Friday, September 07, 2007

Whiny Ginger Post

Alright you've been warned. If you don't like self-piting whining then just skip this post.

Three weeks into the semester and my to do list remains just that a to do list. I have a ton of things needing to be done. Like MY THESIS. Oh, and Ph.D applications. Nothing too major. Ha. And I keep doing these half ass things that normally get me going but this time the tricks are not working. I need to write a statement of purpose. I need to write a thesis proposal. But for some reason I feel amazingly ambigious about these projects. These projects that all have a rapidly approaching due date.

I realized today I just feel really insecure about everything. I am afraid to start writing because I've decided that my writing is childlish, well not childish, but just...I don't know...not intellectual enough? I don't use enough big words. My sentences are not complicated, etc, etc. I keep thinking "Whoever reads my statement of purpose is going to think I'm idoit." And then I start worrying about actually getting accepted. Will my pronunciation issues earn me the scorn of my fellow students? Argh, crippled by insecurity.

Mostly I just feel not enough to do a Ph.D program. It's a horrible feeling. I need to stop listening to Morrisey.

"There's a club if you'd like to go

You could meet someone who really loves you

So you go and you stand on your own

And you leave on your own

And you go home and you cry

And you want to die"

My insecurity used to lie in being alone in bed. Now it lies in being alone in my intellectual world.


Ros said...

BIG hugs, and sending some of my Prozac through the 'net. I'm so right there with you. I'm offering to read your statement of purpose & help you tweak it, but I bet you won't want to share it -- I never want to share MY academic writing; it was a sign of the f'ing trust I had in A****le that I let him edit my dissertation! I would read for you, and I already know you're really really smart from reading your blogs . . . . shall we go back to the 30 minute a day challenge? Promise that we'll do it even if we just sit there and cuss at the blank screen for 30 minutes? One of my friends just became Dr. yesterday; she says now it's my turn & she's AFTER my ass. Hmm, fear might work.

John B-R said...

First - you're not alone. You have us. Second - We wouldn't come here to play with you if we thought you were an idiot. Third (and remember, I've spent 26 years on major university campuses) - fuck big words. You don't need big words. Unless they're the only right words. You just need real thoughts. Fourth - Do you have a purpose? That's what goes into your statement of purpose. Once you have that figured out and in writing it can always be tarted up. Fifth - you have friends like Ros. It's obvious she (and I'm guessing she's not the only one) has got your back. 30 minutes a day ... as one poet said to the other, make time for the poems and the poems will come. All artist know that unless you go into the studio every day you'll never do any work. Sixth - isn't what your going through fairly standard grad studentitis?

John B-R said...

PS re: big words - I can't imagine why a person who reads Deleuze as easily as others watch NASCAR should have any problem coming up with the appropriate words to use.

Ginger said...

Thanks John and Ros. I know I can do this...just the whole pronunciation thing from last year kind of shot my confidence down.

And yes this all typical grad. student stuff...just moping about a bit the last few days.

Jon said...

I know my comments are late, but I agree with the others - this is something that shouldn't really worry you that much. Saying that, I completely freaked at having to write a proposal, and then having to interview, and now having to actually write the damn thing. And my academic writing is awful - my ability to form sentences dies, I forget words like 'which' or 'that' which would save me hassle.

Also, it's not like you don't have any training. You're finishing an MA, you'll have some more classes for the PhD before writing your thesis. So your writing will improve, or should improve. American schools do like to make it look exceedingly difficult to get in though, in my experience, and I have to admit that it frightened me off from applying to schools in the US. They gave me the impression you should already have a PhD to get in, but let's face it, you shouldn't be writing at a publishable level yet, and really a lot of published academic essays are not well written anyway (at least in my academic speciality). The schools know that you're finishing your masters, and will expect such a level from you.

So don't stress too much. Just a little.

Good luck!


Lolabola said...

oftentimes empty big word statements are what really show insecurity. I'm sure you'll come up with the right thing....;)

Horacio said...

in the words of Mark E. Smith, what you need is a "pacifying joint!", the rest is a piece of pastel.