I just don't know if it's good news or bad news. I'm a bit conflicted, and not sure how I feel or what I think yet.
So I met with Brian last week, just to chat about things. It was a good meeting overall, but I always come away feeling both encouraged and discouraged about my work and my prospects of finishing. Not that the down part of that is Brian's fault-- that's all me, I'm sure. Anyway, we mainly talked about what the process for me finishing looks like, especially since he will be on sabbatical in the States for a year, from the end of July. For the most part, this isn't a big deal; I'll finish as much as I can between now and then (which will be at least my final main chapter, if not a full first draft, depending on how productive I am between now and then). We'll meet about what I have written by the time he leaves, and then we can do all but the final draft by phone and email. For the final draft, we'll need to meet face to face again, before I submit. All of which sounds fine and dandy, even without firm dates and times for when it'll all happen.
All of that is good, but this is the really good part... and the bit that's got me all in knots. Brian asked about my nephew, and my new niece, and we were talking about them and how I can't wait to get home. He knows that I have intended to stay here til I finish... and also that it's killing me to be here, especially now that Semiah is born. I really did have the best of intentions of being done by now, in the first place. But that hasn't happened. I've discovered that this isn't the kind of process that can be forced-- it either comes or it doesn't. Anyway, I have been really struggling with being here and not being done yet, and really wanting to be home with Jen and Saum and Machias and Semiah. Brian is a great supervisor, and it's not just the academic stuff he's good at. He knows that emotional stuff affects my academic work, and he's been very understanding with me about that. So when he said that there really isn't any reason for me to stay in Aberdeen once he's gone... well, I didn't know what to think. At first, I just thought, *Yay! I can go home and visit!* But the more I think about it, the more I'm not so sure what I should do.
Here's what I'm thinking. Advice and opinions are welcome, and please let me know if I'm overlooking something!
1. Work really, really hard for the next six weeks or so, and get as much done as I possibly can-- at least the last big chapter-- and meet with Brian.
2. Go home in late July, and stay til late September. I have found 'reasonable' flights (for this time of year) from Glasgow to Toronto (between three fifty and four hundred pounds) and from Toronto to Chicago (for around the same in dollars).
3. Get to Tennessee, Florida, and wherever else I can afford to visit people... if possible.
4. Work as much as I can while I'm home, being in touch with Brian as I make progress on my work. Since he'll be at Duke, it won't be too hard to talk to/meet with him over the time I'm in the States.
5. Come back here in time for the term to start, and if I'm not finished yet (which I don't think I will be, sadly) I can keep working as a note-taker during the fall term, which pays very well. So I'll work as much as I can, make as much money as I can, and write as much as I can. The deadline to have everything completed for graduating in November is 10 October, and I just don't see logistically how that will happen. *sigh*
6. Best case scenario, I will by Christmas have money saved and my thesis done enough that I can come home again, over the holidays, for another month or six weeks-- to stay with Jen and them again, of course, but also to meet with Brian at some point for my final draft.
7. Come back for the spring term, to submit and deal with all the other things I'll have to get done-- have my viva, apply to graduate in July, find a *real* job, figure out what's next.
My heart says go home. But I'm just not sure... perhaps I'm just bad with snap decisions. Perhaps it's not the best plan. Perhaps I just hate spending money. I don't know... I just don't know! Help! =S