Do you remember that stupid letter-writing assignment you had in sixth grade? You were supposed to write a letter to your seventh-grade self about all the things you were looking forward to in junior high school and all the things you were going to miss about the sixth grade?
Well, this is that same kind of letter, only I’m not going to mention your crush on that special education teacher with the curly hair or how you wanted to stay BF with Erin Waite 4-ever.
Hi, Thursday self. This is Sunday night self talking. When you read this letter, your thesis will be nothing more than a hangover and a bunch of (now useless) acid-free paper. I’m sure you’ve been celebrating like crazy since Wednesday afternoon. Have a few drinks for me but, please, stay away from Sambuca. And if a bartender tells you to stop dancing on his tables, obey him without getting belligerent. Also, I hope you didn’t yak all over your boyfriend’s sheets last night. He just washed them, you know.
Things are looking pretty okay on this side of the “senior-spring” divide. I tried to keep my window open this afternoon because it was a really pretty day. Without warning, a huge gust of wind blew all of my photocopied sources off the desk and all over the floor. Not to worry, I just swept all of them up and threw them in the trash. I mean, at this point, does it really matter if I give the real page number? Will the person grading our thesis even notice if every citation from page 35 to the end is (Smith 300)? Probably not.
Not that the little things like proper citations are my main concern right now anyway. I’m meeting with our adviser tomorrow to iron out the details and talk one last time. I’m not really sure why I still go to these meetings since I’ve stopped incorporating all but the most prosaic editorial comments into the draft. Like if our adviser tells me to “re-think the thrust of my second chapter” or “develop a more consistent voice in the introduction,” I nod politely and leave things the way they are. If he tells me that “accept” should be “except,” I guess I’ll make that change.
Since you’re only enrolled in two classes besides the (now effortless) “thesis class,” I hope you take time to do all the little things you’ve been wanting to do for so long, like shower. If you’re really looking for ways to pass the time, it might be nice to do your laundry and return some of the dishes you’ve collected in your room to the dining hall. And most importantly, you should remember to return all of those library books to Widener and Lamont, especially since you haven’t renewed them since October and the fines might be getting kind of expensive. You could think about hanging on to that one book that keeps getting recalled [Non-thesis writing editor’s note: “Recalling” is a strange and rare library procedure apparently well known to book-hoarding thesis writers]. Nothing makes for a little academic brouhaha like a student who won’t return library books when they’ve been recalled.
I’ll bet the best part about your new post-thesis life is the time spent with people who still haven’t turned their theses in yet. You must be having so much fun saying something superficially motivational when they start to jabber on about how stressed they are and how much they want their theses to go away, while laughing heartily on the inside at their misery.
Okay, you, me, whoever you are, I have to get back to you-know-what. It’s pretty late and I’m getting desperate for a “snappy” conclusion. As you probably know, I’m thinking of going with some kind of free verse, stream-of-consciousness poem thing that will be less about my “topic” and more about the thesis-writing process in general. I want to use words “self-actualization” and “fetishize” and refer to my own emotional response to writing a thesis as a “text” which can be read in a variety of ways. Oh, Thursday self, I knew it was a good thing to wait to write my conclusion until the 11th hour. The best ideas always come when you haven’t slept in ages and your eyes can no longer focus on the computer screen. I’m so excited, I wish you could tell me how it all turns out!
You and Me 4-Ever,
Sunday Night Self
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