I haven’t been around much for the past month because I’ve been beating a long-dead horse, namely my thesis/dissertation. At the end of May, I had a complete draft sitting at approximately 72,000 words. Since then, I’ve gone through two more edits (bringing the word count up to 84,000) and am nearing the completion of the third and final edit. I’ve read through this thing so many times, I’ve begun to have dreams about presenting some of it in a lecture (oddly, one of those lecture dreams had me teaching theology through a maths department!?).
The thesis was signed off by my supervisors at my last meeting with them last week, and the examination committee has been decided, as well as the date of the viva voce (dissertation defence in American-speak) — it’s in mid-August for those few readers interested. I’ve now completely gone through and proofread the thesis from start to end, checking internal references, finding a few repeated sentences (four pairs of them! often chapters apart!), looking for grammatical errors, wording issues, etc. In addition, I’ve been lucky to hook two people into proofreading it, hopefully minimising the number of stylistic errors (word of advice: if you’re writing a thesis in UK English and having an American proofreader, you may want to mention some of the basic spelling differences such as -ise, -our, and -tre [instead of -ize, -or, and -ter]!). If I don’t submit my thesis tomorrow, Monday would make for a fun double-entendre (since it’s the celebration of the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence from the UK…).
However, that is only part of the fast-paced life in the past month. In addition to that, I had organised a conference at the beginning of June which, while it had a small attendance, was quite interesting because the general call for anything related to theology and religious studies ended up creating a conference theme around ‘identity’ quite unintentionally (from my end at least). Furthermore, my wife and I will be leaving Glasgow shortly (mid-July) to return to the US (before the UK government tries to kick us out by force). So, for the past month, I’ve been finishing my thesis/dissertation, organising a conference, and preparing our house for yet another transatlantic move. The last days of a thesis move way too quickly — and just when you might think it’s all over!