Saturday, April 27

Crunch Time 3

So I did it.  I handed in my thesis to my professor earlier this week.  Now begins several months of re-writes.  I wonder how sick I will be of my thesis before it even goes to my committee?  While I await the first set of re-writes I am hearing horror stories of both the length of time other grads have experienced for re-writes and how many people cry either during or after their thesis defence.  Despite some harsh criticism of two parts of my thesis, I did not cry during or after the proposal, but I was in shock for about a week.  Walking around thinking about how I could have made the proposal better to have avoided the criticism, as well, wondering where a university's responsibility begins in teaching about their students how to complete research, and where the individual grad student's responsibility begins.  Besides, open verbal group feedback is a very difficult experience and chilled me a bit to the bone.  Then again, that is the whole point of a thesis committee, the group that gives you ideas about how to improve your work, your abilities as a researcher, and your writing.  A bit of a double-edged sword, pointing out the weaknesses while at the same time helping the individual to improve through little tiny repetitive cuts to the top layer of skin.  Hopefully I can handle what comes.  The end is near, I just have to sustain my level of progress until the very end.

Towards the end I looked like every other crazy student's space: papers everywhere, books piled in each other, pens, pencils and highlighters all over the place, cups of leftover beverages strewn about, piles of dishes in the sink, semi-rotten food in the fridge, running out of clothes to wear, few clean towels left, and a dirty apartment that scared me.  The picture below is the cleaned up version of my study space (you will not be seeing the rest of the apartment).  Should have taken a shot before I organized.  It was a hilarious, academic mess.    

Worry, not, I was not bored after I handed in my thesis as my student political career winds down at the end of this month as well.  What a strange and eclectic ride that has been.  Full of the interesting, bizarre, and overwhelming experiences that can crush one's soul or bend you in ways you thought you were not flexible.  I had to have a long conversation around January with a colleague about the sacrifices I was making to complete this political work and the tole it was taking on my academic progress.  At the time I was being steam rolled by a colleague and it was exhausting and disappointing, but not worth delaying my academic progress.  From this and other experiences I have learned that democracy is illusive and hard to work through as a process.  I am willing to interpret rules in order to serve people and ensure their needs are met, but there are multiple interpretations of rules and critical thinking is always necessary.  We serve people, not words on a piece of paper, but the ideas attached to those words are important and subject to interpretation.  This makes democracy challenging and formidable.  It has been an interesting few years.  

As these two main pieces of my life come to a close, work that has occupied my life for three years, I wonder about the next steps.  I am lucky as I have already had several job interviews for work in both the tourism and recreation fields.  This weekend I am spending time thinking about what I want from life, and I wonder what the future holds for me and what choices I will be asked to make.  All unfolding uncertainties.  Exciting and a bit scary at the same time.

Off to create a poster and re-read my thesis just for improvement sake...again.
I'll keep you posted.

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