Mountain Moves

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am in the library and Morrissey is in my earphones.

Do you find that funny? I certainly do. Before that, it was Beastie Boys. So here I sit, six weeks from my 40th birthday, with my youth in my ears.

I should be researching my methodology comp - but the idea of really finishing this thing is terrifying. With sharp pointy teeth and claws that catch. The theory one is done, awaiting some small revisions. Teresa, my supervisor, told me that it was "Original, Scholarly, Insightful and Clear". Her last comment was that it was "Brilliant, well worth the wait".

Which makes me relieved and frightened of having to repeat some kind of brilliance with a methodology section.

Ah, Amy Winehouse. How nice of you to pop up in the shuffle rotation! I understand your feelings on rehab. I have similar feelings on writing this methodology comp.... No, No, No.

Which is why I flipped my shit at Terrance last week when he asked me when I was going to have it done - then scoffed at the date I produced. His feeling was that I could cobble together things I had already written, but I can't work that way. I have to read and think, digest the material, fit it in with my other work. Nothing stands on it's own. The scaffolding of my brain needs to be joined together in some kind of purposeful way and there is No Easy Way.

There is never an Easy Way.

And now, as I stand on the cusp of the great leap forward in my PhD, I feel oddly detached again. My supervisor ( who may be the only person who can manage me with any success in my whole adult life) finished reading my theory comp and wrote me that it was "Brilliant. Original, Insightful,Scholarly, Clear..." It is time to finish this and allow myself to move to a new level - Expert, Professor. For real. No longer behind my perpetually moving eight ball, but standing alone. Done

The portion above was written in March. I finished the Methodology comp last week and sent it in with the revisions on the theory comp. I successfully dodged and weaved until the beginning of July when the urge came to simply be Done with it. Perhaps it was the interview for an Early Childhood position at a local university that I do not attend. It was, I think, the first time I almost saw myself as a Professor. Of course, I think I vaguely scared half of the search committee, while completely overwhelming one quarter, and inspiring love in the final quarter. A pretty typical spread in any given "First meeting with Dawn" scenario. While I did not get the job, which inspired a very upset Dawn taking to her bed like a Jane Austen Heroine, I recovered.

I needed that. I needed to see the end goal, in a tangible way. I needed to feel the potential pleasure of BEING a professor, of considering which texts I might use and how I might design courses.

Languishing in the ether of your PhD program is, I have found, a tremendously comforting place. For the first time, the cost outweighed the benefits. No amount of Terrance huffing and puffing and yelling at me made me move faster. I resisted him for three years. No, it was Me who decided. It was time to move.

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