The One-Hundred-and-Twenty-Eight Page Exchange: “Stuff” is Getting Real, My Friends!

I met with my supervisor this morning to do a “chapter exchange”: I gave him a freshly revised sixty-eight page behemoth, and he returned sixty pages, freshly corrected, that he’s been sitting on for months now.

I thought I'd celebrate having this chapter returned to me by relaxing this afternoon with some light reading.
I thought I’d celebrate having this chapter returned to me by relaxing this afternoon with some light reading.

As we sat chatting about what he’d like me to change—relatively little, to my great relief—he suggested, as he has a few times, in the past month or so, that he doesn’t need to see any more of my work until I have a full, pretty polished, draft of the whole. damn. thing.

By the end of September, say? Why not.

Cue my heart, which didn’t know whether to pound its way out of my chest in excitement, pride, or fear.

On the one hand, it’s nice that my supervisor has such faith in me and my work. On the other, I have little-to-no faith in myself or in the academic sludge that I produce now that I have epilepsy (anxiety disorder, fuelled by chronic neurological condition, for the win!).

I recognize that I’m in a highly enviable position in that while my supervisor is incredibly empathetic and understanding, he never gives me the impression that he’s lowered his standards for me because of my medical problems, which would not be a situation that I’d easily handle (much as the thought of less pressure is somewhat appealing, at times, I’ll want to know that I’ve truly earned this thing when I convocate, and I will convocate, goshdarnit). If the end-of-September date that he casually tossed out there today doesn’t end up being reasonable, he’ll be cool with that—in fact, he made sure to let me know that it’s flexible. I find it immensely pleasing, however, that he thinks I’m at a point that having a good draft finished by then is a tenable goal, one that I—seizures and all—could potentially reach.

Bring it.

(Longer, better-edited post next time: I promise.)

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