succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not Panic-Stricken

Things are fine again. Actually, things were fine within about 24 hours of my meltdown, thanks mostly to an advisor who totally kicks ass (kids - never underestimate the importance of an advisor who supports you and genuinely looks out for your best interests). The general consensus is that my committee member was being a butt, even if he perhaps did make a semi-reasonable suggestion. (actually, upon further pondering, I do think his suggested measurement is good to use, but I'm not at all convinced by his argument as to why my original measurement was wrong...I think both measures are 'right', and I'm working on writing up that particular argument. including both measures in all my tables, of course)

The meltdown was also out of proportion to the reality of the situation, but it was just one too many rejections in one week - first the fellowship, then a student paper, then a workshop application. I couldn't take my professional world telling me one more time that I was inadequate. Of course, my therapist's advice that I have to learn to measure adequacy internally, especially in a profession where external rejections will be a perpetual part of my life, was sound. But at the time that she said it I wanted to respond, well fuck you.

So I have a To Do List now that outlines all the things I need to complete my dissertation. It fits on one page. It kind of freaks me out. Granted, some of the items are large-ish (finish writing discussion section in chapter 3). And my committee members can always ask me to do more. But. Whoa. This thing I've been living with for 3+ years is actually within range of being a completed thing. Holy shit.

I remember when I was little and pulled my Dad's dissertation off one of our shelves. Just like a volume of the encyclopedia. Even then I knew I was grad school bound (see earlier post about my ridiculously over-educated family), but the idea of producing something like that scared the hell out of me. And here I am. 117 pages and counting of ideas that came out of my brain. Who knew?

So I leave Monday for home. My first xmas home in three years (last year was FL and the year before I hosted here at my place). I can't wait - the brother is spending the holidays with his new wife's family (host family, to be precise - she stayed with them while attending school in the states) - so it will just be the three of us. I predict 7 days of pajamas and books and wine. With occasional trips to visit Grandma. It will be absolutely lovely. Oh! And a friend's baby shower! The first of our little group growing up. Hooray to procreating, but hooray even more to postponing until you're a full fledged adult person! (at whatever age that may occur for you)

So, all in all, I'm working my ass off, but life is good. Again.


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