Thesis Update: Meh.

In two hours, Christmas break is officially over. Tomorrow is an inservice day for teachers, and kids return on Wednesday. From Wednesday to Sunday I'll be grading freshmen essays like a maniac in order to post my semester grades by 8 AM on Monday. This break has flown by me. We spent six days on the road in Columbus, Grand Island, and Denver. I spent two or three days (they've all sort of ran into one another) cleaning, organizing, and pitching stuff from the house. Three days were spent here at home working on the youth writing festivals to be held this spring and on lining up speakers for my English 9 classes and working on last minute details as we enter into my favorite unit of the year: our Social Action unit. I've only spent approximately ten hours on my thesis....not near the amount of time I intended........

Each time I've sat down to sift thorough data and write has been a chore. I feel lost with no clear direction of where to go or what do; most everything I'm writing is pure crap. I knew writing a thesis would be challenging, but I never thought it would be this difficult. I am so afraid of failing with this major endeavor. I started my Master's program a few weeks after earning my Bachelor's Degree and haven't rested since. I've invested thousands of dollars and three (almost four) long years of coursework...what if I never finish this? What if everything I write is worthless causing my committee to lose complete faith in my prospects as a potential PhD candidate in UNL's Composition and Rhetoric program? It's overwhelming and is holding me back from being productive. For those of you who have been in my shoes, any advice on working through this?

1 comment:

Stu said...

I'm not sure my advice will be useful, but for what it's worth all I can say is - have faith.

As you know by now, research isn't easy in much the same way that interval training isn't easy: it's real work. Unfortunately, hard work is insufficient to ensure success with your thesis; you need inspiration too.

When I got my master's degree I spent months wondering how in the world I could pull together something interesting, relevant and mildly original. Sparks would come intermittently, but mostly just go out. Eventually, an idea took hold and burst into something really useful and six months later a thesis popped out.

I don't know what the magic word is to conjure up such things. If I did, I would be using it right now in hopes of boosting my own research efforts. All I can suggest is to keep searching (and re-searching...sorry, bad pun) and have faith that you will stumble upon that one little idea that you will look back on in amazement at how it got your thesis on track.

Sorry. I know. Not helpful.