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Dissertation update – final production

January 19, 2008

Yesterday was a fantastic day.

In the morning I had my format check with the registrar. This is where you take a copy of your dissertation document in and they measure margins, check the ordering of the preface, and so on. Everything was in perfect order, the guy checking it out seemed very pleased with me. I got the feeling he sees some documents that are in pretty bad shape.

The university requires four copies and then I want two (one for my adviser and one for me). So, I went to work printing out five more copies of a 300-page document. A lot of paper!

The text was pretty straightforward, it just took a while. The figures, on the other hand, were a real pain in the butt. The previous day, I spent the afternoon testing out different paper types and printer settings for all my figures. Each figure is different, so some looked better when converted to PDF, some looked better printed from Adobe Illustrator. Some figures were printed on a inkjet printer, some on a laser. Some looked better on presentation quality paper, some looked good on the fancy watermarked thesis paper that I used for the text. I had to create a list of all this.

I had some ink cartridge issues (of course) … had to do nozzle tests, head cleaning, blah blah blah. I hate printing.

But, by 5:30pm I was done! I thought for sure I’d be going in this weekend to finish the job. I’m very glad I was able to get it done in one day like that. And it looks good. Nobody is going to read it of course, but it’ll be fun to pull it off my bookshelf in 30 years and look at it.

Next Wednesday, I have my final submission appointment. This is where they hand me a piece of paper that proves I have completed all requirements for the PhD. Crazy.

The last month has been pretty crazy. My happiness related to finishing this goal is mixed with some sadness. One of my committee members passed away after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was a marine geologist at the USGS and collaborated a lot with our group.  After my defense in December his health deteriorated rapidly. Now that I have some time, I’m going to put together a post honoring him as he was a giant in my field. He was a great mentor and friend too.

I only have a couple weeks until I start my new job. It would’ve been nice to have more time off in between these chapters of my life but it just didn’t work out that way.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2008 7:09 pm

    Dr. Clastic,

    Let me be the first i the blogosphere to post a hearty congratulations on getting everything finalized, that piece of paper from the registrar represents a great deal of work on your part. Us here in the frozen part of the country are raising beers tonight in your honor,


  2. rvrlvr permalink
    January 20, 2008 8:08 am

    Hey Brian – I too was sad to hear of Bill’s passing. It was a long and hard battle and I was afraid that when I moved out of the area last summer that my goodbyes would be for longer than I would want. Sadly that is the truth.

    Congrats to getting everything finished up – I know he was very excited about your work.

    Enjoy your short break and good luck with the new job,

  3. January 21, 2008 3:09 am

    I suspect they make black inkjet cartridges with essence of pure evil, certain to not function only when you’re printing something important.

    Many many congratulations on getting things finished, though, and good luck with the job!

  4. January 21, 2008 10:45 am

    If a hell exists, for me it would be trying to print unsuccessfully for eternity.

    Thanks for the well-wishes.


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