Yes, that's what I'm thinking about my dissertation right now.
(I know that I shouldn't complain: it's almost over. But indulge me for a moment, if you will.)
In a mere 92 hours, I will present a tedious and yet whirlwind 20-minute summary of my dissertation to my committee, my significant other, and whatever grad students/faculty from my department bother to show up. I'm trying to prepare for this event by working up a coherent outline from which to speak, but I am so tired of talking about my argument. And how am I supposed to sum up 8 chapters in 20 minutes? I ask you.
I guess I'm kind of anxious, too. It's a little nerve-wracking to think of my committee--who have been my allies through this whole process; really, they're a spectacularly kind and supportive committee--turning on me on Monday. They're going to ask me all these questions. In front of people. And they won't tell me the answers if I falter.
(Well, actually, given my committee, they might.)
I know it'll be fine, and I'm almost done preparing, and I'm kind of excited to be finishing up. But it's weird to be, at age 30, on the brink of what feels like some kind of pubescent rite of passage: time to have the final showdown with the parents, and then start fending for myself. It'll be good to be on my own, intellectually speaking. But you know, it'll be kind of sad, too. I like my committee. Grad school, for all of its irritations, has been an incredibly cushy gig (for these last two years, at any rate; fellowships have blotted out all memory of adjuncting, seminars, office hours, and so forth). I anticipate being very slightly depressed next week.
Mitigating the depression, however, will be the realization that I won't have to summarize my dissertation anymore (especially if I manage to get myself a job). And that, my friends, means one thing: elation.