Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Augh! Auuuugh!

I'm at that point in the thesis where I'm working on a very tricky part of the literature review -- tricky because I've realized that most scholars are smart enough to spend a very long time reading up on this particular topic before attempting to summarize it themselves...and here I am, having read about 30 papers on it, suddenly trying to come up with 2500 words or so that *don't* sound like academic nonsense. For an example of how poorly I'm doing, here's my latest sentence: "Broadly, “governance” involves a transition away from traditional, state-centered forms of agenda-setting and policy implementation, to more diverse processes where a range of non-state actors also participate in an intentional effort to influence human activity around a given issue."

Yes, that's as terrible as it looks. I hate the whole thing, but it's better than the three other versions I wrote previously. Oh, how I despise this stuff. I have 14 pages of outlines from the papers I've read that I need to skim through so I can draw out the key themes and turn this into a real discussion. Then, somehow, I have to bring in a bunch of papers on water management along the border to explain why the hell I'm talking about governance instead of wastewater management or something that might actually be relevant to my research.

I have a meeting with my new advisor on Friday, and I think it's going to go something like this:

Advisor: So, what progress have you made?
Me: *blink.*
Advisor: Okay, let's take a step back. How did analyzing your fieldwork go? Have you pulled out a few themes?
Me: *blink. blink.*
Advisor: Do you have any questions?
Me: (hoarsely) When...will this...be over?

Yeah, it's going to be a painful couple of months. Oh wait, even less than a couple of months!

I have to go be ill now.

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