Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I'm not saying I'm not going to get better at this, but I am realizing how very poorly suited I am for a thesis program.
To wit, a short list of personal weaknesses:
1. I don't work well under pressure: I'm no good at deadlines (self-imposed, externally imposed to an equal degree), I'm no good at working under close supervision, I feel paralyzed by expectations, particularly if they're held by authority figures.
2. I don't work well with authority figures: I'm no good at standing up to them. I'm not good at knowing how/when to back down. I get tense and tongue-tied and you know that scene in Washington Square? When Jennifer Jason Leigh wets herself while playing the violin for her dad? I feel like that a lot.
3. I have the attention span of a gnat. Which is why (I'd like to think) I'm not working on revisions but blogging about revisions.

Becca, who I ran into as I was, teary-eyed, leaving the 4th floor to work on revisions, as she was leaving her thesis defense (which she passed! Congrats Becca!) pointed out that no one is good at thesis writing. That no one who is doing a thesis is good at the kinds of things thesis-writing requires (if we were good at these things we'd be out making livings somewhere). And this was a kind of relief. And not because it means I can't justify myself in throwing up my hands and giving up forever. Moving to Mexico/Boston/Buenos Aires.

Ok. To work to work. :)


  1. I'd like to make a few observations:

    1) Writing about revisions instead of doing revisions is what makes my essays thrive. Maybe you shoudl switch genres. It is also the reason I am not going to go back and fix the typo in the previous sentence.

    2) I don't think you should totally disregard the impulse to move to Boston or Buenos Aires. Maybe Boston and Buenos Aires. Lots of trendy people have houses in two countries and make it work. And (at least in the movies) they throw the best dinner parties. Which would you rather be good at: writing a thesis (which you will do once, maybe twice, and no one will read) or throw dinner parties, which you could theoretically do daily, if not weekly or monthly, and cause frequent culinary and intellectual pleasure to your closest friends and strangers alike? Be honest.

    3) Sarcastic humor may be the only form of empathy I know how do express. Sorry for your stress.

    4) Congrats Becca!

  2. So I told Connie the a couple of weeks ago that you should be on The Next Food Network Star. I think you would be a terrific hostess of a food show, AND you can go to Boston and Buenos Aires, as well as Albania, cooking your way from country to city to country! Forget your thesis, the Food Network needs you! (Just kidding! I think our parents would shoot me if you dropped out of school at this point, but after your thesis you should think about a cooking show, you would be perfect!)

  3. I'll move to Buenos Aires with you.

  4. I identify with you oh so much so. And my attention span is akin to a gnats, too. Not a good sign! Keep truckin' along!

  5. On numbers 1-3: Yes Yes Yes (for myself) Perhaps I should avoid future thesis writing as well.

    I especially identify with being paralyzed by authorities' expectations (or, at least, my perception thereof)and that internal or external deadlines really only serve to facilitate my blowing things off. No deadline? Suddenly I realize I've actually got to do it.