Developing a Plan #PhD #ruXus

Posted August 26, 2014 @ 9:26am | by Tripp

I write to save my own ass, to shove the grip of madness away from me with words."
- Charles Bukowski

Yesterday I wrote about my frustrations and anxiety about finishing the degree. No, wait. Let's call it The Degree. It needs capital letters, you know. It has that kind of place in my life.

I wrote about how isolating it is. I wrote about how I fret over getting things done in isolation. I shared some grief about how the end of coursework was so sad to me. I love a good seminar.

I debated posting it because there's so much of my ego in it. It's a way of drawing attention to myself. I'm well aware of how co-dependent it might be. For what it's worth, I do talk to people about it, people who are here in Berkeley, and one with whom I live. I'm not isolating in that sense. Still, posting something so personal on a blog is worth closer scrutiny.

Nonetheless, I am deeply grateful for the kind responses both on my blog and on Facebook from friends and acquaintances. Some even sent me private messages offering support. Truly, these are kindnesses I will not soon forget. Thank you.

The truth of it is that I am freaking out. It's to be expected, I'm told. It's time. One mentor of mine who possesses two (2) PhDs recently exclaimed, "Oh! Comps?! They are terrible. I'll pray for you." It was very good to know it's not just me. This is the trap of isolating, of course. I keep thinking that it's just me. I am the only one who finds the process isolating and sad.

Nope. Not in the least.

So, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to try to take people up on their offers of support. I am also going to trim back on some other things I'm doing in order to make for more cognitive room for the work of comps and dissertating (note: spellcheck does not believe that dissertating is a real word; silly spellcheck). I will say "no" to a couple of things I love in the process. But if I am going to make this happen, I've got to make room for it to happen. I keep filling my time with charming distractions.

This means that those of you who offered support are on notice. I'm actually taking you up on your offers.

Another thing I am going to do is calendar this stuff out again. I used to do this well. It's how I managed to get through coursework and the comps proposal process in record (for me) time (even a little ahead of schedule for the program). Let it be calendared. Let it be done.

Lastly, I am going to schedule in two ethnomusicology conferences for each year I am in this program. One will be a return to Ripon College, Cuddesdon. These are my people. This is my field. As much as I turn this work into theology and ecclesiology, these conferences are where I don't need to translate my jargon. Thus, they are also the places where I get a clearer understanding of where new work is being done. Also, I'm up to my eyeballs in theology here at GTU. That base is well covered.

Thanks again to all of you who have shown me such kind support. I won't soon forget it.

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