Friday, December 03, 2010

almost home

well, i talked it over with everyone. my daughter said,
don't quit mom.
so here i am, still plugging away. i've gutted my thesis and i'm restructuring the argument. it's a far better paper than it was. i had a lot of work to do, still do, but i'm halfway through this latest revision and i'm beginning to feel hopeful again. like time is not after me, but i do have a lot on my plate.

it seems i wanted a certain thing to be. that certain thing was not what i hoped it was. no surprise there. but i had to mourn the idea of the thing, before i could move into the new thing. it's how i am. i do everything by feeling and intuition. maybe not the best way, but i've still about twelve days before my paper is finally due, and i know i can do it. as i said, i'm feeling hopeful again.

when my mind starts to wander down the list, the seeming endless list of obligations and deadlines, i just pull out my clipboard and write those things down. i have crossed off a great many of late, but the list is by no means done.

there are a lot of changes in store, i can feel it. this paper, this process, this ordeal, has changed me. and that's okay. i need to improve, there's always room. i think i was most shocked that i needed a good solid kick in the ass to get me moving forward. i had worked so hard to get the paper to where i thought it was done, but it soooo was not. i see that now. the paper is infinitely better now and it's not even complete yet.

my girl is happy, i read my paper aloud last night, the first ten pages of it. and it was far better than before. my girl and i sat side by side working on her homework and mine. she needed help with ideas and my strange associative mind was the perfect thing to bat around these long convoluted scientific sentences. i swear i don't remember any of that from school. she had to keep explaining the concepts to me and i would look at her blankly,
lactic acid, what?
she would sigh, and repeat herself. she is infinitely patient with me. which helps.

i swear it was like listening to charlie brown's teacher. i could barely comprehend what she was saying. but i tried really hard to focus, and sometimes she had to repeat the sentence and the explanation three times for me to even get it. but i did. we figured it out. and so you don't think i'm a total ditz, let me just say, i was working on my thesis at the time, so at least the first time she said the sentence my brain was still otherwise engaged. no explanation for the last two repetitions other than, damn, eighth grade science is hard.

one of the things i've realized, is i've so brutalized, maimed the english language here, so firmly entrenched myself in this style of writing that is me, that i can't write a normal paper without much angst. first of all, forget writing an outline. that ain't happening. second, using full sentences and caps. damn. third, i leap around a lot intuitively. this space is mostly the prewriting for my poetry, so i don't really care what the words say, it's the poems that matter. the words help me muddle through the clutter, but then, the poems come and they are spot on.

committing yourself completely to a thing, an angle, a process, a way of doing something is good and bad in that it takes a great deal of effort, conscious effort to fit someone else's box. mostly i'm hanging out of the box, and bitching about the box, but i've got to get most of my shit in the box so i can pass. i understand this now.

i will most definitely have earned this damn degree when it comes time for me to graduate.

and i can see the flag announcing the last lap.

what a relief, this semester has sucked major cojones.

so, time to get back to it.

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