On 24 May 2012, I wrote the acknowledgements page of my dissertation. (The dedication has been written for years.)
The remainder of my dissertation has yet to be written, scattered about as it is in piecemeal drafts, late-night emails, scribbled notes, and long, long, long document files of quotes and outlines.
But on that particular Thursday, it was raining, I was between Needs Improvement on my first attempt at my second oral exam and actually making the second attempt, and I was feeling a bit homesick for anywhere-but-Florida. That’s not really fair to Florida, but it was one of those days.
So I sat down and typed up my acknowledgement notes (from the night after the first attempt at my second oral exam).
This seems to me a Totally Reasonable Starting Point. No matter what happens next — and I can promise you it will be Crazy Town — I have my anchor. I have gratefully acknowledged many, many people (with many more sure to be added before I reach the end), and now I feel even more committed to the process of getting the rest of my Innovative Yet Still Slightly Derivative ideas down in dissertation format and moving on to the next stage of a happy fulfilling academic-ish life.
This is the path I am on, and the acknowledgements page is a map (nyuk nyuk) of how I got here. I’m glad to have made it this far and to have so many people to appreciate.