ABD and preparing for The Year of the Dissertation

ABD = “All But Dissertation.” Photo credit.

We were sitting in the car a couple weeks ago when Mr. T turned to me and in the most loving Mr. T way, said something along the lines of: “I’m tired of hearing about this. Why don’t you stop talking about it and just write the thing already?” When I tried to protest that the talking (and stewing and procrastinating and oh yeah, data collecting) is necessary in order to write a dissertation, he repeated “No, just write it already.” Well, apparently I’m getting to that stage.



Mr. T is thrilled to bestow upon me a new title: Doctoretta Candidata.

This afternoon I passed my prospectus defense. This means that my committee (super smart faculty people chosen by me to guide the project) signed off on my dissertation proposal, including research questions, methods, and supporting literature. This means I’m a “doctoral candidate.” This means that the only thing left between me and Blue Muse, Ph.D. is a dissertation. This means I need to get to WORK. Preferably more to the now than the later. Whew.

First, of course, is the celebrating. And then the Institutional Review Board* approval. And then begins The Year of the Dissertation. It’s slightly terrifying to be “let loose” on my project after having spent so much time thinking and planning and preparing. And now, what? Just do it. Really? Really.

So I’m warning you. Expect (look forward to? salivate over?) some dissertation-themed posts here and there. Don’t be surprised if I disappear for weeks at a time in the name of research. And please, please forgive me in advance for the inevitable Piranhas are Eating my Brains posts that are sure to follow.

Until then…

shawna, ABD

* Research involving human participants must get approval by a university ethics committee.

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