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This wasn't supposed to be an educational crisis post - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 14th, 2012

10:07 am - This wasn't supposed to be an educational crisis post

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Kind of wondering if I should start recording the conversations I have with the YoT in the morning in which he tries to convince me he's awake even though he really isn't.

Me: "How do I know you're really awake?"
Him: "Because of the pandas."

Meanwhile, over the weekend I wrote my Crim Theory essay - you know the one where I was supposed to compare 7 different theories 6 ways from Sunday (literally) in 2000 words? Yeah, that. I ended up with 3700 words when I'd said everything I felt needed saying. Yesterday I shaved it down to 2300 words, today I'll get rid of another about 150 and that'll get me within the 10% margin and that'll do. I've only had to take out about three points that made me go "Gee I hope he doesn't notice I didn't mention that" - which is evidence that a lot of those extra 1700 words were really superfluous waffle.

Concicity*, I has it. Well no I doesn't, I has editing skillz. And what I'll end up with is a workmanlike but uninspired essay that'll get me a B or a B+ I reckon.

And the scary part is, I don't care. Here are all the fucks I give. --->

I know that when I get my mark I'll be all "I wish I worked harder on this" but realistically, compare/contrast is not my strong point and 7 theories 6 ways in 2000 words? Holy unrealistic expectations Batman. I'll drag it back with the next essay that actually means something because I get to dissect a single topic. Also, I really am over study now. I have all these things I want to do and I'm tired of my time being limited around what bullshit academic thing I have to write this week, and this course is giving me 40-60 pages of readings a week and lectures that are so bad I'm not even attending them, and I just want it to be over so I can go "OK now I've got qualifications" and get on with my life.

OK whinge over.

Fact is, every time I see the common knee-jerk reaction to mention of drug use, it inspires me to continue doing what I'm doing. The assumptions people unthinkingly make about other people based on whether or not they use drugs blow me away, and the way people don't question their indoctrination really bothers me. It is possible to be a drug user and a decent human being at the same time, these things are not mutually exclusive, and the frustration I feel at the level of ignorance I see around this topic is what is driving me to finish this. And I get reminded of that almost daily - which in some respects is a blessing in disguise. But geez, you know, it'd be nice not to have to, eh?

The question then becomes, then what? "Oh, do your PhD!" she tosses off as if it's nothing. Five years to get a degree, 2 years for Honours before I even get to start my research. Most people I know take 4ish years to do a doctorate, and those people are not working full time. Realistically, it's likely to be another 8 years or so before I'm in a position to hand my thoughts to the world and go "Look, this. Now fix it, here's a thing to help."

Right now, I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather do with the next 8 years, and I sometimes think life would be easier if I just quietly went about my life and never stuck my head over the wall. I could probably get away with it because I don't look like the type. But that's entirely my point - there is no 'type' - and it's about time the world realised that and changed its attitude before more people's lives get ruined (or just taken). And I've manoeuvred myself into a place where I can do something about that, and now I can't just walk away because it's too important and ...

Fuck it. I need a rest.

This is me telling myself to hang in there for another three months, and then take stock and see how much of a rest I can afford to give myself. And also reminding myself why I'm doing it because when I'm mired in compare/contrast essays about Durkheim and Marx it's easy to lose sight of exactly what I'm trying to achieve. My navel, let me show you it. Thanks for reading.

* I totally made that up.

Comments:

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From:tatjna
Date:August 13th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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That has already been brought up. To which we were told to focus on the similarities and differences rather than the theories themselves. The problem being that we still have to show we understand all 7 theories and all 6 elements of comparison, which comes to maybe 70 words per combination, with a few extra words saying they are similar or different.

Which has also been brought up, to which we were told we need to learn to be concise because academic publishers have strict word limits. So when said tutor was critiquing strain theory and all the things Merton failed to explain/cover, I pointed out that he probably had a word limit. Which made everyone laugh and hopefully made the tutor realise exactly how ridiculous the expectation that we'll cover everything with depth in 2000 words actually is.

Yes, there will be feedback. I'll make sure I go to the last lecture even if it's the only one I go to, just so I can tell them what I think.

Edited at 2012-08-13 10:32 pm (UTC)
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From:tieke
Date:August 14th, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
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What about some full time study? Is that at all a possibility , taking into account things like scholarships, grants, part time or casual work, and restructuring the mortgage?
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From:tatjna
Date:August 14th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
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It's not something I've ever considered as a realistic possibility, but I should probably look into it to see if it's at all feasible - at least for phd stuff (can't see getting a decent scholarship or grant to do Honours eh).

It might be a lot more possible than I think, especially if I could contract myself back to my current employer while I was doing it in some kind of semi-sabbatical arrangement.
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From:tieke
Date:August 14th, 2012 03:33 am (UTC)
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Yeah, sounds like the beginnings of a plan! Agreed, an honours scholarship is less likely to net you enough $ to make full time study possible, but it could still be worth looking into - it'd bring everything forward by a year...
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From:kehleyr
Date:August 14th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
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Editing skills is great to have!!

*hugs* Sends some restful energy :-)!
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From:elven_ranger
Date:August 14th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I have also had to pare down my thesis to just within the 10% margin as well. very scary, stayed up most of last night to do it.

I have to also say I am feeling burnt out and as long as I pass I am OK.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 14th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I'm ok with it until I have to take out something I consider relevant. I'm sure the marker would notice I'd neglected to discuss X. But I guess they know you have to do this and a good marker would be looking to see how glaringly obvious the omission is in the general argument.

Still, it makes me cringe.
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From:elven_ranger
Date:August 15th, 2012 10:03 am (UTC)
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That is my biggest fear too. I tend to try and put whatever I have had to take out of the main text into an appendix.
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