Tag Archive | school

Slowly

I’ve been reading this for the past hour:

Sweet irony and absolute fit in one.

It’s one of the earliest books I bought myself, but never read fully through, which I’m sure its author, as an advocate of slow-pace anything, would approve of. It so happens I wrote an essay about idleness for university and did this at my grandparents’ on the last few good and hopeful summer days my grandmother had. I had fibbed a little to stay with them, saying I couldn’t write this at home because of the racket. But in truth, I’m used to the average rackets, and really wanted to hold on to what I felt was getting inevitably lost.

It’s ironic to be reading it because I ought to be really busy right now. It’s an absolute fit because I couldn’t be further. I’ve lived this book and worse.

It started on Monday when I still had an excuse. I was seduced by the sweetness of daydreaming when I ought to have started to research for my thesis. After the hectic weekend and the perfectionist’s panic episode that got quite bad at one point, a few hours of daydreaming seemed well-earned. It wouldn’t stop though. A few hours became a day, two days and five. I had no resistance to the peace of it. It felt like nature had given me an antidote to stress and my body was producing its own anaesthetic.

I quite stopped caring about the thesis and failing it the second time. It wasn’t going to be my failure or fault. It simply wasn’t fair play that others get three months and I got three weeks. I thought so much, so very much, wrote a lot of texts in my head too, and daydreamed a little for intermissions, but I never thought of the thesis. It was like being in a lazy cocoon. At the back of my mind, I knew it was stolen, and every day I was making things more difficult for myself.

Today I wondered if this is what burnout is like? Do you just walk out out of the blue? You totally lose touch and stop caring?

I’ve casually followed some course-related discussions on the forum and felt quite inferior and out of place. These people are interested in this topic! They read extra materials! They have all these clever opinions. And then there’s me recommending others that you don’t need to read through the thick English-language textbook, but can pass the course with just reading the slides. Like Delboy at the theatre asking if anybody fancies a crisp.

The entire time I’ve been studying psychology, I have struggled with this attitude problem. I know too well what my interests are and what I’m never going to need, parts of the brain, for example. And my mind filters out the latter and does not want to waste time on courses like this. But this attitude feels immature. Specialization is good but I’m not at that stage. So I feel like a schoolkid among all those people with more mature attitudes who manage to take an interest in a wider variety of topics.

I just like to think really. To think and understand. I don’t care about where the parietal lobe is.

This semester I like my psychometry course very much. Whatever I do with the rest (two), this I want to do. Its a very rewarding experience in its immediacy too. I recently learnt what a Z-score is and how to calculate it and felt like I understand a new piece of what seemed like elite code. And it’s always a “wow, I see, I see” kind of experience for me, no matter how small the new piece acquired. There’s something so calming in working with numbers too. I think I’d enjoy doing that for a hobby in old age. When others go to a knitting circle meeting, I’d go to a statistics and trignometry group, with lovely nerdy bespectacled Miss Marples. If such things existed, of course. Amateur mathematics.

I suppose I will try to do something next week. It will soon be over at least regardless of the result. This cheers me up a little. Come October, I’m freeeee.

Panic

I had a very small, completely insignificant, an insult to the real thing, panic attack earlier today.

It’s not going to be interesting what I write, but I have to write it in the hopes I can get it out of the system even a little.

I found out on 4 September that I can write my research paper in autumn after all. I hadn’t a topic. I hadn’t a supervisor. The deadline is 30 September.

I managed to get myself a supervisor this week, which is more than I managed in spring. I was really glad and thankful, but I find it unethical to land with this insane deadline on my supervisor. I don’t want to force him to work exclusively with me during the next three weeks. I can afford to work more intensively, but I just can’t expect the same of others. So I’ve decided to go it alone as much as I can. I want to turn up for our first meeting with some kind of a draft already. I don’t see any other way. It’s possibly next week. And I’m so completely lost and have no idea how I can do this.

If people were considerate and sane at university, the normal procedure would be to go to your supervisor and discuss your idea. I’m at this stage. I have a topic: episodic and semantic memory in personality testing. I have a couple of hypotheses. I’ve read a few of the most important articles. My supervisor would help to narrow me down and tell me what can and can’t be done and what might be worth investigating in this topic. Then I’d research it and allow it to settle. Make some minor shifts in focus perhaps. Then I’d draw up the project. But with this idiotic three week deadline, I’m deprived of all that. I have to go straight from an idea to a draft without any support or exchange of suggestions.

No, writing this doesn’t help. It just makes me feel worse. Let’s try about the good things.

I failed that course in spring when they had a normal deadline of three months. I couldn’t find a supervisor, but I also didn’t really want to, so was almost relieved no one replied or wanted me. That’s probably why I’m so chivalrous right now when someone actually wanted to work with me.

And this topic is much closer to my real interests than anything I considered in spring. So it was right that it worked out this way. I feel good on that front. And somehow I will make it for this deadline, I know this, but it’s gonna be full of crises like today’s. I especially don’t know how I’m going to manage to lift myself from a know-a-little to a know-a-lot in the 2-3 days I have before the meeting. Hence the panic. That might even be the hardest thing.