I haven’t had an idea for a post in a while. I’ve been writing, not necessarily the things I’m supposed to be writing, but writing nonetheless. I have a year’s worth of short bits in my journal that have given me a new outlook on my life.
I don’t change much, really.
I think that it’s hard to see a whole year unless you’ve chronicled it in some way, whether in a scrapbook a bullet journal, or even your photo albums on your phone. Without that easy avenue to look back, you’ll never leave the path you’ve been on for, well, your whole life.
By having a link that forces me to see what I wrote on this day last year, I can spend a moment lamenting over how the obstacles and complaints are still the same and that, whether by my own fear or others’ handiwork, I have not moved forward as much as I’d like. Alas, reflection is not always a positive experience, but it is always useful.
I am supposed to be writing the revision of my dissertation proposal, but I am a bit lacking in the motivation department. I even set up an appointment with my diss chair to get me moving and, maybe when it is imminent (as in that day) I will finally get something workable on the page. I would like to not be like this. I don’t think it’s fair to me or my chair.
How much do you want to hear about this journey? I wonder if it would be helpful to future Ph.D.s to hear about my experience. I know I found a lot of advice online (for reasons) and wouldn’t have made it this far without it.
However, it’s not a path I would recommend to most. It is not necessarily healthy, mentally or physically, and the rigor of the work is largely performative. There are small movements, particularly in the humanities, of making the PhD process more a communal practice instead of an individual struggle. They are slow though and largely rooted in the departments outside STEM.
This is my sixth year in the PhD program. I am a bit jaded now, which is why I wonder if it’s time to go. Not leave the program, but leave the fellowship, find full-time work doing…something…and finish the dissertation on the side.
I love working with students. I love reading their writing. Teaching, though, is changing and I’m not sure I want to change with it. I’ll talk more about that later.
For now, I think I will try to post more often and talk about school, my interests, and various things. I am not interested in creating a personal brand, though I am not completely against creating merch. (But I’ll probably forget to.)