The Impossible Is Possible

Thursday, 15 September 2011
Yesterday I had another day of utter despair regarding my candidacy. I was ready to give up. Nothing specific happened, I was just revising my abstract (summary proposal for a research project) when I began to realize there is so much I don't know about research or even how to approach or define research.

Advice:  If you think you want to earn your PhD and have not yet started a Master's program, attend a university with a heavy emphasis on research. I earned my Master's degree at the University of Westminster (London, UK) and we didn't write a thesis. Students produced final projects (10 minute television documentary) and a coinciding report.

My research background = utter failure as a PhD UT student. UT is a research-focused university.

So what to do about it? Yesterday I logged on to to see what's out there. I miss reporting because I was good at it. There's something very comforting about day-to-day success in the field. I even sat with a cohort outside and stared off into space for a few minutes (poor use of time, I know). She asked me what was wrong and we discussed the challenges ahead. I guess I feel like I'm on my knees at the base of Mount Everest, preparing to ascend without the proper gear or a Sherpa.

However, I'm learning that there will be highs and lows in my new venture. I went to my statistics class with Dr. Kotowski and it was highly interesting. I don't pretend to get everything we're discussing (Pearson's r, Point Biserial r, Rank Correlatin) but I'm not lost. The best part? Our first problem set was returned to us and I scored a 8.5 out of 10. That is a MIRACLE for someone like me who has never taken a statistics class in her life and is starting out in a 600 level course. My goal is a 9 on the next set but after seeing progress, I feel ready to stay in the game.

Thanks for reading. 


Anonymous said...

You are too hard on yourself D. This is the first few weeks into the program, leave yourself some room to breathe and absorb. By second semester, this will be history. Remember this race is only with yourself, lower the pressure and the expectation. you know and i know you're going to nail this cause it's what you want to do :-) We're here for the extra support and cheer. GO DENAE! X Thabi

LizP said...

Facing your fears is hard and uncomfortable. I know you can do it :-) Step by step, day by day ...

Annie said...

Pearsons r! I feel your pain! I am doing that, too, but probably in less degrees than you. I hate everything that has to do with math and variables and the likes of "y=a+bx". Hang in there sweetie, proud of you!!!

Cincychili said...

Keep up the great work.