Last week I took my friend's dissertation to get bound & submitted. As much as I wished it was my finished dissertation in my hands, I enjoyed the opportunity to do a trial run. I was able to see just how much binding it costs, how long it takes, where you go to submit the final product, what they'll ask you, etc.
A couple of weeks back, we went to a celebration for a friend who had just had his viva. He managed to pass with no corrections, which is an absolutely brilliant result, but the viva still sounded like an agonizing 90 minutes for him. I was thrilled for him, and anxious about what my own is going to be like.
The graduation ceremonies have been taking place on campus last week, too. I love seeing the proud graduates & their families. There are just a handful of these major family occasions in life--births, graduations, weddings, funerals--and graduations are the only kind that reflect a real achievement.
Witnessing these three things, submission, viva & graduation, has reminded me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's really very close. On a day to day basis, I feel like this dissertation is not happening. I write and re-write and cut huge sections and re-think entire chapter formats, and my word count changes so little after so much effort. Sometimes the number even goes down, which is a heartbreaking sight.
But, in the grand scheme of things, it's almost done. Really, whether or not I'm happy with every single word and idea, it will be finished and submitted, sooner rather than later. Ideally by 1 October. The end is nigh!