Finished Object: Dissertation

8 Jun
Finally, at long last, the dissertation is completed! As of last Thursday it had been printed up and distributed to my advisory committee. Now I have just 2 and 1/2 weeks left of being a graduate student. I’m so relieved, happy, and excited that I could dance. Or, it could be that I’ve just had too much coffee. 
So here it is, in all it’s glory:

Final page count: 208
Final word count: 36,604
Number of figures: 23
After printing up 6 copies of that for distribution, I feel like I should be planting a grove somewhere to replace all the trees I killed. 
Now, it’s tradition that a graduating student like me give a gift to their advisor upon completion of the dissertation defense. Or at least, it is in our lab. Previous students have given our boss new Hawaiian shirts (he actually is Hawaiian, and really does love the shirts) or books they thought he would enjoy. Me? Well, being the knitter that I am, a long time ago I came across the perfect thing to make the bossman for his gift. The DNA scarf

It’s perfect for a number of reasons. First, my work has revolved around DNA repair mechanisms. Second, the virus we study has a double-stranded DNA genome, much like we do. Third, DNA is basically the universal symbol of the science geek. My boss is nothing if not a science geek.

Now, if only I could remember how many bases there are per turn of the double-helix, I could actually make the scarf represent the viral genome, which is 36 kilobases in length. But, then it would probably wind up being really short or really long, and I would have progressed from science geek to science supergeek who really needs to get a life. 


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