I watched The Agony and the Ecstasy in a high school art class. It is the story 0f Michelangelo painting the Sistine chapel. I have seen his ceiling in art books and with my own eyes and it is beyond words.
In the film, Michelangelo takes a long time to complete the work. In actuality it did take him 4 years. As he began to complete his masterpiece Pope Julius II would walk into the chapel, under all the scaffolding and drapery and ask “When will it come to an end?”
Charlton Heston, who played Michelangelo magnificently, would always reply “when it is finished.” He would never sacrifice his work for a deadline or pressure from the holy father to get done.
This week my dissertation, at least in the draft form, will come to an end. This document is a little more than a year in the making. My prospectus was approved in June 2008 and it has taken me about a year to get all the research and writing done.
Come Friday morning when I email the draft version to my dissertation chair, I will feel like Michelangelo. The major work will have been complete. Sure there will be some edits and touch-ups from the various review boards, but for the most part, my Sistine chapel will be complete.
Today, however, I am making many final edits, so I am feeling much more like saying “When will it come to an end?” than “It is finished.”