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Posted on Tuesday 1 April 2014 at 7:46 am

Water and oil don't mix? Try water and dissertation research!


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Important files and water do not mix. Just in case any of you had any doubt on this matter, I promise you that any papers you value should not be covered in water. How do I know this? Because when I got to campus yesterday morning, I discovered that the ceiling in my office had leaked over the weekend and dumped water onto my dissertation filing bins. It primarily got a few files of handwritten notes and a ton of printouts or photocopies of articles, book chapters, etc. with my notes and highlighting on them. I spent all day yesterday carefully pulling apart wet pieces of paper and trying to save all the work. Some things were just damp so I layed them out to dry and they're fine. Other things were completely soaked so I had to carefully photocopy them (and constantly stop to dry off the glass on the copier) then transfer all the highlightings that didn't copy and fix any originally handwritten notes that were illegible on the copies due to the original pen ink running. Finally I had to refile everything, which meant relabeling a bunch of new folders to put it all in. In the end, I think I got everything and didn't lose any old work. I just lost a day of progress and wasted a ton of ink, paper, etc. replacing everything. So frustrating and time consuming!

The few days before that were pretty busy, too. It was the visiting weekend for the newly admitted grad students deciding if they want to join us in the fall so I had to go to some of that stuff to woo them. I spent most of last week doing paperwork to file for a dissertation extension as this is the semester they say I'm supposed to have finished based on my admission date so I have to explain why I'm not done, provide a timeline for completion, etc. It's a formality and a waste of time. I'd be done sooner if they didn't make me keep stopping to do crap like this or if they fixed leaky roofs so my work doesn't get drenched!

Oh well. It is gorgeous today so I think rather than go to campus, I'm going to sit in my back yard and read a stack of new articles for the next section of the dissertation that I'm writing. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully I'll be able to take a breather later in the afternoon or this evening and get up the BBC radio post.

Comments:

A work in progress
ancarett at 6:56 pm on 01 April 2014 (UTC) (Link)
OMG, NOOOOOOO!!!!

That would be so maddening and infuriating. I hope that you weren't out of pocket with the copying expenses. If so, look into the department/university reimbursing you. We had a water pipe break on the floor above our chair's office about four years ago. The resulting flood required huge insurance payouts as it took out hundreds of dollars worth of shelved books in her office as well as required archival intervention to save some research materials down the hall as the water gushed into eight offices.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 12:37 pm on 03 April 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I did all the photocopying on the department's machine so I don't have to pay for anything. The department secretary gave me a bit of flak for copying it all when "You can scan it and read the pdfs on your computer just as well." I told her that I scan what I can but when it comes to the stuff I need for writing my dissertation, I need handwritten notes, I need to be able to have stacks of papers spread around me working off more at one time than I could have windows open on my computer screen, etc. and she backed off.

That sucks about the books and archival stuff. I was lucky that it just got article printouts and book chapter photocopies. The bin of photocopies from archive trips that aren't always the best quality and that might not have re-copied as well was directly behind the one that got drenched.


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