After much blood, sweat and tears; after countless revisions, rewrites and edits; after FIVE LONG YEARS OF TOIL, I have a completed thesis. It may not be perfect, but as they say around these parts, “the best thesis is a done thesis.” Now mind you, this isn’t the absolutely final copy. This is the copy that goes out to my supervisory committee — they have to give it the OK to go out to the mysterious external examiner (and they may or may not suggest changes needed before it goes out). Then, after the defence, the whole examining committee (not to be confused with the supervisory committee) will make suggestions for revisions, and once those changes are made, that will be the final version. Nevertheless, this is still a major milestone in the process. Tomorrow morning I will go get the whole thing (all 164 pages, 36,248 words, 235,863 characters of it) printed out and distributed to ye ole’ supervisory committee. And I’m totally scared that they will read it and be like “oh my god! she thinks this is good enough for a Ph.D.?? is she on crack??” But I don’t have much choice — the wheels are in motion, the mysterious external is set to go and I have to get the committee’s OK in time to get the thesis in to Grad Studies by the end of Feb. Wish me luck!