I mentioned earlier that I had found an error in my thesis. The table numbers in one chapter were off. Man, I’ve told everyone about it. Everyone who saw the final bound thesis had to hear about the mislabeled tables. Everyone! But the more I told it, the less I cared. My supervisor asked me to correct the numbers by pen in her copy of the thesis. That was a bit traumatic – I don’t write in books with pen! Sacrilege! Other copies all have a printed erratum in them. The department secretary taped the erratum to the inside cover, after having suffered through the umpteeth rendition of my story about the table numbers.
But what helped me the most in getting over it was not the therapeutic power of talking about it over and over and over again, but something the binder told me: She said she could fix it! She could take out the pages and put in new ones and you wouldn’t be able to see the difference. Just knowing that it could be fixed made me decide to leave it. It’s not as permanent as I thought, so it’s not as bad as I thought.
Meanwhile, the electronic submission had the same error. That one will be released to the world under a creative commons license in June, and will go to the National Library.
I started imagining the future. Maybe in fifty years, something I offhandedly mentioned in my thesis is suddenly really important, and someone needs to look at it, and if they need any information from Chapter Four at all, they will find the mislabeled tables! Awkward…
I will not idly stand by and let future generations mock my lack of word processing formatting skills! I changed the table numbers, and e-mailed the thesis submissions people about the error in my thesis. They took down my old thesis this morning, and I just submitted the corrected version. There are still some typos in it, but I’m leaving those for character. (Okay, I forgot where they were…)
I no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of people from the future seeing my mislabeled tables. I just hope they don’t also read this!