Entire Dissertation Complete

It’s been a while since I posted an update here, but at long last, everything is done. On March 13, I successfully defended my dissertation. Last week I received word that all my final editing is complete. Just waiting for printed copies & commencement weekend now!

Entire First Draft Approved

I just received word from my committee today that my final content chapter and conclusion are approved. I’ve revised the first 4 chapters and have until February 15th to complete the revisions on the rest of the first draft.

The work isn’t over yet: after I revise the first draft and submit it as a defense draft, my oral defense will be scheduled for mid-March. Still, the relief is substantial at this point. It’s been a long journey this far and I’m incredibly grateful for abundant grace through the research and writing phase.

Chapter 5 Approved, Chapter 6 Submitted, Chapter 7 In Progress

I haven’t updated this for a while, but here’s the recent progress. Chapter 5 was approved, bringing my approved progress past two-thirds. Chapter 6 is with my committee now; if when they approve it, I’ll have almost 80% approved.

I’m almost halfway done with Chapter 7. I plan to complete that this week. Next week I’ll write my concluding chapter and compile/format my bibliography. All three pieces are due together next Wednesday. It’s a little unreal to see the first-draft deadline so close (some days I thought it’d never come; other days I wished it would back away), but it’s also pretty exciting.

Just one more week of writing days left and the biggest hurdle will be behind me.


Chapter 5 Submitted

I’ve hit the 2/3 mark in page and word count. It’s all downhill from here…

I need to talk to my committee this week to find out if we can split my last titles into two separate chapters, or if we can decide on some of them being unimportant enough to omit.

Chapter 4 Approved

This week, my committee approved Chapter 4. That pushes my “Approved” progress bar past halfway!

Chapter 5 is moving along well; my goal is to submit it as soon after the Thanksgiving holiday as possible.

Chapter 4 Submitted

It’s out of my hands now, at least for the moment. Just finished revising Chapter 4 by the same criteria my committee asked for with my Chapter 3 revisions.

I’ve now submitted more than half of my dissertation.

I’ve modified my chapter outline slightly: I’m removing the chapter on titles relating to kingship. I’m not finding my sources making much of that title and my chapters are turning out long enough not to need an additional chapter. That leaves two chapters to write in the next two months: titles of benevolence and titles of presence.

Targeting a Specific Image Type with CSS

So I’m coding up a new site from our designer and he’s set some nice quasi-polaroid photo effects: white border, box-shadow, etc. This looks great on rectangular images, of course, but not so much on other images with transparency.

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

One quick fix is to set the background to the same color as the border. That fixes the lonely frame problem and puts the transparent image on “card” of sorts. It’s a step in the right direction:

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

My old workaround was to ask our content specialist to add the class “no-border” to any image that was transparent and thus shouldn’t have the border effect. That was less than ideal, however. WordPress doesn’t make it super-easy to add classes to images, so this would put extra work on him, require new training for anyone else who touches content, and provide an extra avenue for operator error. What I really needed was a way to target the transparent images via CSS without adding anything to them in the CMS.

Today it hit me that I could use an attribute selector to find any PNG and remove the border, shadow, and background from it. Attribute selectors are good to go on IE 7+ and all real browsers. It’s a pretty safe bet that the only image with transparency would be a PNG (if for some reason you’re still using GIFs, though, just modify this code to include them) and that the normal rectangular photo images would be JPGs. Here’s the code I use to target them (of course, choose your own border / box-shadow and do your own prefixing):

img {
    border: border;
    background: border-color;
    box-shadow: box-shadow;
img[src*="png"] {
    border: none;
    background: transparent;
    box-shadow: none;

Now, as you can see below, the JPG photo image has the correct border / box-shadow, while the PNG displays in all its transparent, frame-less glory.

Normal rectangular photo imageFake logo image with transparency

Of course, there is a possibility that someone might upload a rectangular photo formatted as PNG, but in my opinion, that’s a good opportunity to teach them about file formats. Other than education, any ideas on how to improve this snippet to cover non-transparent PNGs?

Chapter 3 Approved

Received confirmation from my committee that my revisions to Chapter 3 have been approved. Of course, this bumps up my approved progress meter significantly. Now to finish revisions on 4…

Chapter 3 Resubmitted

After heavily revising Chapter 3, I’ve resubmitted it. The chapter grew by 50%, which helps my bottom line tremendously. I’m now 49% done by page count (48% by word count).

Now to enjoy my weekend, then start revising Chapter 4 by the same standards on Monday…

Dissertation Update

Asking for substantial revision on Chapter 3, my committee has given me some helpful feedback on improving my content structure for each word study chapter (3-7). I’m working through that revision now on Chapter 3 and will be applying the same criteria as I revise Chapter 4 before submitting it. The additional work required by this improved writing plan is challenging and time-consuming. Fortunately, I’ve also edited my overall chapter plan and will only be writing 7 content chapters, not 8 as I’d previously anticipated.

My revised schedule is to complete and submit those two revisions by mid-October, then write the remaining 3 chapters in October, November, and December. Again, the up-to-date dissertation schedule is always available here.