Status report: My dissertation is at the copy shop. On Friday, I finished the last of the revisions. On Saturday, I proofread. I managed to proofread most of the manuscript that day (376 pages total). This morning, I finished the proofreading and entered the changes I had made. There weren’t many. And in the afternoon, I took the manuscript over to the copy shop. It will be copied and put in binders for the committee members. I’ll pick the binders up on Tuesday morning, drive into the city, and put them in the committee members’ boxes. And that will be it.
After that, all that will be left will be the dissertation defense. But the defense is essentially a discussion about the dissertation. The document itself is the important thing. And that’s done, unless the committee members give me any corrections.
So, I’ve done it. It’s taken years, but it’s done.
Honestly, I don’t feel anything yet. I think over the next few days, the next few weeks, I’ll start to feel an enormous sense of relief, a sense of freedom. A sense as though now, I can do anything I want to. My life can begin. The first step will be catching up on email. So if I owe you an email, it will probably come in the next few weeks, as I start catching up. Right now, I’m completely exhausted, still running on adrenaline. I’m going to crash soon, but hopefully a short crash because the semester starts on Wednesday.
Can I even write about anything today? I’m not sure.
Instead, I’m going to plant an imaginary rose garden. I’m going to fill it with my favorite roses. So here they are:
Of course, we need a white rose, and so we should start with the Alba roses. And one of my favorite white roses is Mme. Legras de St. Germain. My favorite white rose of all is Madame Hardy, but I couldn’t find a picture.
There’s another Alba we need to have, simply because it has a wonderful name: Cuisse de Nymphe. But also, it’s an old pink rose, with the genuine rose blush, the genuine rose scent. In England, it’s called Maiden’s Blush, which is much more proper than its French name (Nymph’s Thigh, for those who have not taken a French class in some time). I’m afraid this picture doesn’t really do it justice. It’s sort of the Marilyn Monroe of roses, all scented and blowsy.
Of the Gallicas, my absolute favorite is Cardinal de Richelieu. I grew it years ago, and it’s such a rich, dark rose. Almost purple.
We have to have some sort of Bourbon rose, don’t we? And I think it has to be Souvenir de la Malmaison, because who wouldn’t want to remember the Empress Josephine’s rose garden?
Of the Centifolias, let’s get the beautiful white Blanchefleur. Once, I started a story about a white cat named Blanchefleur. (Yes, of course she was an enchanted cat.) I think I should probably go back and finish it.
And (this is one of my favorites but the picture here doesn’t do it justice at all), let’s get the wonderfully named Robert le Diable. I’ve grown that rose as well. I initially chose it because I had a cat named Robert who was indeed un Diable. It’s a small dark rose, charming and wicked.
And finally, let’s choose Stanwell Perpetual, an old Spinossissima. This is close to a wild rose, so it will have wonderful hips in the autumn. That’s another reason to have old roses, for the wonderful hips. (I might even make rose hip jelly.)
Yes, all these roses were introduced before 1900. But I like the old roses, even though most of them only bloom once a year. But when they bloom, what blooms! And what scent! And the hips, as I said. Now that my dissertation is done, maybe I’ll be able to have an actual rose garden. It will take a while to find the small house with the large garden I’ve been writing about, the witch’s cottage I’ve described here. But at least now I can start working on it.