Holy crap! Do you guys have any idea how much extra time-sucking bullshit paperwork you have to submit just to *ask* for permission to write your dissertation!?!?
I did not. It's a lot!! It's taken me most of yesterday (and probably today too) to write and compile it all. My committee will be getting about 20+ pages of stuff (think they'll read it?) before the dreaded "ask for permission" meeting.
(On a side note, how infantilizing is it that one has to *ask for permission* to write one's dissertation? I mean, I understand the principle - it's good to have everyone on board that you're ready to be done some time before the defense, but couldn't they come up with a better way to phrase it? I passed candidacy years ago, I've worked my ass off and put up with a whole truck full of unbloggable bullshit and now I have to ask for permission to embark on this most heinous task?)
On the other hand, writing up a 6-page status report, plus timeline and a separate dissertation outline is making it clear that I *am* ready. We have previously agreed upon what needs to be done before asking for permission - check! - and what needs to be done before defending - on track! - so it looks (on paper at least) as if I might pull this off after all. The stupid checkboxes on the grad school forms still freak me out: "Are all essential experiments completed and all results known?" - Answer must be "yes" for permission to be granted. This is a new form and I think my committee will also be going "WTF is this shit anyway?" so yeah, here's hoping. Not all the results are known. But of the results that are not known, we will get a second paper out of them regardless of the outcome of the experiments - the results are interesting either way. So there.
Also, can you keep a secret? I haven't asked for or got permission to write yet...but I already started. Shhhh!