On a personal note – 2008 has been pretty productive. I am into my second semester in my PhD program – one more short (one reading class, one seminar) semester to go then it’s onto my comprehensive exams and proposal. I am on a 3 year plan – but my friends, advisor and the rest of the department tend to chuckle when I tell them that. No more than four years though – else I have been threatened with divorce (of sorts since I am not even married!). I have trucked through my BA, and MA in record time, I would like to do the same with my PhD.
However there are a few things getting in the way. I have reintegrated going to the gym into my daily routine. Being a student who only has to leave the house once a week – twice on a busy week – sitting in front of your computer or laptop in bed, at your desk or in comfy blankets on the couch does not make for a healthy lifestyle (if it is any consolation I have a very fit brain!). So, in order to work on my physical self, I have returned to the gym. I love my gym very much. The people are very friendly yet not intrusive – they have good things on the television and it offers justification for having a beer or two when the hockey game is on. However – it seems that going to the gym is the ONLY thing I seem to be able to fit into my daily routine! The gym is not far – a 15 minute walk there and back. My workout is an hour and a half… thats … two hours total. You would THINK I could manage a life outside of those two hours! Not a chance it seems. So that is small thing number one that I need to work through – hopefully soon since this semester has four papers and a 30 minute final presentation (heavy semester compared to last term).
The second thing I am having trouble getting around to is actual work. Not reading. But work. I have a film analysis to do that was left over from last semester. I now have two to do for two seperate classes. In concept, I get it. I have to watch a film, and write a paper based on one of the film theory perspectives that I learned in the class. However, I am struggling with actually getting it all going. Do I watch the film, then read my ‘outside sources’ then watch the film again? Do I read all I can, then watch the film then pull examples out of the film? Do I pull examples out of the film then corraborate them with the outside sources? Do I leave the scene on while I write like leaving a text open beside my keyboard? I know this might all seem silly to someone who is used to working with a visual medium in textual form, but I find the practice of the task hard to manipulate in me head … the manipulation that would be able to kick start a project or paper. I don’t know a thing about a working method here, and it makes me procrastinate.
The simplest things can block us. I remember during my MA thesis defense, I could not find MY pink highlighter. In a panic, I called a good friend to pick one up for me at the store on the way to the defense. Not knowing what ‘one’ I ‘needed’ she bought all the pink ones she could. Happily, she got a ‘sharpie’ and I could happily (but still nervously) get on with the show. I don’t even think I used it for my defense! Such little things I tell you – such little things!