Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Mid-PhD Burnout

I'm actually more than halfway there, and I feel like a hit a brick wall that is six feet thick.

I never anticipated the amount of politicking that this process would involve.  I went into my program knowing what my responsibilities and expectations were.  However, I had NO idea what my department or adviser's expectations were to me. 

I read Getting What You Came For and Becoming a Master Student before I started my first semester.  I was naive enough to believe that if I did my work excellently and stuck to my plan that I would have smooth travels.  My state of mind was like taking a hike through the Rockies in flip flops with a cup of Starbucks. 

The only thing that has kept me hanging in there is my passion for research in art history and black cultural studies.  I am a quintessential nerd whose heart races as I open my new textbooks and skim through them to anticipate my path through the material.  I get excited in the stationary aisle, because I never want to run out of ink or lead.  Yes -- I was a front row center kind of  girl. 

That was before my plan began to furiously unravel...

1 comment:

  1. I feel ya completely. I am so's my first semester of teaching and taking doctoral seminars: initially I thought teaching would be tougher, but's reversed. I did Morrison's "Recitatif" as a lesson plan for my two English 1030 classes. Anyways, it went rad...and this is with a class of 18 consisting of 4 women each, and two black males. The rest are white males. Morrison pulled it off though....class, race, sexism....all the isms are all linked....because of this, all of the comments I received (I told them to put their reflections on the story in a bag, sans names) were amazing. Morrison covers so much in her work: that woman has more brilliance that any other writer I've ever read. Leave it to a short story like hers to unite my class. And....then Charmayne Brown came to visit my class. That woman is a superhero. Don't know if you recall this, but here is a story about some ignorant racist sexist bullshit that happened recently to her in 2008: She is indestructable, brilliant, and I am blessed that she is in my cohort at Clemson. This woman is a gift from God (also helps me out when I get lost on campus, ha ha). She's the type of lady who will take you in, with open arms, and sincerely be your sister. She's my support, my friend, and my soundboard for when I'm stressed.


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