It turns out that I’m still a PhD candidate. After a long talk with my advisor, I decided to stay with it, as they addressed some of the concerns I had, and…quite frankly, made me realize that I’m not half bad at this. My advisor was fairly candid with my about my performance, and it was all quite positive.
I’m still feeling highly motivated to write, so I figure having limited time to focus on my own writing may make me more productive. In the past few weeks it has, since I’ve had to divide my time up so carefully. I’ve managed to stay on top of assignments and punch out more than 5,000 words, so that’s something.
Meanwhile in PhD-land, I’ve been reading a lot about something called Arts-Based Research after having taken a class on it, and I’m intrigued. It’s an interesting marriage of arts and research that can potentially make knowledge more widely accessible. I’ve always faulted academia for being too insulated, so it’s a relief to be in a program that doesn’t see itself as developing the next generation of Keepers of the Ivory Tower.
Having a job environment that isn’t saturated in elitism and hatred masked as sarcasm is helping immensely as well. Once again, it reiterates to me that who you surround yourself with matters; if you spend 40 hours a week with people who are tiresomely full of themselves and always ready with a biting, negative quip, it’s going to pull you down. And what really chafes is that humans have the uncanny ability to normalize to really shitty situations, so often we find ourselves plugging along and tolerating it.
So here we are – new job, new outlook, same program, maybe a bit more invigoration? Ask me again at the end of the academic year.