For months, I’ve been locked indoors trying to get enough of my dissertation finished so that I could walk in graduation. Last week, I handed something that sorta kinda looks vaguely like a maybe dissertation to my committee, much to the absolute joy of my family, I walked in Berkeley’s graduation. Of course, that does not mean that I’m graduated so don’t go calling me doctor. Oh, no, au contraire! This only means that I’ve walked and that my committee has full faith that I will be finished within six months. So, now, I have six months to file. ::gulp:: But it can be done!! It will be done!! I will finish!!
Graduation was a trip. My grandparents took their first flight in 13 years to come to California and join me on a very sunny day in Berkeley. I got to graduate with an amazing crop of Master’s students and four of my beloved PhDs. My former mentor Genevieve Bell gave a very inspiring talk filled with “anthropological advice” about how to approach the world like a fieldwork project. Post-graduation, I got some quality family time that involved a lot of food and wine tasting. It was a fantastic break, even if I’m now back to the grind.
As much as I’m a bit stir-crazy from all of the dissertation work, there’s a part of me that is absolutely loving the opportunity to hibernate and get clarity on what exactly I’ve been thinking about for the last five years. Lots of folks have told me that dissertations are archaic and silly, but I am soooo glad to be doing this. Having the opportunity to do some sustained thinking, get regular advice, and try to actually take my thinking to the next level has been a joyous thing. The downside is that it means that I have no life and am a complete hermit that has forgotten how to interact with humans. I now see how academics become the kooky creatures that they are. Tehehe.
Anyhow, I’m still gonna be a sucky communicator and blogger until I file this darn thing, but I feel as though progress is being made and graduation was a really nice reality check. Now I know that I. Am. Going. To. Finish. Grad. School. Darnit. W000t!