I knew when I finished Chapter 3 that I'd said something new enough to have a defensible thesis. I also knew that it was long enough to be called a thesis. For the first three chapters to be an original contribution all I had to do was put a new interpretation on the events covered in Donald Goodspeed's original, and official, history of the DRB. However, I knew it was incomplete.
Now that I've finished Chapter 4, I know I've told the important part of the story. In Chapters 2 and 3 I covered the creation of the DRB. In Chapter 4 I documented all the trends that eventually led to the reorganization of defence research. In other words, I've written something that I know is a very original and interesting contribution to the subject. But I couldn't just end the story without going through the final seven years.
Chapter 5 was painful to start. I almost felt like it would have been easier to just keep typing as if Chapter 4 was continuing; as if opening a new document put a mental block on the logical continuation of the story. I spent a day and a half spinning my wheels on a new outline, and then the sentences, paragraphs and words started flowing. I've already covered the first year (a little more) of Bob Uffen's tenure as Chairman of the DRB, which happens to coincide with Pierre Trudeau's first year as Prime Minister. I'm done with 1967, or as Pierre Berton called it, "The Last Good Year." For the DRB, the last golden year was a full decade earlier, but there were some highs amidst all the lows of the 60's and 70's. 10 pages down, 40 to go.
My new, absolute deadline is December 9th. I start invigilating final exams on December 10th (two a day), so I won't have time to work on the dissertation again until after exams and holidays. I also have to be finished a full draft this term for my supervisor's sanity, and because this behemoth needs some significant editing before its fit to be read by anyone else. Editing may take some time, but it will be busy work. Accomplishable mini-tasks, just like my current mini-tasks of typing words to make paragraphs (or clusters of paragraphs) out of outline bullet points.
I was curious about the measures of productivity, and these aren't tracked in my dissertation progress page, so here they are.
- Chapter 1 (introduction)
- Chapter 2 (pre-history)
- Chapter 3 (Solandt)
- Chapter 4 (Zimmerman)
- Chapter 5 (Uffen and L'Heureux)
- Current - 10 Desired - 50
- Chapter 6 (Epilogue)
- Current - 1 (an outline) Desired - 15
- Current - 332; anticipated - 386
With apologies for the lack of hyperlinks. I'm busy. I'm sure you all understand!