Anxiety and timing(s).

Three months left to finish the dissertation, get comments on it, fix the dissertation as per comments, and defend it. The urge to panic is great.

Support, though, is abundant – and I’m grateful for it. From all sides: family, friends, colleagues, relative strangers.

It’s not that I don’t think I can do it. I can… I think. It’ll help to have comments from my thesis readers (who will hopefully get two chapters and all of the interface from me Wednesday or Thursday), so that at least I’ll know more or less what they’re thinking. Part of me is worried that they’ll be disgruntled, because I’ve veered away from (and so haven’t addressed) some things that were suggested at my prelims. But another part of me knows that this is par for the course: dissertations change direction, and this isn’t even that radical a change. It’s “just” a shift in emphasis. But there’re three months left, so – panic.

Anxiety, more like. I’m told (and also know) that it won’t go away, so it helps to let it flow through me instead of dwelling on it and making it whirlpool somewhere near my solar plexus. Sometimes the flowing works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s nice to have some agency over it.

This topic is overwhelming. It’s so poorly explored; there’s so much to do. Most importantly, it’s so interdisciplinary, and I feel like the ultimate dilettante. That’s a-ok with me, but what about the rest of the world? You know, potential employers and such?

One of RolandHT‘s early premises was that acquiring knowledge can be done in two ways. You can take in (read, listen to, whatever) large chunks of information, one by one, each of them in its entirety, and analyze each as a whole and in context of the others you’ve taken in so far. Like learning literature by reading novel after novel. Or, you can dabble here and there, follow thematic threads that interest you, and slowly build up a more or less cohesive picture of the world, or a world. The Roland project is the latter; it acquaints you with the archetype(s) by letting you jump around centuries and media and locations. I do this because I think that this is how we learn almost everything we know: building up a worldview by observation, by living and paying attention.

That works very well inside my head; finding words to make it coherent is another thing. Words are coming, slowly but surely. It’ll get there.

The best dissertation is a done dissertation. Yes.

2 Responses to “Anxiety and timing(s).”

  1. Rosa Says:

    You can do it! You can do it!

    (But you know that, already.)

  2. andrea Says:

    “The best dissertation is a done dissertation. Yes.” So true. Repeat that mantra.

    Good Luck! (And indulge in a little CRACK from time to time…


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