Comments on thesis writing thus far

okay, not the WRITING part as much right now as the TALKING part...

We had our colloquium meeting just over a week ago and found out our "schedule" for writing various sections. I am preparing for this like a track meet --- lots of diet mountain dew, sweatpants, mental stretching exercises, and marathon dance sessions to guns and roses.

An over-arching theme emerged from the meeting = ANXIETY, and I thought -- This Is It. This is when the history of future academics is written. Who will sink and who will swim? Who wants to stay in the academic institution pool, or who will escape to join the salary paying fields that kill trees to make new pools? I looked around the conference room to see if there were eyes hidding in holes peering into the room, or perhaps one way glass concealing the department chair and georgetown funders, each of them laying down bets on us little horsies all dressed and ready in our saddles, about to burst through the gates --- Fear Factor: which one of us will survive? And, who will get a book contract like two of our thesis advisor's students last year? "MTV, I wanna get MADE!"

Ugh. Reality Bites. A friend in the program is going through the break-down I experienced all last year, somewhat unfortunate timing, but fortunate in that there is ample opportunity for a truly creative project to emerge from that chaos...Amazing how the pressure of the institution can take away from the pleasure of the pain. Picture your subjectivity prior to graduate school as Pangea...your plates start to shift with every digested text, every alcohol-infused intellectual debate, every lonely night spent with one hand on your book and one hand on your text...At the end of it all, the breaking apart of prior perspective not only is an alllusion to the philosophical debate of knowledge construction that is embedded in theories of "postmodern subjectivity" as a state of mind, but it also mirrors Heidegger's notion of developing a New World Picture --- From Pangea we get this disconnected sense of self -- at times you feel more in a state of continental drift than others --- but, don't forget the water, the water binds it all, making a comfortable bath to lie in, hands with which to play with the arrangement of the parts.

I am embracing the pleasure of this moment. My plates are shifted, shifting, fighting for space, breaking mountains into plains and melting ice caps to leak liquid onto new ground, new territory that feels new just because of the rearrangment of the old (never forget your roots).

And in such rambling we hope an order emerges from the chaos (i'll spare the chaos theory quotation here and give the one that started this post):

"Intersubjectivity occurs at the moment of orgasm, when things break down." - Chris Kraus

Writing a thesis is a wave of cresting pleasures, and to reach such pleasure, you have to put in some time, some work, some energy. A thesis is a photograph capturing a moment of intersubjectivity, connections between the parts, your "world picture" perspective at that moment in the development of your own intellectual history. Damn it feels good...

No comments: