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November 9, 2009

It seems a little obvious, but the only way to get back into blogging is to start posting, isn’t it? Everything has to start somewhere, and when it stops due to boredom and other commitments, if it is to start again, it has to restart somewhere too? No?

Here’s an ending that will hopefully be a beginning: I’m not a grad student any more. I wrote my thesis, defended it, revised it, and submitted it. Yes, you can call me Master. Some of you can call me Mistress (you know who you are).

Here’s the part they never tell you about finishing a grad program: it’s damn depressing. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but once the excitement and thrill of writing what is essentially a book, defending it against an onslaught of slavering academics, and jumping through the spiked and flaming hoops (yes, spiked AND flaming) of bureaucracy, once all that wore off, what I felt left with was a void. Now that I have no lit review, stats, interviews, citations, or meetings looming over my head, why should I get up in the morning? What the hell do I do now?

What I have done is play an awful lot of Morrowind and Final Fantasy 13, submitted a billion resumes and cover letters, complained online and off, and done my level best to avoid all mention of or work relating to my thesis. Oh man, thinking of it makes my stomach hurt. If I ever see that thing again I…

Well, I had better start looking at it again. The tragedy of Master’s work is that you put so much into it and only you and your committee will ever read it, unless you get some publications out of it. So I guess I’m not done with my thesis yet. I suppose publications are the next step.

STEPS

1) Start writing a journal article or a book proposal;

2) Bring resume to McDonalds;

3) ????

4) Profit

I am aware that is one more step than traditional. What can I say, I am a nontraditional gal. Hopefully I can find a more personally satisfying alternative to step 2 (Wendy’s? Burger King? Pizza Hut?), and come up with some ideas for the mysterious and elusive step 3. Will I go back to grad school for a PhD? Move back up north and make some money? Get my TOEFL and teach English overseas? Get a work visa and move to Australia?

I guess the difference between a void and an opportunity is perspective. Also, energy. An income might help.

One Comment leave one →
  1. adithoughts permalink
    November 24, 2009 2:19 pm

    Stumbled onto you blog. My two cents, set targets for yourself everyday (for example, write a science journalism piece, learn Chinese), anything that will take time and effort and give you a sense of accomplishment.

    love,
    Adi

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