Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The process of conference paper acceptance

1. Shock: Wow, that piece of crap I slapped down in fifteen minutes, typing with one hand while I ate a Freebird's burrito with the other hand, did not proofread or otherwise seek feedback from someone (Like my coauthor?)for then submitted without a second glance because I was tired of thinking about it ACTUALLY GOT ACCEPTED? FOR A TALK?

2. Anger: FIFTEEN PAGES? How on earth do they expect me to write fifteen pages on top of all my other responsibilities! KIDS? TURN ON THE TV! MAMA'S GOTTA WRITE A $#@$@#$ FIFTEEN PAGE PAPER? Fifteen pages. I hope they like figures.

3. Bargaining: God? Are you there? I swear if you could just help me remember the name of the Excel spreadsheet where I put all of the analysis for this project I swear I'll volunteer for Vacation Bible School again this year.

4. Depression: WOE. My computer doesn't have the right software, I can't find my analysis, my dissertation reads like a drunk third-grader wrote it, my coauthor is in Cabo, preschool is closed this week, and there are NO COOKIES IN MY WHOLE HOUSE. (Pour a third cup of coffee, tighten bathrobe belt) NO WE CANNOT GO TO STORYTIME, GO OUTSIDE.

5. Acceptance: (At one o'clock in the morning, paper is due at COB EST) OK I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. (Put on another pot of coffee, unearth lucky coffee mug in sink of dirty dishes) Introduction? Let's use the first half of the abstract. Historical Research? I'll just borrow that from this other paper that's going nowhere. Method? Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V from the old dissertat-o-rooney. Woohoo ten pages! Results and Discussion? Conclusions? Crap. Get on Facebook to await arrival of flash of brilliance. Stand up and walk around. Sit back down. Check Google Reader. And Facebook. Still waiting on flash of brilliance. Force self to look at each graph and make some observations, however infantile they might seem. Get to third graph when sleep deprivation and caffeine combine to make you INCREDIBLY INTELLIGENT AND CLEVER ALL OF THE SUDDEN. WRITE WRITE WRITE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. Submit paper electronically with little-to-no proofreading. Go to bed. Wake up with hangover-like worry that you did something embarrassing last night and can't quite put your finger on what it was. Decide not to care. Pass out bananas to very loud children and forget all about it.

7 comments:

Actuary Mom said...

haha. Makes me glad writing papers isn't part of my job.

Kim said...

Love this! Especially when your flash of brilliance shows up -- so true. Congrats on getting it out!

Sarah said...

Good to know this process applies across disciplines

sarah said...

HAHAHA!!!! I love the "WOE"

I remember those stages so well from my grad school years (less stressful, I'm sure, but relatively similar stages). You capture them perfectly--especially the caffeine/sleep deprivation-sparked moments of brilliance.

-R- said...

I love this. Your blog posts always make me laugh.

Erica said...

Ha, I haven't written a paper in almost ten years and this still made my stomach tight with anxiety.

Phoenix Rising said...

I'm only laughing really, REALLY hard because you made it through all the steps. This is one of my favorite posts! (Although you sure do make it hard to choose.)