Under the Gun

Right now I am in a Masters program at the University of Wyoming and I’m in my last semester. Guess what that means?

Thesis time….

For my thesis, I ended up doing Oral History research on Custer and Lemhi County in Idaho. I set out to collect as many stories as I can from old-timers in that region of Idaho and then analyze those stories to see how they show the defining characteristics of those people. It’s as English major as I could get in a Social Science department.  I’m one of those people that gets their term papers back with things like “too eloquent” or “unnecessary description” scrawled in the margins in blood red ink. Honestly, what I am hoping to do with the stories is take it back to the English side of things when I graduate and do more interviews and then publish all of the stories I have collected. Lofty ambitions right?

Well first I have to graduate and at the moment I’m having a panic attack about the possibility of it not occurring. Believe it or not I’m not prone to panic attacks, but at the moment there are three different elements of my life that I’m pretty much just continually freaking out about. But back to thesis specific panic…

Right now, I am transcribing the interviews I did like a madwoman. I don’t have to defend until April or May but I am trying to defend my thesis the 2nd week of March and I’m about 3 weeks behind right now. Leave it to me to set an early deadline then bury my head in the sand and ignore it until January. If I actually make that deadline, I’ll be done early and get to laugh at all the other grad students freaking out like I was. I know that sounds extremely bitchy, but in my defense, I’ll laugh with total empathy and then buy them a drink.

I have four days to finish transcriptions, five days to analyze them and then send a rough draft to my thesis committee chair, he’ll have it for a week, then I’ll have a week to make edits, and then I have to send it to my chair a week before I defend. It doesn’t give me much wiggle room to not make epic progress every day. So, I’m stressed out and under the gun, but I have the end in sight and I’m making for it as fast as I possibly can.

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