This isn’t fun anymore

I’m going through, in detail, feedback I received from my supervisor on my draft proposal. I’m really lucky to have a supervisor willing to provide constructive detailed comments. I know lots of students have a challenge of getting their supervisors to engage at all so I’m very thankful, and count myself lucky.

What it has done has highlighted I have no fucking idea. I think that’s the first time I’ve sworn in this blog and for those of you who know me personally understand how unusual that is (I swear in RL a lot). Research is fun when it’s on what I want to research, which is why I spent some time today also trying to get a paper for APIRA to have shape because I like it as an idea and Leo has found really cool data and analysis. That’s exciting research and it’s fun.

What is not fun is post-structural ideas. The more you read, the less you understand. The more you think you have an idea, the more it is apparent you do not. I also object to the expectation I will write like they do. I am not a post-structural philosopher, I am a researcher who needs a framework that enables multiple viewpoints to be considered, operates across disciplines, permits there to be more than one answer to the question and yet still gives sufficient structure the research is credible and valid. Post-structuralism, using discourse theory, does all these things. But apparently I need express my framework in the words and concepts of people who have spent their lives thinking about this concept. I have not.

So, where does this leave me? Well, stronger, because I understand weaknesses in my ideas and better yet know how I can address them. But it leaves me sad too. Sad because I will not make my confirmation deadline. Sad because I have to read yet more post-structural texts with their inaccessible language. Sad because I thought I understood, but I don’t. Lastly though, I feel happy. Happy because knowing I don’t understand is knowing that I’m learning. So while this might not be fun anymore, I’m actually happy because I’m learning. I really wish learning was fun…….

A FB friend (and old school friend – thanks Emma!) sent me this in response to this post. It’s gold.

phd072814s

source: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1734

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