Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In which I unwisely blog about academia

I know the rules, I do. Never blog about work, particularly if your work happens to fall into the category of "incestuous academic travails," and if you share the category with cranky supervisors who would enjoy grinding your soul between their fingers if they discover how you really feel about their program.

Oh well. Considering that my last bit of living dangerously involved confronting a massive hairy spider under the gym scale, I think I can risk it. (Why is it that just writing "massive hairy spider" makes my skin crawl?)

I am now approximately three weeks away from thesis submission date, and the replacement advisor has actually taken an interest in my work, meaning it reads my paper when I email a copy. By "reads," of course, I mean skims frantically while multitasking and occasionally writing nonsensical remarks in the margins like "qawlkdso." While I'm sure that failure to qawlkdso is grounds for immediate dismissal from my program, I still have no idea what language it is or how on earth anyone is allowed to advance beyond grammar school with penmanship rivalling a drunken person riding in the back of a truck on a washed-out mountain road.

Regardless, it manages to randomly scatter important thoughts between those impenetrable phrases, which means I have to painstakingly go through the entire document to see which ones make sense. I particularly enjoy comments in which it becomes apparent that the advisor must have skipped the page above its remarks, as the question scrawled in the margin was answered two sentences ago. Also, the comments which clearly come from the point of view of someone who writes about issues from a completely different perspective than my own. While this would be helpful if we were from the same theoretical backgrounds, we are not. I really just want to say something along the lines of, "Yes but I don't care," in response to the next comment about how this really indicates problems with transnational power redistribution, but somehow I think that would not be received well.

And no. Baja California is not part of California, nor is it part of the U.S. Please stop circling it and adding alarmed punctuation nearby.

Next, I'll move on to the new, and possibly most loathed, part of my thesis: maps.


Auglaise said...

Good luck with it!

birdchick said...

I tried googling "qawlkdso" and came up with zip. Maybe it's a cryptogram.

Meg said...

Thanks for the best wishes!

Sharon, you could be right...hmmm...maybe she has a bunny and it's disapproving of my paper? Can bunnies hold pens?

esposo said...

I bumped into a qawlkdso once...nasty little bugger. Feed it some tequila, though, and you should be fine. At least, unless you have fresh basil in your pocket.

PS--Fancy that! "qawlkdso" is also the code word for getting my comment published!