The completed rough draft (and an updated framing essay) have been submitted to my committee as of yesterday! I already got feedback from my director, which I've implemented.
The next stage of the process is making additional revisions from my other two committee member's feedback, then scheduling my defense (and filling out the paperwork for it). When I asked what the defense process would be like, here is the answer I received:
What happens at the defense:
I'll come back later and reflect on the process of finishing up the draft (what happened between my last post and this one).
It is currently my Spring Break and I learned last week that my CAP draft needs to be turned into my committee for revisions by March 26, because CAP/Thesis defenses must take place by April 26. Those dates set me into a little bit of a panic that, although it subsided, has stayed in the back of my mind. I was assuming I had until May 1 or 2 for defenses. I know that's not that many more days, but any time a deadline is pushed forward (whether it was actually pushed forward or I am just imagining that it was) I get nervous, more nervous than usual.
So my break isn't much of a break. I need to finish as much of my CAP as possible. If the weather would cooperate, I would try to write at the park, but it is cold, windy, and gray almost every day. I love the gray, blustery weather, but not for working outside! It is a strange time of the season. The robins are out but may be a bit too chilly and regretting coming out. Blossoms on trees and other plants are poking out, but they aren't getting much sunshine or warmth to help them grow. It seems like it is like this every year, at least since I've been in college. Spring Break is too early to actually enjoy being outside if you stay home. The primary and secondary schools here will have Spring Break during the last week of March, leading up to Easter. They might have a better chance of enjoying the weather, but it's still not beach season! It's also unusually windy because of the nor'easter and winter storms happening farther north. We're getting the bottom end of the gusts, I suppose. So instead of chiming gently, peacefully, the wind chimes are flailing out of control.
I also have to sleep on a couch all break long, because my grandmother is staying with my parents at night and she needs to sleep in an actual bed more than I do. Waking up to bright lights and the noise of people coming and growing through the front door because I'm sleeping in the living room has me feeling "off" as well.
It won't be a restful break, to say the least.
What does any of that have to do with illness? Everything, I guess. I really needed this break to be restful. I needed to recuperate from the stress of school, the stress of work, the stress of trying to take care of my family, the stress of dealing with physical and mental illness, the stress of applying for PhD programs, the stress of looking for jobs if I don't get accepted into any PhD programs, where would I live if I don't get into any PhD programs, where will I live if I do get into any PhD programs, etc, ad nauseum.
Instead, I've got to write this paper and make another sample syllabus for my other class and all I want to do is lay around, eat, watch TV, and make art. But I can't. My fear of failure has been kicking in and causing me to procrastinate as well. I really dread writing the literature review portion of the paper and want to keep putting it off. I have been at my parents' house for five days and haven't done any work on this project and that's not good but I just can't force myself to do it.
Here's what I need to do to finish my CAP:
I'm just your average fictional creature, living in a swampland by the sea.