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Saturday, November 12, 2005
Miss Anti-Diss
I'm having one of those days where I don't like my dissertation. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to write it anymore, and I certainly don't want to do any more research for it. I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to discuss it with anyone, and I don't want anyone to ask me questions about it.

I get this way every now and again, this small voice inside of me saying, "Ah, you know that this is a stupid topic! Why are you bothering?" That small voice is talking to me today, and it's really getting me down. Although I was busy sightseeing today (am not going to waste a beautiful day in ECC sitting in front of a computer!), I could hear that voice, loud and clear.

The thing is, most people think my topic is pretty doggone interesting and on most days, so do I. I find that when people show a LOT of interest, however, I doubt myself even more, thinking that I must have missed something somewhere and that someone will find me out. (Lurking in every academic, I think, is the thought that we're frauds somehow.) Today, after an afternoon of shopping in open-air markets and visiting old churches, I received an email from a well-known professor in a nearby city. He wants me to come to Nearby City (two hours away, by train) and give a presentation about my topic. I don't want to go (and indeed, I might not have time to go anyway). This is just the type of thing that throws me into an abyss of self-doubt.

Days like this are so frustrating. I think I'm having one today because I'm feeling guilty about not having written much for several weeks. Since I got here, I've not written a word but have instead been gathering impressions, materials, etc. Right now, the thought of sitting down to write something is most unpleasant.

All the more reason to head to Mass tomorrow morning, I think. Whenever I'm feeling low, I find that going to Mass gives me whatever it is that I'm seeking. God works in mysterious ways -- perhaps He'll work through my dissertation? THAT would be pretty mysterious.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 11/12/2005 11:36:00 AM  
3 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger BrightStar said…

    mass helps me so much, too... but it won't be in English, will it?

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    Stranger things have happened! I hope you find some peace of mind, on or out of mass, with your dissertation.

    I think you're right about that small voice of "fraud" whispering softly in academics' minds but, even though my voice gets pretty loud, I don't (want to) believe it! Maybe we're just so immersed in our work that it's easy to dismiss it as unimportant - that since this topic is ours, and we don't really know what we're doing, the work must be worthless. Not to transfer my hangups over to you!

    Hang in there; it's a passing phase. You're too competent, intelligent and energetic to stay down for long.

  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger Lilian said…

    Yes, I definitely know the feeling of being a fraud.

    I wanted to let you know that I recently started reading your blog and added you to my blogroll as well. I'll be back (in the comments section, I mean :)

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