Well, folks, somehow I did it: on Thursday, I successfully defended my MA thesis, and received a “high pass” in the process.
I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has encouraged me through the long, lengthy process of writing and revising my thesis, and to everyone who told me that I would clear this hurdle in my grad school career. All of that encouragement has meant the world to me, and I think I walked into my defense all the stronger for it.
The experience itself was surprisingly pleasant. Really, it’s hard to go wrong when you have three really smart people who care about you and support you sit in one room and discuss the various implications of your work. They had so many wonderful things to say about my project, and a ton of ideas about what I can do with it in the future — a very, very good thing, since I only have a few months to churn out a dissertation proposal.
With this challenge completed, I feel like I can finally move forward. I’ve already made a reading list for the next month, and a list of research questions/concerns that I may want to address. This, really, is where I excel: wading through a vast world of research, mapping the scholarly and theoretical terrain, reading broadly and widely (something the committee commended me for doing) and pulling together various strands of thought in order to formulate my own theories.
I’ve learned so many things from this process, things like patience and dilligence. I’ve learned that it’s not the end of the world when projects change, and to follow my intuition, even if it contradicts all of my initial plans.
Even better, I’ve learned that I know more than I think I do. Really, it goes back to the goal I set for myself last week, to abandon self-doubt and tackle my goals with an increased sense of confidence. In the conversation that ensued during the defense, I let my knowledge flow, and it was a remarkable feeling, because I didn’t realize how many crazy facts I had stored in my head.
I have a lot to consider in the days and weeks to come, but I am looking forward to hopefully getting back to a less stressful state of mind. This last week was absolutely ridiculous — didn’t do any writing, barely worked out, ate lots of fast food — but I’m taking this weekend to rest up and recalibrate. I have watched lots of cartoons, taken naps, sat outside and stargazed, and just relaxed. It feels so darn good.
I am still on a Queen kick, as you can tell from this post’s title, which means I have to add a video clip. 😀
How’s everyone else holding up? Can you believe we’re already in the first week of March?
Don’t forget to swing by and visit the other ROW80 participants to see how they’re doing this week.