Sunday, April 23, 2006

Reflection on an Unfinished Job

On Tuesday I went to see my secondary thesis reader at NYU. Throughout the previous weekend I had been a nervous wreck in anticipation of what he would say, especially any critiques of my work.

“You are definitely on the right track” he says after reviewing my draft.

Relief. Lots of relief.

We go over several details of the draft and where I could improve on. Nothing too bad thankfully, but some major changes were needed. All-in-all a very productive hour with him analyzing, correcting, and figuring out what to do.

At the end, he drops a bombshell: “I expect your next draft in three weeks.”

Oh shit.

“Well…um…you see….I have about a week-and-a-half to get this all done.”

“I’m afraid that will be impossible.”

Oh shit (again).

He explains that the last thing I could afford to do is hand in a rushed job that would turn out to be incomplete. I need to be meticulous and analytical since the thesis is about a unique topic. My thesis has a lot of potential to be an extraordinary report so I should continue progressing the way that I have so far. He even offers himself as a thesis reader over the summer, a move that I’ve been told he rarely does.

I accept though I’m unsure of whether to smile or cry.

So much work, so much sacrifice, so much effort only to have to put it off yet again.

By the end of the day, though, I looked back at what he said; it was good work and it was going in the right direction. My dismay has turned into determination to get the job done right. Perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but maybe I could present the finished thesis at a conference or get it published. There’s no limit to how good this could be so I will give it my all.

Even if it means continuing to grow this itchy, hairy beard out.

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