who the heck knows anything, anyway

Monday, February 10, 2014

grad school: a procrastination-fueled update

Since I started grad school, I sort of imagined I was doing something wrong. It was hard, but it wasn't as nightmarish as my peers described. Yeah, deadlines always got me antsy and angsty, but I met them, and I moved on. I improved with every packet--and by leaps and bounds with each passing term--but felt like I was getting to be pretty good! Surely, with how much I already have done, my thesis will be a snap! I will be praised endlessly by my advisor, but the praise will not be empty, it will be well-earned! 

I actually said this to my advisor before the term started:

"I want you to be tough. I can take it. I want to be great, so don't pull any punches."

HA. Haha.

Now that I am DOING MY THESIS, I realize that I am a big ol' fool. I feel the pain of every thesis student who has come before me. I feel the sting of my own words.

I got my first packet back from my advisor. And the whole time I was reading the feedback, I was thinking: "Daaaaaaaammit, he's right. He's right about everything. I can't even argue with this."

And then I realized

that I am going to have to revise

all of it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

thesising makes me boring, i'm sorry

recreational seaweed classification in Arch Cape, OR

I've been back in the UK for about a week now. Actually, yeah, a full week. I'd say I'm over the jet lag, but I slept from about midnight to noon last night, so I won't say that.

I'm working on my Masters thesis now. It will, hopefully, be a near-complete draft of my novel. I actually wrote 400 words today. That's a big deal, you know. I'm not a 1,000 word/day writer. I'd invite my close friends and family to question me about drug use if I ever go more than one day in a month wherein I write more than 1,000 words.

I don't have much to talk about at present. Life is rough and tough and tiring and heavy, but I don't have it too bad. Being the middle of a particularly tough winter (though just grossly soggy here in Oxford, more than cold) in the states, I'd like to remind everyone that donating to charities is a really nice thing to do. And for those Xians in the house: Lent is coming up. You could always give a little instead of abstaining. Giving has been on my mind a lot, lately. I wish there was better conclusive evidence about how/where to donate to improve education... Have you ever looked at Give Well? I recommend it.

And here's a quote from Vladimir Nabokov that I saw on the Paris Review's tumblr. It's why I keep Daniel around, too. If I ever publish anything, it's because my beau is my voice of reason:
“[My wife] presided as adviser and judge over the making of my first fiction in the early twenties. I have read to her all my stories and novels at least twice; and she has reread them all when typing them and correcting proofs and checking translations into several languages. One day in 1950, at Ithaca, New York, she was responsible for stopping me and urging delay and second thoughts as, beset with technical difficulties and doubts, I was carrying the first chapters of Lolita to the garden incinerator.”

Ok, back to writing. And reading. And checking Twitter/doing laundry/procrastinating.