Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

How Scholars Go Mad

I’ve literally spent the last three hours both creating the first chapter and introduction to my thesis (using the independent study that I did as prep work as part of the first chapter) and trying to format the damn thing correctly.

The “Thesis and Project Guide” for my program is fairly specific when it comes to formatting. Of course, the formatting is completely different than what we use for the entire rest of the program, including the width of the pages, for example. Between trying to get things to match the guide’s format through referral and trying to get Microsoft Word to do different formatting for the front sections (roman numerals at the footer) versus the rest of the document (numbers in the header), etc. etc., I’ve wasted a bunch of time. Now I understand how some of my friends working on their PhDs could have these relatively long conversations that I witnessed on how they were getting their endnotes formatted correctly for their dissertations.

The next step is to actually get this thing written. I’ve just skimmed through a couple of existing theses that were approved over the last seven years and I think I’m definitely setting my bar for content higher than some of them did. Part of me just wants to get this thing done in order to get my degree and get on with life but I do want to make a decent job of it.

Of course, given the deadlines for paperwork, there is no way that I am graduating this summer. As of a month ago, the head of the program hadn’t found at least one of the three required readers for my thesis (something about no one being familiar with Western Esotericism or the Golden Dawn) but I’m ignoring that in order to plow on. I needed to have a draft into some formatting approval office this last week if I wanted the university, as a whole, to approve of the formatting of my thesis so I would guess that my graduation will technically be by the end of the year. I should be able to get a letter officially stating that I have finished the program and will be getting my degree long before then if I need it for anything.