Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still standing

I am so sorry for the prolonged silence. I embarrassed to admit that I actually turned the thesis in on Monday -- I just needed a few days to try quashing my rising panic about finding work, so I fled to the partner's abode for the week. The panic is only partially quashed, but at least I'm catching up on sleep.

All in all, thesis completion was fairly uneventful...except for a few tips I'll pass along:

1. Avoid disciplines that are OCD about maps to the point where you are forced to create your own by cutting and pasting tiny bits of MapQuest images into a blank Photoshop document, which you then illustrate in Paint because you do not care about Photoshop's ability to create multiple layers but you do care very much about its ability to make a simple freaking blue line without doing "artistic" things to it, like making it transparent or spontaneously transforming it into something that decidedly does not resemble a line. If your discipline is this anal, I would recommend dropping out, even if it is a week before the thesis deadline.

2. If you foolishly decide to create a map using said process, make sure you zoom in to at least 800% on your hastily assembled Paint map monstrosity.

3. This helps you avoid a Paint creation which resembles something drawn by a catnip-intoxicated cat with a paintbrush tied to its tail, because failing to zoom in means you miss all of those tiny little pixels that the "fill" button did not cover, thanks to cribbing pixels off MapQuest.

4. If you do let your cat Paint, at least print a test page of the damn thing before you walk for 40 minutes to reach your friend's color printer.

5. Definitely print a test page before you print the entire frigging thesis twice at 2am and trimphantly announce you are done. Discovering the Paint problem can be a real letdown at that point.

6. Load up your jump drive with Every Single File you used to create the thesis, even the image files you swear you'll never use again. This prevents you from walking back to your friend's house a second time at 9am the following morning to print the Paint image you stupidly created when you could have just drawn the thing on an Etch-a-Sketc and stapled the thesis to it.

7. Beware of the office supply store which charges reasonable rates for thesis binding.

8. Do not leave the office supply store alone with your thesis.

9. I would also recommend against standing more than five feet away from the binding machine, as that's where I was stationed.

10. Even when you are five feet away, do not doubt the possibility that they can bind one half of your thesis upside-down and tear parts of the other copy out of the binding.

11. Do not go home without discovering this.

12. Do apologize to your friend for the 800th time as you trek back again to print the color pages which they bound upside down, since the holes are now on the wrong side of the document.

13. Do call the office store and speak to them in an alarmingly cheerful manner, lacing the end of each sentence with a knife-edge laugh that conveys the impression you are still deciding whether to forgive them or to test the binding machine on their appendages.

It's done, it's in, and if they call me for a viva, I will show up in my best punk paraphenelia and instantly convince them that it would be best just to leave me out on the department steps, laughing/sobbing and throwing bits of my thesis into the wind.


Auglaise said...

Congradulations! You must be so relieved to have it finally finished. ^_^

kristy said...

Congratulations! Take a deep cleansing breath.

Yeah, okay. You can let it out now.

Oh, or take a prescription painkiller if you can get your hands on one. That works too.

joanium said...

Sounds like hell. I have nightmares about such things.

I hope the job search is going well and I'll see you soon!

Anonymous said...

congrats, dear. it's over. go buy yourself a beer. or some very decadent dessert. you deserve it. i'm proud of you.

-berkeley girl

Meg said...

Auglaise, thanks! I am quite relieved (although my utter cluelessness about where to go next is ruining my ability to revel in it).

Kristy, thanks! Painkillers...mmmmm.

Hey Joan. It was a blast. I've been reading your blog -- hope things aren't too crazy right now! Good luck with the move. As for the job search, um...we don't talk about that. ;)

Gracias, darling. Miss you. Loved your last email missive. Hope all is well (are you back now?).