Monday, November 13, 2006

Putting my Eggs in Too Many Baskets?

At the moment I seem to be trying to write my masters thesis, find people to be on my committee, and figure out all the paper work to graduate while simultaneously writing a dissertation proposal, finding funding for the dissertation research, finding a site for the research, and on and on. Am I crazy? I'm starting to think that I am because I don't seem to be making progress on any of it. I also have a 50% time TA position and my own coursework.

I thought I was simplifying my life, trying to do less, and concentrate on what I really want to get done, but the minute I try simplify some crazy part of my unconscious convinces me to take on a bunch of extra things. I really want to get started on my dissertation research, but I know that it will take a while to get funding, so I need to write the proposal and submit it to possible funders. Unfortunately, I don't feel at all confident that I'll get much help from my advisor. So far papers and proposals submitted to her have resulted it a few verbal comments and nothing in writing. Isn't that weird? She's always friendly and generally supportive, but it's difficult to get any real feedback from her.

On the positive side, she recently said she might "use" some of the concepts from the paper I submitted to her last spring in an article she is writing for submission. The question is, what does that mean? Based on our conversations I suspect that she hasn't read much of the recent research that I was reviewing in my paper. Should I have to specifically ask for written comments? If feel like I could write up a thesis and get it approved without any substantive feedback and graduate without learning a thing.

Unrelated to my academic anxieties, Beorn decided to make hot sauce from scratch in our kitchen tonight. He blended everything up in the food processor and then put the resulting mixture on the stove, so now my lungs and eyes are stinging and I feel slightly sick to my stomach.

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