I submitted my thesis today

ACCO-Press bound thesis
ACCO-Press bound thesis

When I woke up this morning, I was three steps away from submitting my thesis:

  1. Get French translation of my abstract
  2. Print thesis
  3. Get my supervisor’s signature

Well, it turns out my translator’s computer crashed, and so I didn’t get the French version of my abstract until exactly 12h today.

I printed my thesis—all 87 pages—bound it in ACCO-press binders, applied the necessary stickers, packed everything up and then wondered why I hadn’t heard back from my supervisor. He’s generally very fast at responding to emails, and last night he offered by email to sign my thesis submission form this afternoon, so it was surprising that he hadn’t got back to me.

I called his office. I called his home. I sent another email. I decided to do a stakeout at the Biomedical Ethics Unit and see if I run into him. When I was putting on my shoes, I considered for a moment whether I should put on my running shoes or my regular shoes. I had this nagging feeling like somehow I would end up sprinting to the James Administration Building at the last second, and that I would be happy to be wearing running shoes. Then I dismissed that thought. All I had to do, after all, is get my supervisor’s signature and then walk across the street and submit it. Putting running shoes on would be silly.

I put my regular shoes on and went to the Bioethics Unit to look for my supervisor. I ran into the administrative assistant who informed me that he was having a terrible day. A few seconds later I got a phone call from him.

Apparently my supervisor had a minor car accident and spent the morning in the emergency room. He invited me to his house to have the forms signed. This would not normally have been a problem, but Villa-Maria station (where he lives) is closed until September 6, and so I went to Vendôme station and hired a cab to get me to his place.

I saw the back of his car when I arrived. There were indentations that I’m sure were never intended by the manufacturer to be there. My supervisor and his family are all right, I think, but understandably this has been a bad day for them.

The forms all signed, I sprinted to the nearest Bixi station and decided that it would be fastest to just ride the Bixi all the way to campus. This may or may not have been the case, but I made it back to campus in 25 minutes, which is probably better than what it would have taken to get to a métro, wait, transfer at Lionel-Groulx and then walk from station McGill to the James Administration Building.

On arrival, I was hot, sweaty and breathing heavily, but I still had the presence of mind to turn on the Voice Memo app on my phone, so that I could secretly record it when the person in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office said, “Yes, everything appears to be in order.” (Thank goodness for iPhone headphones that have a built-in mic for clandestine voice recording.)

I guess I’m paranoid because I’ve recently had two separate experiences where I handed in everything on a document checklist only to receive a mystifying message later on, indicating that I failed to submit all the required documents. I don’t plan to use this recording for anything but soothing my own nerves, for the record. It just feels good to hear someone say that I submitted everything.

So after all that, I have now made initial submission of my thesis. Hooray!

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The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

4 thoughts on “I submitted my thesis today”

  1. Congratulations!

    Out of curiousity, when you use RunKeeper, do you use an app on your iphone to keep track of your starting time/location and your ending time/location? Or do you just enter that stuff manually later?

    Assuming your thesis is approved and that it is accepted with a reasonable amount of revisions, what are you going to do with the rest of your summer?

  2. RunKeeper does have an iPhone app, which uses the GPS to keep tabs on you throughout the course of your run/ride, not just at the beginning and end. It’s really something.

    It would be really awesome if my readers finished with my thesis in good time, but we’ll see about that. As long as I graduate in the fall, I’ll be good for starting my nursing programme.

    For the rest of the summer, my supervisor has hired me to co-author a paper with him based on my thesis. We’re going to try to publish it. It’s something of a challenge to distill an 87-page document down to 3000 words (which works out to roughly 9-10 pages). I’ve got it down to 13 pages so far, but according to my supervisor (or I suppose, now he’s my co-author more than my supervisor) the last section needs work.

    So that’s going to be taking up most of my time, but then I also have roughly 12 different concepts for iPhone applications that I’ve been toying with for the last few months. Some of the ideas aren’t so great, but then 1 or 2 of them are simple, original and fun. I’m going to try to make at least one more app before the summer ends.

  3. Hi, I am working on my thesis. Would you please let me know where can I buy some ACCO-press binders around McGill campus? Thank you.

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