So yesterday I had my thesis proposal defense meeting. This is really the beginning of the thesis-writing process. I submit a thorough proposal and then I have to meet with a committee of professors (that I chose) and together we all decide if it is solid enough for me to continue. I was really nervous about it, but it all turned out really well. They approved my topic with flying colors and offered me some very valuable insight on how to organize my ideas and write it.
This is actually a huge milestone for me. Even though I still need to write the thing, I didn’t plan to do it before the birth of this child. I really, really, really wanted to just get it proposed and defended. But for a while there during the summer when I felt I was slacking off, I began to doubt myself. I thought I wasn’t working hard enough and it would never be finished on time. My “practice proposal” that I wrote for the first class I took in grad school was nearly 20 pages and very in-depth. This one ended up being only 7. I guess I can chalk it all up to learning better how to work smart, not just hard. I was actually very surprised that my adviser approved the first draft of my proposal that I sent to her. The only glitch in the process has been that my third committee member, a prof I chose from the English department, didn’t show up and has been quite unresponsive. So we are going to try to proceed with a two-person committee. I don’t see how this will be a problem, unless the grad office just doesn’t like change!
My new title is: “Birthing Conflict: Childbirth and the Battle of the Sexes in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama” (it used to be Early Modern English Drama, but this title’s more specific and accurate)
So now I’m going to put it on hold probably so I can focus on getting ready for birth and baby. But I’m actually now really excited to write it. The meeting yesterday was actually a lot of fun, and it felt great to be back in the academic world again. I’m glad this chapter of my life isn’t completely over!