Meeting is done! Still feel somewhat lost and a bit overwhelmed as usual, but it was good - the dense kind with a lot of discussions and take-aways.
One annoying thing was getting an email from the grad school today saying they've rejected my application for extending my leave status into the next semester. (This is the same guy who took a while to process my application last year, bleeding into the start of the semester, then charged me thousands for pro-rated tuition, so his slight bitchiness is already established.) My advisor's totally taking my side though and says she will write me a letter of support to submit with my petition, so I don't feel as bad. We used part of the meeting today to figure out what to write in the petition. Part of my necessity to take a leave this semester is because she will be on maternity leave and we won't be able to make progress anyway, which they'd be dumb to contest. As she says, it'll probably turn out a-okay. Just means unplanned additional work for this weekend (thanks, Gschool).
One of the things I need to include in the petition is a Plan of Study, so we sat down and hashed that out too. With how things are coming along, it's looking like I'll be going back to work (job) in the fall while meeting semi-regularly with either the advisor's researcher via Skype or her PhD student if she's available (she lives in NYC). In the spring, I'll reconvene with my advisor and hope to put together a chapter a month, then defend at the end of the semester or next summer. I guess if I look at it that way it'll be another whole year before this is finally kicked, but I know I've really been working on it this summer and my advisor knows that I've been making a lot of progress as compared to before too, so I feel okay, that it's not really a true delay or entirely because of me f'ing up, it just legitimately is taking this long. So long as the grad school doesn't keep being a bitch, I should get the green light to go ahead with this plan.
So there I have it. I am finishing a masters degree in the time people get PhDs. Heh.
Now (with the meeting done for the day) I have a wee breather. I do want to go check out some used clothes and do something fun to keep the mood up, but I feel I might feel better later if I stay and keep working for a few more hours. Either way, I'll go get some food first now.