roasting marshmellows in phd hell

Posts Tagged ‘thesis

Viva la Viva

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I’m trying to study for my viva, and by ‘try’, I mostly mean freak out and create post-apocalyptic scenarios that involve the examiners trying to eat my puny brains whilst my books gather a layer of dust not unlike that of Miss Havisham’s wedding cake.

I’ve reread my thesis and wrote one page summaries of each chapter.  Rereading that shit was a very odd experience- one minute, I felt proud and kind of impressed with myself, then just when my head was in danger of getting too big, I’d flip the page and read something so embarrassing that I just wanted to crawl into bed forever like one of Charlie Bucket’s grandparents (not Grandpa Joe,  obviously).

But since I don’t have any badass matching pajamas or a minion to bring me nourishing bowls of stew and crusty bread, I’ve avoided the comfort of my shitty ikea mattress.  Instead, I’ve read the first few google pages resulting in ‘commonly asked viva questions’ and come up with what I hope are passable answers.  Thank Zeus I am a trained academic with all of these skills at my disposal!!1

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this link, where a fellow blogger has written much more eloquently about this sadistic process:


Written by universityoflies

January 14, 2014 at 18:00

Grad School Sucks I Hate My Life Dot Com

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I have not been feeling very motivated to write anything lately be it blog, thesis, or to-do list.  And I just wasted 10 minutes looking at google images of sad puppies.  They are really sad, btw.   Sarah Mclachlan has some work to do yet.  The cause of my general malaise is mostly a meeting I had the other day with my adviser.  I had submitted a chapter that I hoped was pretty much done.  And I hoped our chat would go something like this:

My Adviser: UniversityofLies, this chapter is fucking fantastic.  Let’s move on to the next one.

Me: cool beans.

Then this would happen:

Then I’d go home and write the next chapter and then I’d be done YAY NO MORE GRAD SCHOOL FOREVER I HAVE A PHD YEEHAW!

Alas, my vision did not come to pass.  Basically ze picked 8 million holes in it that I couldn’t even understand, and raised all these questions and said all this shit that I couldn’t even respond to because I had no idea what ze was talking about.  I tried to clarify at first, but then I just felt stupider and stupider and more confused.  My face hurt.  I think I told hir that.  And then I left.

Our conversations don’t usually go like this.  Usually, I go in exasperated and leave re-energized and excited about what I’m going to do next.

The worst bit is that if my adviser sees these holes, they are there.  This is not manufactured bullshit from someone trying to get rid of me or put me down or play politics.  Ze is really fucking intelligent, no nonsense, and above all, fair.  Ze puts a lot of work into reading and evaluating my stuff and is not a joker, smoker, or space cowboy like my last adviser.  (an aside: I hate using these androgynous pronouns but I can’t think of another way to keep this stuff vague.  So I apologize and want you to know that I do indeed write ‘history’ and not ‘herstory.’)

I just feel like I’ve reached the end of my mental universe.

The boat is my thesis and the ‘end of the world’ is my brain. Or something.

I feel trapped and scared, like this is never going to end.  A cycle of me submitting stuff and it not being good enough, because LOOK AT THE CLOUDS PAINTED ON THAT WALL, this is all I can give, ok?