PhDetour

(Props to my husband for the title. He suggested it for a book that will never come to fruition, so I’m requisitioning it for use here.)

I realize that this ostensibly epilepsy-and-academics blog has been heavy on the epilepsy side of things. It’s thus time, I guess, to include a little about school.

Ah, PhD. Oh, thesis. You were once the primary focus of my existence (besides Andrew and family, etc., of course). Now I spend more time teaching, shuttling myself between appointments, and reading Faulkner than I do writing. I haven’t abandoned you; I’ve just let my attention drift a little. A detour, though the end is still in sight. And yes, I’m apostrophizing my dissertation, arguably a bad sign as far as my sanity is concerned.

Notice the abundance of non-academic books. Whoops.
Notice the abundance of non-academic books. Whoops.

I’ve been working on the last chapter of my project for months now. I’d aimed to finish it by the end of November (didn’t happen), then the end of December (also didn’t pan out). My revised goal is January 31. I’m not holding my breath, though I’m cautiously optimistic.

comp
Gchat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencils, a stack of books, and a warm carrel. Working towards a balance of procrastination and productivity.

No, I haven’t been super productive lately, but I’m beginning to suspect that the meagre nature of my progress is not due solely to seizure activity and that flagging momentum might, in fact, be a relatively common phenomenon for someone at this point in the process of obtaining a doctorate. In any case, I’ll likely still finish within my funded years, which means an under-average completion time. And that feels pretty damn good.

You know what else feels good? Afternoons spent in the library. Those rare bursts of inspired writing. Articles accepted for publication. Satisfying lessons with curious students. Discovering a totally relevant and useful new source. Reminders that everyone hits roadblocks, big or small. Sitting down and hammering out a blog post in ten minutes and posting it without proofreading (TAKE THAT, PERFECTIONISM! Sorry, readers). Continuing to chip away at a monumental task and trying to enjoy the ride, even if it’s a bit longer and more complicated than anticipated.

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2 thoughts on “PhDetour

  1. “flagging momentum might, in fact, be a relatively common phenomenon for someone at this point in the process of obtaining a doctorate”. Too true! Everyone I know has had a few months (at least) like that in their final year, and we haven’t had the shall-we-say “additional complications” that you have…

    Good luck with the last chapter, and don’t worry about the self-imposed deadline as long as you’re still occasionally chipping away at it.

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