I guess I plan to do some writing exclusively the next two days or so. Actually, at this point, I don’t think I have a choice, as the laser is being moved around and someone took one of the photodiodes I was using. I guess that’s what’s called good timing or something. This morning I input all the data I gathered last week into Excel worksheets, and now I guess I’m ready to write the sections surrounding this measurement, as well as some other parts. I’m a little sluggish at this point in the afternoon, though, and my brain a bit cloudy to concentrate on a bunch of words. I guess I’ll take this little break and see if I can get into it soon.

Also, today I began contacting my thesis committee members to try to nail down an official date for my defense. The idea of announcing your commitment to a whole group of professors sure makes it feel, well, official. As long as I kept it to myself and maybe my advisor, if I chickened out or failed to get it done in time, there weren’t as many people who knew I didn’t reach my goal. Now, if for some reason I’m not going to make it, I have to admit that to a bunch more people. Though that would really be fine if I absolutely had to, it does add even more pressure to get it done. I guess pressure and deadlines area  good thing, as most of us don’t get a fire lit under us until something is breathing down our necks.

I am convinced that getting a group of professors together in one place at the same time just almost violates some sort of quantum uncertainty principle. If one professor will actually be available at a date and time, another one is almost bound by the laws of nature to be gone somewhere for a conference. It’s like herding Schrodinger’s cats. Therefore, asking a full two and a half months in advance is necessary in order to get the biggest professional event of your entire life on their busy calendar.

Even then, periodic reminders are a necessity to keep it fresh in their mind. I’ve heard too many stories about professors not showing up to students’ defenses. It’s also not impossible that something “more important” will come up and they choose to schedule that over your thesis and make you move it. It’s very frustrating that such a big event–one that all professors have gone through themselves, too–is so easily disregarded by some faculty. First of all, it’s part of their job at the university to attend to their new prospective graduates. Secondly, has it been so many years since their own defenses that they have completely forgotten how important it was to them and how each student must be feeling the same way? Fortunately, this isn’t the case for the majority of faculty, and so far I’ve been lucky to not have trouble scheduling. I have two of five left to nail down, and hopefully their schedules will coordinate with the week I’m looking at. Then I guess it’ll be official.

So that’s the plan for the week….writing, trying to stay awake, and setting a date. Guess I should get back to it…I have “miles to go before I sleep.”