Moving on

by LP

Last Friday, I needed to hand in the introduction to my thesis. Which was already quite strange considering that said thesis has not been written yet. And if you think it can’t get any stranger than that, yes it can: despite having passed the midterm that consisted of my thesis proposal, this exact (well, 99% identical) thesis proposal was then rejected by the thesis committee. Yes, I’ll give you all a minute or so to let this sink in, it also took me a bit.

The feedback was minimal: it said “feasibility?” on top of my proposal. Being bad at mind-reading-through-osmosis, I have no clue WHAT was considered unfeasible: the setup of my experiment? Do I have too many parameters? Is the amount of research excessive? Is my entire proposal a pile of shit? All things that I need to know to move forward, I’d say? Thankfully, I was able to make an appointment with my appointed supervisor last Thursday. Who turned out to be as in the dark as I was on what They wanted. While we did discuss some useful ways of restructuring my proposal, this left me with a situation that just didn’t work for me: I was expected to write an introduction to a thesis that not only doesn’t exist, but that was also rejected and might not ever see the light of day.

If this had happened to me two years ago, I would have taken this all extremely personal, and would have cried very loudly for hours and hours, bemoaning my utter stupidity and incompetence, after which I would have hovered with my mouse over the “deregister” button on the university website until I fell asleep on top of my laptop. Now however, and thereby proving that I DID learn something during my time at university, I didn’t. Instead, I decided to not be deterred by the fact that the thing I’ve written will not make me pass the class, hand it in anyway and move on. In the next 9 weeks, I will have at least one 1 essay/paper/story deadline a week (yes, this is excessive), and I can’t afford letting a non-successful paper trip me up, I just need to move on to the next piece of work that needs to be done.

In the coming week, on top of starting two new classes, I’ll be going on a quest to find the person who commented on my thesis proposal and try to pry more info out of them, as I don’t want to end up with a “You rewrote the part we liked” and/or “You rewrote it, but you should have switched topic completely” situation, as that would be a humongous waste of time for everybody. An update on this situation will of course follow in a couple of weeks.

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