Thesis Feedback So Far

Wow, some of my friends are rather quick readers. Steve and Dan both got back to me in the last day. Each had a couple of minor things that they commented on for the thesis but, overall, there have been no major issues found.

I’m waiting for feedback from the other two readers but since it isn’t a short document, it may take a little while. I’m going to go over the last couple of chapters again this weekend. The first half of the thesis has been gone over a number of times and I’m confident that it is in a final state. I want to review the last few bits to make sure that the sense is clear and that no weird typos have crept in somewhere.

Beyond that, I seem to be at the point where I go through the entire document and make sure headings have 1.5 lines between them and text, margins are exactly correct, etc. For those that don’t know, theses and dissertations have very specific formatting rules. Even if your committee approves the content, you can have your thesis rejected by the University afterwards for not conforming to formatting. It is the time to get that right.

I’m still contemplating applying to the Institute of Buddhist Studies MA in Buddhist Studies program. I don’t necessarily need another MA per se but given my ongoing (for the rest of my life, as I see it) work in Buddhism and our lineage, it seems that the work there would be good. They do training in reading Japanese liturgical texts (and translation) and the head of the school is (or was) an ordained Shingon priest who specializes in ritual study, which is where I’d like to do work.

Part of the determining factor is whether their scheduling is set up in such a way as to allow me to continue to work full time. If the classes are all late morning or afternoon, that isn’t going to work. The other factor is whether I’m really willing to do this all again in the near future.

The other option is the Graduate Theological Union’s PhD program. IBS is a member school but it is hard to say whether I’d be able to focus as much on distinctly Buddhist work there. PhD work would be a full time endeavor and I would not be able to work full time when attending if I did get it. That has at least a year lead time (I could apply this Fall to get in for Fall 2008).