Friday, June 22, 2007

What to do when you turn in your dissertation

I don't have a PhD and was never even remotely tempted to try it, but Susan is writing a History of the Whole World, and here's what she's doing now that the dissertation has been turned in.

1. Watched all three seasons of The Office twice.
2. Reread the entire ouevre of Dick Francis from beginning to end.
3. Run about a zillion miles on deserted country roads while listening to the entire collected works of Sophie Kinsella. (I wish I were a shopaholic. If you’re going to obsess over something, wouldn’t it be more fun to obsess over shoes than over the exact ways in which Frankish kings were recognized as legitimate?)
4. Viewed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy from beginning to end. The expanded DVD versions. With all the extras. The Two Towers, twice.
5. Worked my way from Mr. Midshipman Hornblower all the way up through the final book in the series. For about the twentieth time in my life.
6. Baked forty batches of cookies. (Approximation.)
7. Ate a significant portion of those cookies all on my own. (See #3, above. This is why boosting my average mileage-per-run from five to nine or ten miles has NOT dropped me a dress size.)
8. Sat and stared at the thousand pages of formless, shapeless medieval history on the left side of my desk.
9. Moved my chair to the other side of my desk and sat some more and stared at the manuscript of my revised dissertation, which is almost but not quite ready to send off to the university press which might publish it.
10. Read the first page of about a dozen new novels which, somewhere deep down, I really want to finish.
11. Read the flap copy of five or six really fascinating new history books which, even deeper down, I really want to start.

She also has a great story about a trip to the dentist with her kids, things I never thought about because I didn't home school.

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