A dissertation of a defense

Tomorrow I’m dissertating in my defense.

Mom, Jason, I apologize for being out of touch more than usual. I have so much to do right now, especially after a four-day bacchanal in Atlanta. This includes catching up on school, by which I mean teaching, stocking the larder, running around with a chicken with its head cut off, all the various preparations for the upcoming book, and, of course, the dissertation, which I’d managed to mentally put on hold for the past two weeks.

This was not a smart thing.

As Claudia Rankine (she who will be on my committee from afar) reminded me, I do have to speak, and it would be best if this speaking sounded prepared, intelligent, intelligible, and worked-over. Thought about. At the least, considered.

And so I need to write down what I want to say tomorrow, consider what questions I may be asked, ponder my manuscript, mill, muddle, and stew. Hopefully the broth will smell as savory as it should.

My tendency is to sabotage (i.e. torpedo) myself with a lack of preparation, having the knowledge that I’ll do well enough, at least, even though I may not do my best. What is my best? Who knows? I seem to be an expert at pushing that level of self-knowledge farther and farther away.

Defense in my dissertating, I’m tomorrow.

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