Friday, October 22, 2010

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Friday, August 15, 2008

We did it!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, the doctor is in the house.... A couple of hours ago, I successfully filed my dissertation. We did it!!! 'Cause no WAY could I have gotten here without the support and encouragement of all the Villagers. There you all are on my dedication page: "To the Villagers, for keeping me honest." Give yourselves a round of applause - mission accomplished! Now the title should be, It Takes a Village to FINISH a Dissertation! Thank you all!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


page count = 284

It's in! At 6:45pm last night, I emailed my committee a full revised draft of my dissertation. I travel to Berkeley on August 11 for meetings and making final changes, and assuming all goes as planned, file by August 15. Twenty-six miles down, 385 yards to go....

The last four weeks have been incredibly intense; my new job (see the June 30 blog entry) is exciting but already has me very busy, and I've been writing at night and on the weekends. The last week in particular was non-stop. But I'm proud to say that I've finished, and I'm happy with what I've produced.

I still have to write the Abstract and Acknowledgments and clean up the Bibliography, and the Conclusion could be tighter, but I have a couple of weeks to take care of those.

The Acknowledgments will be fun to write, as I have so much to be grateful for. Thanks again to all of the Villagers who have helped me get this far, and I look forward to letting you know when I've filed and gotten the famous lollipop!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


page count = 280

Well, I finally wrestled the Antioquia case study chapter to the ground. In fact, it's now 3 chapters, because at more than 100 pages, it was just too unwieldy. This led to a renumbering of chapters.

Now I'm on to making final changes to the "in comparative perspective" chapter and the Conclusion. Almost there!

Monday, June 30, 2008

A new beginning...

Over the weekend: 3 hours writing, 4 hours processing data, page count = 261

Today: 2 hours processing data, page count = 261

Thanks to everyone who's followed this blog, whether from the beginning or in recent months. Your support has gotten me so far, and I couldn't have done it without you. As I've hinted in the last few days, I have exciting news on the career front: I started a new job today!

Effective June 30, my new title is Consultant, Philanthropy Practice at the TCC Group, a private consulting firm that provides evaluation, strategic planning, and program development to foundations, corporations, and nonprofits. My work will focus on foundations, and some of my first assignments include grantee coaching and convening, program management, and strategic planning. The people are great, the firm is growing, the work is engaging: I couldn't ask for anything more!

As I ramp up in the first six weeks on the job, I will wind down my dissertation. Over the weekend, I processed the biggest remaining chunk of data, considerably bolstering the crucial fifth of six Antioquia episodes in Chapter 4. Tonight I worked on the additional data for the sixth episode, and over the next couple of evenings, I'll finish up that episode, make a final polish of that chapter, and send it out for review. Then over the long weekend, I'll finish making changes to Chapter 5 and the conclusion and send that out for review as well. My goal is to get comments back and incorporate them by Sunday, July 20, when I'll send a full revised draft to my advisors. I then have until August 15 to discuss final changes, get signatures, and file. The timing actually works fine with my job, as it takes a little while to get written into new projects, and the summer is a bit slower in general. I'll work on the dissertation evenings and weekends to get this last push done.

I'll continue to update the blog as I make progress over the next six weeks, but consider this the last post from my thirteen months as a full-time dissertation writer. It's been fun and productive, and the end is very near. A big part of my success has been due to the comfortable and calm environment at my writing space in Tribeca, The Village Quill. Thanks Harry! See, it really has taken a village to write this dissertation....

Thanks again for your support!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Four out of six ain't bad

1.5 hours processing data, 3 hours writing, page count = 256

Took a couple of days off this week in anticipation of some exciting new developments next week. Got a chance to see the semifinals of the European soccer championships. My heart broke for the brave and valiant Turks. I had the good fortune to stumble across a restaurant full of Turkish fans for the dramatic final minutes of their semifinal, and I was impressed by their passion and sportsmanship. Hats off! Now, Spain, it's up to you to kick Germany's ass on Sunday.

Continued going through Chapter 4 today, tightening up and adding in some targeted new information. I'm feeling good about everything but the last two episodes out of the six, which need better presentation and a bit more data. Luckily, I have a lot on which to draw already gathered.

Have a great weekend!