Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Massive Shrinkage!

So I'm presenting my dissertation (no it's NOT DONE, I finished my rough draft, sorta, and I'm proof-reading before I send it off to my advisor, but that doesn't stop interested people from inviting me to speak about the random crap that I've been working on) to the Classical Archaeology department at Århus University. I'm told I have an hour to an hour and a half, but that I should plan on leaving some time for questions.

Oh, I only have to talk for an hour? How kind.

I can babble at people for an hour.

I can give a darned good explanation of stratigraphy, complete with white-board stick figures in an hour.

And if you stop me in Tel Aviv airport and give me a a security test in which you ask me about stratigraphical analysis using pottery sherds, I can go on for even longer. True story. I was still talking about seriation and typology when they took me to the back room to check my bra for explosives.

But my dissertation? You want me to speak intelligently, right? Maybe even, you know, use some big words.

Bloody hell.

I gave a 20 minute presentation about 2 years ago. I read through it again today. HAHAHAHAHA! That must have been someone else's dissertation, because it certainly isn't mine. It's missing all the good stuff I've written in the last year. Oh.

Damn good power point though.

A 20 minute presentation took up about 8 single-spaced pages of text with spaces for "[SLIDE 4]". So... an hour or so would be, like 20 single-spaced pages of text. Okay, all I have to do is smash a 250 page dissertation down to 20 single-spaced pages.


I've chopped down the first half of my dissertation, which is all theory and prolegomena (what you need to know or might like to know or I might like you to know before I let you loose on the rest of this dissertation) (see why we use the word "prolegomena"?) and it comes to: 11 and a half pages.

My god, I might just be able to do this.

And it's going to totally suck when I have to read it to myself in order to time myself.

An hour?

Christ on a candlestick.


  1. Oh, I've been there. Not on something as important as a dissertation, but trying to give a topic that could be covered in a week long class in an hour. Not fun. But we're pullin' for ya!
    good luck!

  2. Now it is my turn to send you good luck wishes!! you can do it!!
    I just pray that I get to this point soon...... except I will have to make a trip across the pond to present mine!! Oh well....

  3. I might have to go defend in the US. But if I can pull this off, the defense will be EASY! :-D


Keep it clean, don't be mean....