I've heard back from Blackwood on the latest revision. He says that "in all honesty" he is "really encouraged" at my progress ... but it still needs one more "minor" revision before I send it out to Descartes and Victoria. His suggestions are indeed minor compared to the last round, and I'll be able to get a revised version to him by Monday. However, I'm starting to get nervous about the deadlines for graduation. I have to schedule my defense by February 20th, which means that on or before that date, I need to convince my chair, my readers, and the graduate coordinator that I will be ready to defend by March 6th. Monday is the 16th. Assuming that Blackwood tears through the draft and responds on Monday - and assuming that his response is "go ahead and circulate it" - that leaves about three days for the other committee members to read it. This makes me very nervous. It's not like these people have nothing else to do.
And then there's the issue of getting the graduate coordinator to consent to the schedule. Presumably if my committee thinks I'm ready to defend, he shouldn't have a whole lot of objections, but I have to get him (as well as the other committee members) to sign the form - he can't just send an email or make a phone call and say "OK." His office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 2:30, which raises the possibility that if I don't get him to sign on Thursday, I could miss the deadline on Friday. I don't think I really need to explain how badly that would suck.