Today I submitted my doctoral dissertation. If all goes well, in two months I'll face a committee of examiners. And if that goes well I will magically transform into a Doctor of Philosophy.

I started the PhD program at the University of Western Ontario in September 2007, which means the dissertation was four-and-a-half years in the making. But I didn't defend my prospectus until January 21, 2011 -- just a year and two months ago. And I didn't start writing this version of the thesis until September 9, which makes just six months. In fact, I finished the full draft a month ago, and a large chunk of the writing was done in just the one month preceding that.

Any way you look at it, it's been a marathon. I'm still excited about the project, and I'm looking forward to rewriting it in a more accessible form, but I'm also glad to be able to focus on other things for a while. Today the word "submission" feels all too apt.