Either I ate something bad, or my stomach is simply tied up in knots at the prospect of turning in a full draft of my dissertation to my advisors on Monday. Given the emotional turmoil of the past couple years from working on this, I'm inclined to think it's the latter.
I have to say that this dissertation is hugely improved in the last few months and it's finally something that I feel I can hand in. I still have my issues with it though, and I'm still terrified that my advisors are going to hate it so much that they refuse to pass me and instead kick me out of the program. Hey, it's possible!
But I'm trying, really trying, not to allow these thoughts. Yesterday I was considering what I would do if that happened, how would I react, who would I talk to... and then I caught myself because that it is really just ridiculous to entertain these ideas. First of all, it's totally counterproductive. And second, I do actually think it's unlikely. I didn't write 350 pages (yes, 350 pages, I know, it's way too long) of complete drivel. I hope and think that it's passable drivel. We will see.
Anyway, very soon I plan to return to this world and I hope that my shift in perspective, the feeling of completion and moving on, will be worth it. I suppose that won't happen until I've really passed, but I do think that just turning this in is a big deal. I'm turning it in in person on Monday in Baltimore, packing up the rest of the boxes in my office (hm, Tuesdayscoming, got any plans on Monday afternoon?), then hopefully catching up with Chiaroscuro for a bit, and then driving back home. On Tuesday I'll pack a suitcase and then head to the airport with J to visit his family for ten days! I cannot wait. If I can keep my mind from things like potentially failing out of grad school when I have no evidence that this is imminent or even likely, I might even be able to relax.
I sound a little crazy, don't I? Hopefully, this too, will pass.
One thing that might help take my mind of stressful things is the Mamiya C330 professional camera that J's father has from his earlier days as a wedding photographer that he's going to let me try out. To say that I am excited is a gross, gross understatement! I'm not expecting magic though; in fact, I'll be lucky if the photos turn out looking like I took them with a Holga. (Actually, that would be lucky, since I really like the effects of a Holga.) But what's going to make using the Mamiya especially difficult is that 1) it's film so I won't be getting any feedback about whether I'm getting the exposure right or not, and 2) it doesn't even have a built in light meter so I'm going to have to use my camera's light meter and then do conversions to account for differences in ISO, aperture, and field of view. And yet, this still sounds fun to me. :)