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Quote of the Day
Friday, August 12, 2005
Inadequate, Behind Schedule, and Over My Head
One of the important skills to develop in graduate school (at least for me) would be learning to be kind to yourself when you're feeling extremely inadequate, extremely behind schedule, and completely over your head.
-- From One Bright Star's Blog, 8/12/05
This spoke volumes to me when I read it just a few minutes ago, because I am feeling very inadequate, extremely behind schedule, and completely over my head.
Wanted to finish Chapter Two last night, but didn't because 1.) T and ST came home, incredibly excited, after ST's first real baseball game, and ST wanted to tell me all about it. How can you refuse a 2.5 year old wearing a jersey that goes down to his ankles?; 2.) I was overtired, despite the baking chocolate -- I'd been up till past 2:00am the night before; 3.) I came to a section I thought was going to be easy to revise, and it turned out to be anything but; and 4.) I found a recently published article that I'd never seen before that was just what I needed to round out my argument, and so I spent at least an hour reading that before getting back to writing.
So, I'm behind schedule, for sure. Chapter Two is looking good, though, much better than it was in my second draft. It flows better, it has real momentum, and I think it sets up my argument quite nicely. Chapter Three, however, is another story. I haven't even begun to revise it yet, and although it's a relatively short (15 page) chapter, there's still a lot of work to be done in the justification for my hypotheses. This is where I'm feeling over my head and inadequate. For some reason, I always feel so stupid when I'm writing my hypotheses out, wondering why anyone would believe that I actually know what I'm talking about. Sometimes I feel like, although I'm an "expert" on the topic of my dissertation, there's still someone out there who could trash my ideas in 15 seconds flat. That is very disheartening.
Another night of work for me, I suppose. Chapter Two IS getting close, but it's not as close as I'd like it to be. My husband wants me to take the night off and get it out of my mind since I've been working like a dog on it -- maybe that's part of the "be gentle to yourself" advice 1B* was talking about today. A cuddle with my cute husband certainly sounds like more fun than another long night in front of the computer. We'll see.
And to top it all off, the spacing on this entry is all wonky. Not sure why. Grr.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 8/12/2005 09:07:00 PM  
1 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger BrightStar said…

    I'm glad what I wrote was helpful. I am still working on learning to be kind to myself, but I was not the kindest to myself during grad school, and I think I could have started treating myself better / more nicely earlier.

    regarding (1) -- see your goals in the about me portion of your blog? I love those. I think you were acting on the higher priority goals right then.

    Sometimes I feel like, although I'm an "expert" on the topic of my dissertation, there's still someone out there who could trash my ideas in 15 seconds flat.

    This is nicely articulated. I think writing out fears we face while writing is useful for me. I wonder what the chances are of your fear materializing? Perhaps it's more that someone could challenge your ideas... but I doubt someone could completely trash them! Also, I wonder what it takes for us to realize how much we DO know? I think you probably ARE an expert (or are becoming one). In my case, I often feel like everyone already knows the things I know about my area, and I am genuinely surprised when my knowledge is more of a contribution than I realized. I think this is because I've lived with the ideas for so long that they've become old and self-evident to me, but they're really unique unto my own analyses and findings. That's hard to remember, for me. So, I relate to your fear.

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