While I'm not technically enrolled in classes right now, I've been loosely working on my thesis for over a year. And by loosely working, I mean that I was very occasionally reading and taking notes until I changed my topic over the summer. Then I was working about once or twice a week here and there, until I finally kicked into high gear in November. Not a coincidence that this is when we were able to get a babysitter to hang with Felicity a few mornings a week, and I got more serious about carving out specific times when I get to leave the house and work.
I've been focusing my attention on an independent study that I never completed before we moved to New York. My professor was very gracious about the whole thing (I was pregnant and working and sick, so she just said to finish it whenever). I had a draft done in early January, waited over a month for the professor to look at it, and then basically rewrote almost all of it in the last 10 days. It's 28 pages long. I'm immensely proud of myself. I'm not going to claim it's the most polished thing I've produced, but it's a good solid paper with original theory.
And, the really great part is, after I get this thing in tomorrow (I have four hours of childcare in the
morning so I can put my finishing touches on it and get my annotated bibliography done), I get to focus on my thesis.
The background research is already done and I'm going to challenge myself to write for one hour every day, even on the days few days a week where I there isn't carved out time for me to work.
What is my thesis about, you ask?
Empowerment in mothering. I'm reading through mothering memoirs and looking at themes of empowerment, guilt, desire, and identity. After just writing almost thirty pages about empowerment and guilt in the second and third waves of feminism, I've feel like I have a running start. I originally was going to conduct a qualitative studies about feeding decisions of new mothers (in relation to guilt), but given that a) I want to finish my degree this summer at the latest, and b) once I am finished with my degree I can either start writing for money or find a job, a lady has to do what a lady has to do.
And, if current trends continue, I'll have a thesis that is 120 pages long instead of 80 pages. And my adviser will kill me.