Monday, November 26, 2007

For this I Wrote a Dissertation?

I spent way too much time today trying to schedule a meeting. Yep, I'd scheduled a room almost three weeks ago for this meeting, and got told today that a really important thing had to take place, requiring full departmental participation, in our meeting place. Would we mind rescheduling?

For some reason this semester, we've been rescheduling a lot. But this, too, is important, and we need to reschedule.

So I got out the committee master schedule. At the beginning of the semester, I asked one of our departmental admin assistants to make a schedule of when the (then) four members of our committee had unscheduled time in common. (We're required to turn in a schedule card with all our regular time commitments for just such a purpose.) There're two hours on Monday morning, two hours on Wednesday morning, and another at 11 am on Wednesday, or an hour late Wednesday afternoon. Three hours on Thursday morning, an hour on Friday morning, and late Friday afternoon.

Complicating things: we added a member after the master schedule was made up, and we've invited another departmental colleague to talk to us about an issue. (And the next Friday afternoon, another committee with two members in common with us, has that locked up.)

So, I checked both of their schedules with the admin assistant, open Monday and Wednesday mornings, and Wednesday at 11! So I emailed to change our meeting to Wednesday at 11. But then someone said s/he actually has a class then. So that's out.

So I suggested either Monday or Wednesday at 8am. And the new committee member emailed back to say she actually has something scheduled, but didn't put it on the schedule card for the admin assistant. I tried Thursday, and nope, someone else has a class then. And then there's a medical appointment, and a special activity for another, and this and that.

I suggest late Wednesday afternoon, and a few minutes later get a visit from a committee member to tell me that there's another departmental meeting that's going to be scheduled for then. Good to know, eh?

So, I'm down to three things: Late Friday afternoon (I can hear the "I have to pick up my kid" complaints already forming), or the Friday that's the last day of classes, OR (and this is my favorite), it can wait until next semester when I've run away to Asia!

I know what I'm voting for!

It took me two years to write my dissertation, which came in at 300+ pages, and supposedly made an original contribution to my field. And this is my reward.


  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    I got my dissertation reward almost immediately, then. It took nearly an entire semester to find 1 hour in which all the members of my committee could meet for the defense.

    Fortunately, that was the only negative aspect to the experience (which I realize is unusual, believe me).

  2. maybe that's why my defense was on a Friday night over a Chinese dinner? could work for a committee, maybe.

  3. My father (who isn't very up on the vagaries of academia) thought that they should just give me the phd after prelims because I worked so hard. That would have been nice, I suppose. When I'm not bashing my head against my keyboard, I actually still like my dissertation.