Saturday, February 5, 2011

Facing failure

I'm failing, and not because of the obvious fact of receiving the first of the many more rejection letters to come. I'm failing, because I fail to face my failure in dignity. I have never been able to do that. I avoid feeling anything, instead of embracing the failure gracefully. Not that we can always learn from and grow with our mistakes. Sometimes, most of the time, there's no cohesion from which we can make sense of the things that go wrong in our lives. But still, how you face failure is important. It makes you who you are. You can say things, make up principles, hope for the best, for the worst, expect and prepare - but in the end, how you face the crisis is what defines your fabric, your place in life. And I'm utterly failing to claim that place. I run away from it, instead of taking the opportunity. Being in the right place in the right time - that part is easy, it's chance, and I've been there numerous times. Being in the wrong place in the wrong time, however, is just as important. We all need a new perspective on things, it's part of growing up, - and also, it comes with the job.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


So much for Duke, and so quickly too. And the minute I saw the e-mail I thought it was good news and I panicked because I thought I could not handle it alone - because it was possibly too good to be true and I had to decide whether I wanted to go to such a small town. With this great encouragement so early, I thought I would not be able to handle the rejection from the bigger towns later on.  That's why I panicked. And because I was alone. So imagine the feeling of utter emptiness when I saw the much more familiar expressions on my decision letter. I read it in a single breath by the way. I am that good with rejection letters, I can spot the keywords in a heartbeat.  I did not linger, there's no need to do that when you know all the keywords by heart. I closed the web page along with that North Carolina at Chapel Hill chapter of my life, but then I remembered what I saw. I now see it more clearly. One of my recommendation letters was not submitted. No wonder the letter came so early, there was no need for a decision at all.

Should I be mad? I can't handle being mad. Not for this. I only know being mad at myself for this stuff. I'm an academic self-loather when it comes to rejection and failure. I don't know how to blame someone else.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chronicles of a Thesis Dissertation

I don't fear the jury meeting. I believe I did the best I can. And not in an optimistic sense, or because the amount of time was insanely limited and I had other things to take care of in the mean time. I did the best I can, in the realistic sense, because this is going to be my first piece of bounded (if not published) writing and I could not have it otherwise. It could not have been mediocre, although I still think the whole business of this thing called the MS degree is a sham: MS theses are not genuine or significant contributions to the accumulated (scientific?) body of knowledge about societies. But I do seem to take them seriously in their insignificance. Because it's the first time my thoughts and arguments are going public. As I wait for the first response, I'm proud, scared, depressed, and obsessed. And not because I have doubts or fears - again, I'm confident in the end product. I'm proud, scared, depressed and obsessed because I'm lonely. I've been lonely all the while I was writing it, I'm lonely now waiting for the results. 

No one told me this before. The worst thing about writing a thesis is the loneliness.

I think this is a weird case of postpartum depression.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chasing genuine ideas

I was going through some of my earlier drafts for my thesis and the unfinished paragraph below caught my eye. You can see how desperately I tried to cling on to that line of argument before it could escape my mind. Hilarious.

Multiple modernities perspective. Epic fail.
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