The initial plan was to cut down the paper to the prescribed word limit, look over the outline, and print everything by 9pm. I even went to the faculty early - that is, early by my standards: I arrived there at 12.45pm.
In the end, I left at 11.20pm. I couldn't even go to Sainsbury's to buy toilet paper!
I think back to my LLM exams and how I did pretty much did this every day for five weeks straight and I don't understand at all how I survived. I feel so spent right now, and yet with a rush of adrenalin that's slowly but (hopefully) surely subsiding, and it is due to the latter that I am currently writing this.
I have not printed the outline because I cannot decide whether or not to keep the last paragraph. John said to cut it out; Dr P didn't have any objections. And me? I have no clue. I am hoping for a sudden stroke of inspiration that illuminates the decision tomorrow because that's better than being forced into a decision purely by the brute force of the deadline that will be hitting me repeatedly over the head.
I'm never positive about my work, and I am not about to be positive, not really anyway, but I feel better about this version of the first year paper than the shit I submitted in May. In May, I wrote my PhD outline with a combination of blind desperation and sheer terror; I genuinely hadn't the slightest clue what I was doing. This outline, I think, makes so much more sense and I've thought about it and I think it's actually viable at some level. The paper itself is more interesting than the shit I wrote the first time around. I just don't know why I didn't just do this to begin with.
In fact, it strikes me as oddly ironic and somewhat tragic that I incorporated into the outline an idea that I had, but dropped, back in November last year. It was something to do with nationality and nationhood. Imagine the beach holidays that I could've had over the past three months if I'd picked up on that, if I'd narrowed down the bloody topic earlier...
Then again, I am writing as if I will definitely pass, but let's not bring out the celebratory drums just yet. There's still a good chance that I am going to blow it again at the viva. I seriously cannot deal with these things. I cannot talk about my ideas. My writing, ideally, should speak for itself, and if it raises questions, then it's just shit, is it not? Alas, that's not how it works. Dr P said that we can never have a perfect paper, which crushed my perfectionist heart.
Okay, the adrenalin is wearing off and I've got a couple of things to talk about in a private entry so I'm gonna end this here.
Wait, before that: it is unreal that this PhD is turning me into some pseudo-patriot, but despite the aim of the proposed thesis, I am not a patriot and will never admit to being one. This comment needs context and a further explanation but I am tired and can't be bothered, and this is my blog and not a paper, so - so there.