I\’m Too Sexy for My Master\’s Thesis

zero, zip, zilch

Posted in history,progress by Rae on 5 January 2007

This is my official last post here at I’m Too Sexy. Last year I finished my M.A., started getting paid to do what I love, and moved to Estonia from the U.S.

2007 is a year of new beginnings for me, so it’s only appropriate that I’ve started two new blogs: illumineerima (a blog about Estonian culture and society) and the pesky ‘tarians (a culinary correspondence). fade theory will turn two later this year and continues to be my main blog with daily postings about all things book-related.

It’s been real!


the final countdown

Posted in history,jewish legion,thesis by Rae on 8 November 2006

Well, I electronically submitted my thesis last week. The deed is done, and I may not look at my thesis again for a few years. If past events are any indication (I’ve been married for over five years and still won’t watch my wedding video), it may be many years.


I didn’t make all of the changes I had hoped, thanks to an international move and a new job, but I was told it was good as it stood. So, that’s that. Now it’s just a matter of time until they send me my diploma and the thesis on CD.

long time no post

Posted in history,progress by Rae on 20 October 2006

So, yeah, I haven’t posted in a while. At least not here. Since I’m now done with my thesis (still need to send in the final pdf to my university) and am working more or less full-time in publishing, I just haven’t had much to contribute here at I’m Too Sexy. However, I do update my other blog (fadetheory.com) on an almost daily basis. It’s not about the Jewish Legion, but does have a lot to do with history: book and print history, publishing culture, reading theory, current lit and pub news, book art, textual design… basically anything to do with books and publishing goes there. Plus, you can find some miscellaneous entries about my life in Estonia. It’s a blog I’ve had for well over a year, so there’s lots in the archive, too.

endnote add-on

Posted in tools by Rae on 18 September 2006

Firefox now has a handy-dandy Endnote add-on for all you Endnote users. I only used Endnote for one class ever, as I found it easier to just put the bibliography together myself. Plus, I’m the kind who actually enjoys typing up bibliographical information. What can I say? I love everything about and related to books.

piled higher and deeper

Posted in scholarship,tips by Rae on 14 September 2006

When I first subscribed to PhD, the only notification option for new comics was a link via email. Now Piled Higher and Deeper has an RSS feed, and new comics are delivered directly to Bloglines!

For a good sample comic, click here.

no super sexy wednesday 14

Posted in progress by Rae on 9 August 2006

This move is taking every bit of my energy and time, but the next phase of my life begins next week. Therefore, things are looking up.

thesis defense

Posted in history,scholarship,thesis by Rae on 28 July 2006

So, my thesis defense yesterday went swimmingly. I was so used to my count-down (two weeks till defense, one day till defense, etc.), that now I’m doing a count-up (one day since defense, so far).

Was I nervous? Not until the morning of, when I couldn’t do anything but think about what would take place at 3pm. Plus, all the phone calls I received from friends and family (to ask if I was nervous and to wish me good luck) left me feeling a bit anxious. But, not so anxious that I wasn’t able to take a nap little more than an hour beforehand. That was nice.

I arrived a little bit early and was happy to discover that the room reserved for my defense was the first room I had had a class in, in grad school (yes, had had, in in). Quite appropriate for what I consider a life cycle event. Within a few minutes, the three committee members were filing in and smiling. I was immediately at ease and chatted about my upcoming move to Europe with a professor I took a seminar with this past spring semester. After a moment, everyone was seated and we began.

It’s hard to believe that all that hard and steady work culminated in a few minutes of discussion. It was a bit anti-climactic, in a way. There were no major criticisms, just suggestions on ways I could strength things here and there, plus ideas for future avenues of research. All three committee members were fascinated by my topic and stated every few minutes how well-written and well-researched the paper was. They said that they weren’t able to put it down once they started reading — not bad since it’s 85 pages.

At the end of our discussion (which lasted under 30 minutes, I believe, though I was told to plan for an hour), I left the room for their brief deliberations. Upon my re-entrance, I was greeted with congratulations and handshakes. Even after the handshakes my committee was recommending additional research ideas and places to pursue research.

I still have some paperwork to complete and fees to pay, plus I intend to make a few changes before submitting the final copy of my thesis, but I had that sense of completion as I walked back to my car. I couldn’t stop smiling for an hour, and I can’t remember the last time I felt that way.

So, what’s the first thing I did after my defense? I returned all those library books! And then I went home and had a beer.

super sexy wednesday 12

Posted in history,scholarship,tools by Rae on 27 July 2006

My internet connection was out for most of the day, plus my thesis defense was this afternoon. More on that tomorrow!


David Margolick reviews Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz by Jan T. Gross.


DigitalKoans takes a look at ALA and Open Access.


New Model for Scholarly Publishing is mostly about Rice University’s new plan for its defunct press:

Rice University on Thursday announced a plan to shake up those interconnected problems. Rice University Press, which was killed in 1996, will be revived. But unlike every other university press, it will publish all of its books online only. People will be able to read the books for no charge and to download them for a modest fee. Editors will solicit manuscripts and peer review panels will vet submissions — all in ways that are similar to the systems in traditional publishing.

This was supposed to be included in Super Sexy Wednesday 11. Fortunately, it’s still worth reading (if not a must-read).


I’m constantly reading PDFs. Whether my school has sent me an electronic copy of an article I requested, or I need to read over an old Jewish Chronicle page, or I want to take a look at an ETD, I had to use Adobe Acrobat Reader. Or so I thought.
When Father Inch mentioned Foxit PDF Reader to me a few weeks back, I thought, “Okay, I can give it a try.” Little did I know that my life would be forever changed. Adobe Acrobat is slow to open, it’s slow to load PDFs, and then it’s slow to scroll through them. Foxit is none of the above. It’s fast and gorgeous, and it’s now my default PDF reader. I highly recommend it (as does Father Inch).


Lifehacker (probably the most helpful blog out there) recently posted a link to how to make a flash drive icon. This is such a perfect time waster that I’m sad I didn’t know about it while I was still working on my thesis. But, it’s wasting my time almost as well right now, so I can’t really complain! I’m also working on a favicon for my other site (since this is a WordPress-hosted blog, I don’t think I can change the favicon here). I’ll share the results later.


H. Freeman Matthews Jr., a Foreign Service officer who helped lay the groundwork for the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords, which brought an end to three decades of conflict between Israel and Egypt, died Saturday in Washington. He was 78.

the thesis is out of my hands

Posted in history,progress,scholarship,thesis by Rae on 21 July 2006

And what a relief that is! I can’t express how good it felt to stuff those 85-page stacks o’ paper into each committee member’s box. It’s not that I got sick of my topic (I didn’t), it’s that I’m ready to move on to the next thing – which happens to be moving to Europe in three weeks. I’m not completely done, as the defense remains, but I’m looking forward to that. I know my thesis isn’t perfect, but I also happen to know a lot more about my topic than my committee. So, I’m looking forward to answering their questions.

My advisor told me that each professor has 20 minutes to ask me any questions they want to, and that’s it. No presentation, no pretty handouts, just me and my research. I think I can handle that just fine.

no super sexy wednesday 10, either

Posted in progress,thesis by Rae on 13 July 2006

My thesis defense is in two weeks and I finished my last chapter yesterday. I honestly didn’t even realize yesterday was Wednesday, or I might have posted something. I’ve been living in 1917 since last week (and 1914-1916 before that), so it’s no wonder I’m out of sorts.

Anyway, I’m now working on chapter revisions and need to write the intro and conclusion. Then, I’m done! At that point, I’ll have more time to blog about my thesis.

My husband won a mini-vacation to Montana, so we’re headed out at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Worst possible timing, but I’m looking forward to a clean environment that doesn’t reek of stress.

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