Tuesday, February 19, 2013

i resent the way you make me like myself part II

so, shortly after my mom dies, my world falls apart, and i feel more alone than ever because i didn't get to see my mom, i didn't get to see her respond, and my best friend on the other side of the country and i have a falling out and i feel alone on all fronts. He gets into a great school and i feel stupid.

yesterday we had a meeting with all of the grad students in our department with the grad student coordinator.  our boss.  she asked if we had any complaints or issues that we would like to bring up.  i did.  i asked about getting some feedback from professors.  i have taken at least four classes in my Ph.D. where i received no feedback on my presentations in class, or my final paper.  at the end of my first year i had to take a qualifying exam, i received general feedback on the exam and my progress in the program.  it seems that the general consensus among the professors was that my ideas are brilliant, they were very happy with me in class, my comments and participation, but that i can't write for shit.  that's okay, i can learn how to write, right?  the ideas, well that the hard part.  so i was told to talk to professors and get feedback so that i could improve.  well that rarely happened.  my thesis director would miss meetings, cancel meetings, show up to meetings and say that she misplaced my final paper.  i was frustrated but continued to make appointments, send emails, and do what i could.  i have to say that not all of the professors are like this, some of them gave me great feedback and were happy to discuss my work with me.  i switched dissertation directors and now have someone who is very willing and ready to work.  the problem now is me... again, long story short.  in this meeting, when I asked about getting better feedback from professors, we were told that we shouldn't expect feedback from our professors, that they couldn't force professors to do anything, and that she was sorry but i needed to get over it, that my first two years in the program had been a waste and that i just needed to start over where i am now.  well, i feel like i have done that and didn't appreciate being told that i just had some bad luck, get over it, move on.

so, between feeling like i'm worthless because i don't cheat, lie, plagiarize, and still can't get in to the best schools when others can, and that the grad coordinator feels like the first two years of my education here were worthless, i'm not feeling particularly academic at the moment.  i am trying to write a proposal, i have be trying for over a month now and have very little, next to nothing and a director who would like to see what i have. and what i don't have right now are the good ideas and intelligent comments.

so really what i'm trying to say and what i really want to get at it that its been some 520 days since my mom died and all i really want is to be haunted...


Ben said...

My dear friend, I am hoping for the same thing from my grandmother when she passes away. I was closer to her when I was younger, she's kind of lost her mind now, and I don't know if she knows who I am any more. But if anyone were to haunt me, just to say "Hello!" and they they hope I'm doing well, it would be her. However, according to the Ethics of haunting, it is done in part to remind the haunted subject of their memory debt to the deceased. At least, that's what my thesis says. But I just thought up those rules in a sill academic exercise, and no spirit is beholden to them. At the same time, to be haunted is to have a thought, repeatedly return to your mind. Historically it is a negative thought, but it doesn't have to be, haunting can be a beautiful, positive thing. At least, that's what my thesis says. In a way, you are already being haunted, each time you remember your dear Mother, and how she loved you, despite what happened in your dream. Luckily, no todos somos hijos de Pedro Páramo. Un abrazo desde la costa.

rantipoler said...

Friend of mine, I'm sending you thoughts and prayers and lots and lots of abrazos across the miles that separate us. Speaking as a mother, I know that your mother loved you dearly and continues to love you in the same way. I can't explain to anyone who isn't a mother what that kind of love feels like, but I can promise you that it's one of the few unbreakable bonds we form in this life. Don't give up, and more importantly, don't give in.

Mac said...

Maybe you can't write for shit, but damn if you're not a poet.

Mateus said...

I don't know if this is what you want to hear, but have you ever thought about getting the heck out of academia? There's no shame and you might be able to get past the idea/creativity hang up.

As far as your mother, I have to agree with Anna-Lisa, from a father's perspective of course, but the same feeling. I know there's not a single thing in this entire universe that I would not do for my kids, and that when they suffer, it kills me. I can't pretend to know what it's like to lose a parent, but I know that your Mom still loves you, that we do, and that God does. Those aren't just trite feel-good words, FYI.

I also recognize this is coming in the form of a blog comment, but please look past the vehicle and feel the message behind it.