Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the problem....

its me. amy was right. the trouble im having with the fancy silk socks is a reflection of my state of mind, which is 'frazzled' to say the least. its not that the pattern is particularly hard, but it requires concentration. i think that im concentrating, but then i look down and find ive somehow misplaced two stitches that round, and realise i wasnt concentrating at all. i am thinking. thinking too hard, too much. it hurts.

i am treading a very delicate political line in relation to the submission of the pensky file. given the history i have had with absent supervisors, i went ahead and wrote what i wanted to write. we had had a disagreement about that before, but i thought we were over it. the only way i could write was to focus on what i wanted to say, and how i wanted to say it. i worked really hard. very complex theoretical reading, plenty of archival research. i have had parts of it published, with very good reviews. i finally get it all done, and i hand it over (reluctantly) to two people who i really havent talked to in two years, and i meet up with them today to discover that their thinking has not changed since the last time we met.

i wont bore you with the details, suffice to say that the male academic ego is a fabulous thing. i had less than an hour with them today and i got no real helpful feedback and a whole lot of patronisation.

i am at my wits end. i am completely drained, emotionally, intellectually, financially. i can feel myself slipping back into that space of two years ago when we had our initial confrontation after which i couldnt bear to look at it. i would rather not finish than do about half the things they want me to do.

so i will do the things i know i need to do and then when thats done i will tell them that i can do no more. if they wont sign off on it, i have someone who will. i dont want it to come to that, but theres only so much a person can take.

in the meantime, i have restarted and refrogged the fancy silk sock and the lovely sugarmelon yarn has gone back in the stash basket while i return to something a little less complicated - the second jaywalker, and the second of trents contrast sock.

tonight i think i will have chocolate ice cream for dinner. full cream, thanks very much.

k xx


Taphophile said...

Take that you damned fancy silk sock! Enjoy your dinner. For a completely balanced meal may I recommend needs a chopped banana, crushed nuts and choc sauce with it, or maybe some frozen raspberries.

Rose Red said...

Mmmm chocolate ice-cream - what a great idea. I've only got vanilla but I've got caramel topping. I might have some right now!!

And a big old ptooey to your supervisors!! Take the advice you think you need, consider the other, and if you don't agree with it, do what you think is right - surely the point of doing a PhD (or at least one of them) is to encourage independent thought?

amy said...

Oh, Kylie. I've never had to navigate what you're going through now. The whole system sounds as if it's built to destroy. Stay strong and true to yourself. Hugs.

PS When I'm stressed all I can handle is either stockinette in the round or flat garter stitch. I found mittens very soothing.

TinkingBell said...

Choc ice cream, fudge sauce and a tokay on the side please (and go with Taphs banana and nuts!!) Your assessors are NOT your syupervisors - do what you have to, get it signed off and submit! Bloody male academics - all pants and ego!

MadMad said...

I, too, find there isn't much like a jaywalker to take the edge off: not completely mindless, but you don't need a chart, either. Well, chocolate ice cream helps, too.

Oh, and it's not just male "academic" egos, unfortunately.... Thank God most of them don't knit, you know? That way we have a little place we can go that they don't think they know how to do better...! Oh, sorry, there's my "bitter" showing, again! ;)

Georgie said...

As Amy said, stay strong and true to yourself. Its YOUR THESIS. Go back to the PVC (?) you met with a few weeks ago and see what he has to say. You will get there because you have the goods and youve put in the work.

And may I recommend a dishcloth for almost instant soothing gratification? Its working for me right now!! And it very washable if you drop icecream on it.

Bells said...

George is so right about the dishcloth and its benefits. Give it a go Kylie. Put those tricky socks away until you have the brain space. Seriously, you don't need the complications. hang in there mate. Not long to go.

Caffeine Faerie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caffeine Faerie said...

Oh hon,

I've been there and done that. It's YOUR heart, soul, blood, sweat, and many, many tears. The male academic ego is a shocking and callous thing. I, however, was lucky enough to not need a supervisor to sign off my MA before submitting. And I remember the dissolving into a gibbering wreck when, with a week before submission (and fighting with 2 absent, male supervisors), I was told if I submitted "that piece of rubbish" I would assuredly fail. I didn't fail. But the whole issue never got resolved. Hence my bitterness to my old alma mater.

But a PhD... Nobody should have to endure that sort of bullying, especially not those who work hard and want to achieve. You have done so much already, it should be your voice and your ideas. There shold not need to be anything of your supervisor in your work. Who are they to tell you what you should do with your academic voice? See you convener, see your HoS. You have completed all the requirements, you have published (and the school will gladly take that publication as one of theirs). There is no reason why those men should refuse to let you submit. Claim academic integrity and independent research.

But, just know, you're nearly done, and once its gone to the markers, there's nothing those egos can do.

And just knit squares. Or a clapotis. Don't do socks now, you'll just get upset when you need to frog.

I think you deserve more than chocolate ice cream. You need a giant care package...

Fernicle said...

You know, when I had that meeting on the full draft with my supervisors it was the only time I was on the verge of tears in their company! One suggested a complete rewrite of a chapter and delving into a whole new body of theory (why this came so late is still a mystery!) Fortunately for me, one of my favourite, if sometimes very tangential supervisors saw my tearyness and saved the day by saying, "You know Fern, you have reached that point in your candidature where you are the expert. We can give you our ideas and opinions but it is your thesis and you make the decisions about which of these you think you should take on board". Then I nearly cried with gratitude! I think the same applies to you Miss Kylie! At this point, what you do and say is your decision. In other words...Screw em!

Soooo pleased I might get to see you soon and hear about all this in person!

Much love and supportive kisses flying your way until then!

Jejune said...

I'm so sorry you're having such a crap time with these guys - I'll put a cautious vote forward saying that not ALL male academics are like this, your two seem to be particularly hide-bound and prejudiced. :/

My husband had a summer student for these past few months, who just gave him a card saying how he was the most wonderful, enlightening, supportive and perfect supervisor, and how they'd learnt so much, and he'd explained everything so well - but I know he is an oddity (in a nice way ;)

I really hope that you can stay true to YOUR THESIS (as others have said) - in fact, I think it's vitally important that you do so. And stick with the mindless knitting for a while :)