All entries for Thursday 09 November 2006

November 09, 2006

Thursday 9 November


Submission and the Best-Laid Plans

I wanted to hand in my thesis last Tuesday—but not being able to finish the final review with Andrew even as we rode the bus into Leamington on Monday evening really put paid to that idea. So I let Tuesday pass, making last alterations and enjoying the feeling of doing nothing before seven days’ work. I set my mind to finally putting project to bed on my next day off.

That was yesterday. I was still in my pyjamas when I came across the form for the nomination of examiners, which is required by the Graduate School “at least a month” before submission, apparently. Not a huge setback: the potential examiners have been identified and contacted, at least, but the delay should push assessment back beyond when I’m due to start my PhD in January. Still, I could tell that this wasn’t going to be as easy as all that.

When I finally got the copies of my dissertation into the Copyshop, I was told that I’d missed my last chance for binding that day and would have to pick them up this morning. I resigned myself to going back to campus to hand them in today. Then I get a phone call to say binding machine was broken and that copies might not be ready on time. As it was, I picked them up at lunchtime, and went on my way to formally submit. At last.

Only then, I saw that all three copies were bound without Introduction.

Doing something this stupid can be very painful indeed.

Fortunately, Copyshop can undo the binding for a (relatively) small fee, and insert the missing Introduction – so I won’t have to pay the full £25 for all reprinting and rebinding. But the afternoon shipment has gone (again) – there’s no way to get it done today. Work intervenes, and submission is put back another week. I have Wednesday 15th circled on the calendar.

How I feel now, if that’s the sum total of the delay, if I can – for example – avoid trying to use dissertations to put out a chip-pan fire, posting them to the Inland Revenue, or simply dropping them in the toilet, I will be happy. My own capacity for the spectacularly feckless has me totally dumbfounded.

For now, I’ve come home to sit, sulk, watch Torchwood taped off BBC2 last night, and reflect on the fact that even top-secret, alien-chasing (albeit fictional) institutions can make real howlers on a week-to-week basis too…

November 2006

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