Would folks be willing to share some (relatively detailed) stories about how they used their time between finishing the dissertation and defending the dissertation?I mentioned that I spent some time doing major revisions of a paper (that was based on a portion of the dissertation) and drafting a new paper (that was not, though it is on a closely related topic). I also watched The Wire; I'm working on Big Love now. (Also, the new digital transfers of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are totally worth it.)
I'm about there, and I know myself well enough to suspect that I will be tempted to just set the thing aside and not look at it until a couple of days before the defense. Is that insanely stupid? Or is it a normal and healthy approach?
Then, about three weeks before the defense, I printed out a copy of the dissertation and carefully read the entire thing. I wouldn't wait until just a couple of days ahead of time--I put a lot of thought into how I wanted the defense to go, with an eye toward being able to steer the conversation toward things I wanted to talk about and away from things I didn't. Of course there were plenty of things in there such that if they came up at all, I was going to get nailed, but there's only so much you can do. When those things came up, I got nailed.
What do other people do?