I'm all for using extrinsic motivators as a short-term fix for getting something accomplished, quickly. The application to graduate is coming up very soon. I think I'm on track to make it in time, which is great. It's also a bit weird. Participating in commencement doesn't feel quite right since I'm not yet being finished. However, if this goes the same way as all of the other papers I've written, I suspect the end of this project will come more quickly than I anticipate. But then there's the "everything always takes longer" phenomenon, which I've encountered time and time again throughout this process. Bottom line: who the hell knows?
I think that if I keep up this pace, I'll at least have a decent draft of the rest of the study done before I would walk in May. Then I'd feel comfortable about walking. Maybe I'd have my defense date scheduled by that time as well. That'd be cool.
I've not yet decided if I'll participate in Commencement just yet, but at least I'm continuing to make decent progress. I still have another week to make good progress and make my final decision. Fortunately, DC is supportive my decision either way.