Well that’s done…

So there it is. I have been told I can continue as a real PhD student (!!!) with a few provisions. For whatever reason though, the whole process made me feel pretty terrible. Probably has something to do with my assessors pointing out that a lot of things that I told them I am “really interested in doing” would have taken me about two hours total to do before I met with them. And I hadn’t done them. And a week later… I still haven’t done them.

In other words, I am here:

What is wrong with me?!? I DO want to do these things, but my brain is just stuck (??). Yes, that is the best explanation I have.

Now that we’ve got that mini-rant/cathartic moment out of the way, lets move on to something more important: House. I’ve recently gone back to watching this show, mainly because I’ve somehow convinced myself that learning everything about this TV show will be a replacement for like medical school or something. Anyway, it’s not really very good anymore, but it still seems to have a few gems, such as in the first episode of season 6 (which, by the way, was bad) House says: “Successes only last until someone screws them up. Failures are forever.” Which is depressing, and really about why House is afraid to actually connect with people or something schmulzy like that, but I found it an interesting view of success. Also of my PhD project: it is only working until it stops working, and then I will have nothing… again. But really, that’s not what the PhD is about, it’s about that process of this cycle and fighting through it. Take that House! Success isn’t really something tangible…

Which brings me to this great New York Times article: Daring to Struggle on the Road to Discovery, which I understood to be about how the current accelerating rate of technologies, business, and science means that the entrenched ways of doing things, the ways that most of us learn and that the people who are “successful” excel at, are only going to cause us to run aground. I feel this same frustration from the first two years of my PhD. The antiquated methods that seem to be the common practices of my supervisors just make me want to puke. Granted, I can hardly blame them because it all seems to work out all right, but it means I have now placed a burden on myself to correct these practices… for myself, which I’m not looking forward to. But I know I have to do it to get rid of this perpetual nausea, which I think is a symptom of my realization that in many ways I have just been doing what my bosses have been telling me to do, no matter how ill-advised it now seems through the magical lense of the future (present).

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