Sobriquet 63.9: The Light, The Light!

I received an email from my dissertation supervisor this evening informing me that the introduction I'd sent her late last week meets with her approval and that, as of 6:02 post meridiem this 28th day of February, 2010, my dissertation on J. M. Coetzee is complete. This is not to say that I do not have some polishing left to do; I have several typos to fix and some formatting yet to do, but the actual writing of the dissertation is behind me.

Since there remains a good deal for me to say about the whole experience and because I have been asked to write a little bit about what I have learned about graduate school and dissertation-writing, this will not be the final post I make to the blog. I would like to devote some real time and energy to recording and sharing my observations on the dissertation and the blog project -- and I will do so in relatively short order.

Tonight, though, I really want to thank my friend, Minxy, for having been such a tremendous support the entire time I have been blogging my way through my dissertation.

On December 13, 2007, three days after I began my blog project, and before my dissertation had become a single-author study, I sent the following message to a few dozen friends and acquaintances:
Dear friends,

I am writing with a rather odd request, but one I hope a few of you will accept:

I have decided to blog my way through my dissertation. My logic is this: if I make regular posts to my blog and give myself small assignments knowing my friends are watching me, I figure I will get more done. Basically, I am requesting peer pressure. Knowing that you're expecting me to be productive will help me be productive, so read my website, link to it from your website(s), tell your friends, tell your enemies, whatever...just make me feel like someone expects me to do a bit of work every day. Please be the proverbial carrot for this mule!

Here's the address: The project begins with the post numbered 37.1
While a handful of my friends have regularly visited the blog, and although I have picked up a few readers over time as people researching Coetzee stumbled upon this website, Minxy has been, by far, my most consistent reader and commenter. Day-in and day-out, through the excruciatingly boring periods during which I posted little more than "I transcribed notes today" for weeks on end, Minxy has always been there to cheer me on.

And I needed that cheering. In the early days, especially, before a forced routine became habit, it really helped me to know that someone would check in on me to make sure I'd done a little bit of work. Now, more than two years later, when people are commending me on my dedication, I want to take a few seconds to thank Minxy for her dedication. It's a rare friend that will say "I've got your back" and, for literally twenty-seven months, have your back.

So, thank you, Minxy, from the bottom of my heart. I honestly cannot imagine having written this dissertation without you.

For tomorrow: Read a bit of Summertime. Because, you know, it'll be fun to read Coetzee for fun.


minxy said… I'm all misty-eyed. Thank you for the kindest words I think anyone has said to me. I'm so glad I was helpful to you, though I maintain that I didn't do much other than read and type a bit. I wish I had the words to express how grateful I am to have you as my friend and for the kindness you've shown me in turn over the past 27 months. You rock, my friend. :)

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