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Handmade Generation Updates

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm a doctor!

I completed the dissertation, defended it, and have now earned my PhD. I am currently finishing up the copy editing. I'm really excited to start working on the book proposal so that I can get the work published for everyone to read.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The dissertation is completed!

My dissertation was accepted and defended. I am now a PhD. I am currently working on the final edits for publication of the dissertation. When it is complete and submitted I will post information on where to go to access the final dissertation.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Editing Phase

I have completed the first draft of my entire dissertation and gotten feedback from my chair. She really liked it and had very good feedback. Now I need to edit the entire document according to her feedback and send it out to my readers to get their feedback. I am very close to having a completed document. I'm a bit overwhelmed by this last stage. I find that I am emotionally daunted at the thought of having to go back in and do edits on what was initially so intense to write. The thing that drives me is the feeling that I would like to have this out and in the hands of people interested in reading it sooner rather than later. I have gotten very good feedback from a wide variety of people on their interest in the topic. I look forward to having a completed draft that I can send to a larger circle of people, and get their response on the work.

Once these edits are complete I will need to begin thinking about the various last minute details of finishing up the PhD, the abstract, the oral defense, and the final edits. I can't believe what a long and intense process writing a dissertation turns out to be. I wonder if all book writing feels like this?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost Through to the Other Side

I have just printed out a draft of my chapter 5, conclusion chapter. Hopefully it will read as smoothly as I think it will. If this is true, I will begin work shortly on rewrites to chapter 1 to include all of the various points and books that I have used that I didn't know about a year ago when I began writing. It looks as though the whole thing may end up being close to 400 manuscript pages. A bit long, but I have covered a huge amount of ground and still left so much out.

I'm incredibly excited to be this close. Now I just have to get the final draft through my committee. I'm crossing my fingers they like it. I'm hoping to have the whole thing ready to be defended by end of March.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Proposal Approved!

All three members of my committee have seen and like my proposal, the first two chapters of my dissertation. I am now moving ahead with the next 3 content chapters. I have roughed out each and just need to get the transcripts completed to place quotes in the body of the text and then pull the academic quotes for the analysis.

I am juggling all of the important critiques from the different committee members. What are the reasons for making the leap from linear historical analysis to genealogical? Why am I using the set of people I have chosen to study? Where do they fit into the literature I have analyzed? What is my analysis of the quotes that I am currently ending paragraphs with? End with my own words not some other persons words. Why am I using film to discuss aspects of counterculture kids?

Did I mention that I have named the group? I'm calling the Post-Cool Kids. I need to do a more detailed analysis of Cool to explain the reason for this. I need to state my complete thesis more clearly. I am arguing for the need to define this group as a specific recognizable group that has value when studied as a collective entity in American culture.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dreaming My Defense

I've begun the process of writing in earnest. I am working hard on Chapter 2. I have the entire thing outlined so I am now filling in the outline, first with the points I want to make just free form off the top of my head, then filling in with quotes from my interviews. After that I will go in and add quotes and arguments from academic works to verify, pin-down, or argue with my points. Then I will add quotes and points from memoirs, films and literature. Finally I will smooth it all together to create a whole chapter and make sure that any contradictions are on purpose and not just weakening my thesis.

As I have been writing my points it's been an intense process that feels like I'm finally putting proof to a conviction that I have always had. It's a very difficult experience to describe, but it feels like I'm ripping meaning out of myself, like it has been in there as a whole object and I'm extracting it. Perhaps this is the very social complex that I am trying to describe. It exists as a psychological complex inside of me, and now I am trying to extract it out, pick it apart and describe all of its pieces. In my moments of doubt I wonder if it is even possible for me to be able to pull out and describe what are in actuality complexes within my own psyche.

As I have been writing, my dreams have become a series of me describing and defending my various points to different internal characters. Last night I was getting a particularly severe judgment as I was trying to defend my concept of "cool." The person I was defending against was clearly a symbol of coolness that I didn't know I carried around with me. He was coolly unimpressed with my thesis and put me through my paces for most of the wee hours of the morning. I woke up with a painful feeling of uncertainty, and yet he is exactly the sort of character I wish to describe in that section of the dissertation. It was as if he was trying to intimidate me, like the lobbyist for that complex. Well, I will not be routed by my own psyche. I am moving forward into the next section with insecure resolve, but resolve nonetheless. I wonder if I will have any jitters at all when I finally stand for my oral defense, or if it will feel like a familiar process that I've been doing every night for over a year?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Updates

It is over seven months into the dissertation, a quarter of my time is spent. The interview process is winding down. I have had an incredible experience interviewing. What amazing wonderful people have allowed me to share in their stories. I am so excited to process them all.

I discovered a 20 year study done at UCLA on alternative lifestyle families. It is an incredible find and will add hugely to my work both informing it and backing up much of what I already was trying to say. The head of this study has said that he will be my External Reader and I am so thrilled. I was very nervous about the process of choosing a PhD outside of Pacifica to read my dissertation and give me helpful direction.

Now I must begin the process of writing the Proposal, the first two chapters of my dissertation, to show appropriate progress. This must be completed and approved by all three members of my committee by the end of Fall Quarter. Every phase of this project seems so daunting and huge in its own way. I'm sure once I have completed the Proposal I will look at the next steps as equally daunting. Will there be a moment of relief when this has ended or have I permanently become a stress monkey?