Over the last few days, I have been hard at work etching out some sort of thesis outline/revised proposal. After a bit of feedback from my advisor, I realize that it is one hell of a task to look at the big picture three years in advance. I am only in my third semester of my PhD, but the way the program is structured, I am outlining chapter topics (loosely mind you) and future reading lists. It is so different than the way that I am used to working this early in a project. To be fair, I have never written anything of this scale, so perhaps it is wise to be thinking about this stuff from the getgo.
That being said, it is mind-boggling to start teasing out where I have been, what I am doing and where it is I ultimately want to go. All this with summer fast approaching is a challenge of self-discipline and advanced scholarship. It is so strange to be in the middle of something and realize – to be aware – that things are changing. They ways we see things, how we approach things; to be aware of this while its happening is both exhilirating and debillitating. I have always felt like a “student” and am slowly realizing that in a field where one always has to be reading, keeping up to date and working, that feeling never goes away. I think once I embrace that, the feeling won’t be so bad.