Friday, 15 August 2014

the tail end

I last posted a few weeks ago, apparently. I can't tell. It's been sunny, it's been rainy. I can't tell. I have been sitting at our little fold-up table in the only room of our flat that isn't either a (tiny) bedroom or a (tiny) bathroom, staring at my two screens, working on a draft of my thesis, since approximately eight minutes to noon on the first of April, 638 BCE.

I'm currently hammering away at the second-to-last chapter. You know that old fallacy, or geometric proof, or whatever it was, about never being able to leave the room you're in? You walk halfway to the door, and then halfway again, and halfway again, and you never leave the room. Consequently, every time you make an effort, you realise you've only covered half the distance you intended to, and each attempt leads to only half the result.

That has NO BEARING ON MY LIFE WHATSOEVER. That is, if you happen to be reading this because you're one of my two examiners, checking up on my progress before passing judgement on the product of EVERY WAKING AND SLEEPING MOMENT OF THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF MY LIFE.

Otherwise, yeah, that's what it feels like to be me right now. So to liven things up, I thought I would share my very favourite photo of my entire PhD experience. It's a still from one of the videos of one of my testing sessions. Don't worry - no anonymities were harmed in the making of this photo. If you can make out anything identifiable in those thumbnails, you deserve a PhD in cryptanalysis at the expense of my ethics agreements.

What is it, you ask? It's my system, the one my PhD is based on, projected onto my butt. Yeah, that's what it feels like to be me right now.

Except for the fact that I still totally love doing this research! I remind myself of that every time I look up and see the door twice as far away as I expected it to be. A friend of mine recently said that she was going to have the worst case of empty nest syndrome in the history of humanity when her kids - currently only 15 and 10 - leave home. I think I'm going to have empty mental nest syndrome once my thesis flies away to its perch in the university library. Sigh.

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