in second semester when I’m juggling two classes and a thesis, they’ll be locked in the library from dawn to dusk. But that would be the boring option, surely?

Smugness the Secont: someone nominated this post and now I’m on Inside Higher Ed’s Around the Web. Thank you, anonymous nominator!

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1. Interesting in the OH. MY. GOD. Please-don’t-tell-me-I-have-to-disagree-with-Patrick-Wormald kind of Interesting way.

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2 Responses to “Smugness”

  1. B. Hawk Says:

    Go ahead and be smug. You deserve it.

  2. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    One of the nice things about Patrick Wormald was that he seemed to take disagreement as an amusing provocation. If you’d had to express your disagreement to him his eyes would have glittered, he’d have poured you another glass of wine and then given you three or four pithy sentences that showed you exactly why he thought your argument was idiotic. But the challenge was to come back with something to defend yourself with—he was after an argument, not to humiliate you. I was never taught by him officially, but he was almost always an inspiration to talk to because those three or four sentences always had something in you hadn’t thought of. I rather miss Patrick Wormald.

    On the main topic, writing early is good. Be aware that if my experience is anything to go by you will use almost none of that copy in the final draft and your examiners will find the obvious n00b mistakes in the bits you leave in with inevitable certainty. But it really helps with firstly knowing what on earth you’re working on and what you know about it, and secondly feeling as if you do, which is probably more important. You don’t know anything till you’ve tried to explain it to someone else.


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