29 March 2009

Now with a hefty does of guilt

I don't know how to start this post. I don't know how to start any post, actually, and that's why I have not been writing. I didn't mean for you to worry, I didn't realise people would think this was a February spill, it hasn't been. About a month ago I had a highly bloggable day, a highly how-fun-to-live-in-a-3rd-world-country bloggable day, but by the time I got home I was just knackered and couldn't be bothered. See, I'm not an insomniac anymore [fu tfu tfu] and, as it turns out, I wrote more when I had the mental. I don't miss the mental, my friends certainly don't miss the mental, but bloody hell, was the mental prolific. But guess what - GUILT WORKS, so cheers!

Disjointedly, then: I finished my internishp, and after taking a few days off to re-organise my life (e.g. doctor appointments, finances, everything that had become non-essential for survival) I started trying to write my thesis. Under the lovely Bologne convention, which I believe I have healthily cursed every day since its inception and am now cursing even more, what bollocks it is, I am forced to write a Masters' thesis. I do not wish to write a stupid Masters' thesis. In fact, I very much resent having to write a stupid Masters' thesis, because then I'll be forced to defend said stupid thesis before a jury and - really, you expect me to talk in front of people and not stutter and faint? Nightmares pullullating, I cannot cope with it. And yet, Europe says I must so I am buggered, is what I am.

Despite that, I'd always thought it would finally be a relief after the gruesome years of vet school to have to write, simply write [everyone laughing yet?], and I was shocked to realise that I wasn't able to. The writing thingy wasn't working AT ALL. I couldn't get organised in my mind and it all starts there, I need to find a thread and what I found instead was intellectual illiteracy. After many days of metaphorically ramming my head repeatedly against a very solid wall I had a revelation: vet school robbed me of the will to live took up 7 years of my life [SE-VEN.], and when that was finished I had exactly one weekend off and then started my internship. In 7.5 years I had a few exam-free times but a holiday, a proper go away somewhere and leave it all behind holiday? That happened exactly once, those 10 days I spent at the beach with my Dr. friend, in 2006. If I hadn't been so burnt out I'd have realised sooner that the problem was exactly that, but being too burnt out to realise it - I don't even know how to finish this sentence, use your muscled little grey cells ad lib.

So I decided (amidst loads of guilt, mind, GO WRITE THE THESIS ALREADY!!), to take a wholesome number of days off, around my birthday, and to deliberately NOT do anything remotely academia-related. Lo, serendipity loves me and around this time I stumbled upon a site lauding a video game called Deus Ex, which I promtply acquired and this is where words fail me again, because this game, THIS GAME?, is fucking brilliant, I was in geek heaven, I was in love, I had so much fun I cannot even describe it, and even as I killed my formerly nourishing ocular cells I could feel the knot in my brain dissolving, dissolving, gone. Deus Ex was bliss, and my little heart is still soaring with gratitude.

And now I have a thread. Amazingly, and this will show you how brilliantly the bright can turn daft and not even know it, I had a revelation: I should start with - the bibliography! Isn't that a revolutionary idea? I know, I'm so proud! Over three decades of education and academic work have really sharpened my mind. I am now past the stage where references beget references, and at the stage where I am both already reading and emailing authors directly to beg ask for papers because I don't have access to Elsevier (have a care now and DO NOT even mention my university), and who can afford $31.50 an article? It is hard to write theses in the Magreb.

On an unrelated note, to the person who found me through this search:

I actually found them to be very generous with their bodies.

Hi! You lot still breathing?

17 furballs:

treppenwitz said...

yay! So nice to have you back. Now check your email. :-)

Kristin said...

So glad you are back. I'm glad to know it was just a mental health break.

Anonymous said...

*shakes hands re: guilt works*
may i suggest a supremely devious plan of asking a friend with a student card at a different university to lend you their username and password for the from-home-access to e-resources at their superior library?
i'd gladly give you mine, had i had one, but am in same situation.
good luck!
ps. thank goodness you're back. there was a hole in my morning reading routine;)

Anonymous said...

pps. btw, once you have the un & p google scholar will be your best friend. ever.

QuietusLeo said...

Hurray, you're back. We (my intestinal flora and I) missed you!

Lioness said...

Treppy, thanks, and oh. I will forage.

Kristin, not even that so much as just no muse whatsoever. The longer you don't write the easier it is to keep not doing it, I suppose.

K., funny! I have asked all my friends and it's not easy, not at all. Try scirus.com as well, you might get lucky.

QuietusLeo, THAT requires some explanation, indeed. Am glad to be so... probiotic?, but - what? (You'll be happy to know that I first typed your name as "QuietIleus".)

Kathrin said...

Glad you're back!
And I feel for you! I'm years away from my master's thesis, but I should theoretically hand in my 3 term papers tomorrow and I'm also days away from finishing them, I wrote 10 pages so far, of the 45 pages due tomorrow. If you want to rant off, feel free to write me. I'll be happy to listen!

QuietusLeo said...


JoeinVegas said...

Oh, soon to be officially Master Lioness? wow, almost done. Then on to the doctorate.

Anonymous said...

maybe i can find some of the stuff you need? which journal? let me know (via Twitter message). i have access to SOME e-sources. one never knows, right?

Anonymous said...

Oh, crap. Knew I forgot something. Happy birthday!

Anyway, glad you're back, missed you. I wish I had stuff to tell you about the student front but do not. Good luck with that.


Lioness said...

Kathrin, thank you but it's all I can do to write the thesis, writing about the thesis seems to be beyond me. Are those papers done yet, young lady?

QuietusLeo, seriously, I MUST know what my connection with your intestinal flora is, it's not the sort of thing one can mention en passant and not elaborate on. Give.

K., a friend of mine has been able to procure me a few but I'll certainly keep you in mind for when the bounty ceases, cheers!

Dana, oh bugger, I forgot yours as well! On the 11th, right? Bugger bugger bugger! Will now crawl over to your blog and apologise profusely.

Udge said...

A belated but none the less joyful for it birthday to you, dear Lioness. Hooray for taking time off to recharge one's soul. Write on.

Anonymous said...

I would DIE if I had to write a master's thesis. I'll pray for divine inspiration to hit you. Gently.

I second the notion of video games as release. Tis exactly why I play World of Warcraft. Well, that and to talk to my sister in law. But I do love wahling on things.


Nancy said...

She LIVES!!!

Hi Lioness! Glad to know you're energized and off to write. :0)

Lord Chimmy said...

Ummm, I might have access to some of those articles. Email articles you can't get and I'll see if I have access through work.


Lioness said...

Joe, I missed you before, probably because you traumatised me. I will NEVER do anything academic-related if I can help it, it's too vile for words.

Udge, I didn't exactly take time off, I just didn't have any inspiration whatsoever.

Flicka, make it 'hard'! I can never touch WoW, or I'll be gone forever.

Nancy, nearly a Carpenter reference, hurrah!

Chimmy, I sense that one day you you will regret those words very, very much.