Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Regretting my training

I try not regret things. But godDAMN do I ever flirt with regretting the direction I took in my PhD training. I was courted by two very different programs. I almost chose one - then at the last minute thought I wouldn't be satisfied there, so went in the other direction. At times like these, when writing feels like doing algebra because my mind is so tangled round itself that I can't think straight, I wish I had chosen what seemed to me the less interesting path. It was the path of clarity. I could have made it interesting. Had I chosen it, I wouldn't be continually caught up in the incredible, colossal abstraction and obscurity of my writing. That's what PhD school gave me - abstraction and obscurity. So that sometimes when I write I feel like I'm doing word problems in an advanced math class. Like now. Boo, I say. And yet, that seems to be who I am.

*

In other news, the saga of the cyst/tumour continues - back at the specialist's today. It's no longer shrinking. It's just static. Apparently I'll need to have it out at some point down the road. I didn't clarify what "it" meant - ovary or tumour. I don't care right now - all I care about is abstraction and obscurity. Oh, and then I went for blood tests because of other reproductive-system-related things (that he doesn't think are related but are of a whole other order of problem.) Sigh. This is getting old.

9 comments:

Belle said...

The cyst/tumor news sucks. But you knew that. Sending prayers to attending deities.

Re: training. I know the feeling. I chose obscure, and then was flummoxed when my target country blew up and onto the front pages. Now I wander around and re-focus my work on other aspects of original research. I'm not quite academically homeless, but it's damned close.

heu mihi said...

Oh, wretched. I'm sorry. I hope that you get some stress-free time-to-yourself space soon, dear.

Sorry I haven't been reading/commenting, by the way--it seems that bloglines forgot about you for the last few weeks. Just today I was told that you had like 7 new posts (dating back to more than a week ago). But everything is back to normal on that front, now.

plam said...

I do also wonder about what would have happened if I had gone elsewhere for graduate school. It's just one of those questions.

It's probably good to not care about the mystery ailment, since there's probably not too much to be done about it at the moment and it doesn't seem like a terrible problem at the moment (we hope!)

What Now? said...

Sorry to hear about the ongoing health issues -- one more thing to think about or to make a deliberate effort not to think about.

dbm/gaa said...

Oh I am sorry about the health stuff, that sucks. My stupid cold pales in comparison!

I totally get you about the abstraction and obscurity, because I chose it too. Of course my 'field' is on the front page every day, but not what I do in it, and my writing certainly feels overly abstract and obscure. Sometimes I think I should have stuck to a proper discipline, but I'm not sure I could have made it my own.

medieval woman said...

See? It wasn't just me! Heu mihi had it too - damn bloglines. I'm so sorry for the stupid health stuff, but I'm glad it's not getting bigger. And it's not something emergency-ish, yes? But I'm sorry for that and for the new stuff.

((hilaire))

JustMe said...

hugs. sorry about the cyst thing, and i hope it can get fixed/taken care of easily... yah, and good luck with the writing as well!

Maude Lebowski said...

i'm late and behind on my reading here. i'm so sorry to hear about the on going issues and your frustration! i thought the docs were on this! thoughts and prayers to all the deities (stealing lines from belle's comments) that you get better, get some rest, and get to better health and less stress!

(((((((((((hilaire))))))))))))

lil'rumpus said...

ok, so I have been terribly AWOL from your blog...sorry..

also sorry about the cyst...I had an ovary removed in my early 20s due to a gigantic dermoid cyst (the size of an f-ing grapefruit). The surgery wasn't fun 9though the pain meds were cool:) but I have to say that I never have missed that ovary...