28 May 2009

Over it?

Dudes & dudettes,

there's me thinking I've had a motivational brain wave, epifany, if you will. I've been all raring to go since yesterday (OK, not all procrastination has ceased but I'm doing a Phd, I'm not dead!), all I did this morning was spend 3 hours uncovering new literature, updating my EndNote library, coming across a 2009 paper that sounded exactly like my research but applied to a different liquid (ghay!), etc. I spend my lunch at my desk and spent all afternoon in the lab and this last hour doing data analysis...

And it's useless because I am mega crap at this bloomin' PhD. I really should quit despite whether I've had a change of heart about wanting to. I really can't do it, it's not doubt, lack of confidence, or lack of motivation talking now, it's my inner self -- she always seems to know the truth despite how long I deny it for. I don't have the intelligence. I don't even think I want to carry on in academia afterwards anyway!

What do I dooooo?! I need some serious help. There is a meeting set up with Super tomorrow morning at 11am and I have 4 options really...

  • Pretend
    I could completely pretend that all is going somewhat to plan, with only a few hiccups, in the hope that Super still has even half an ounce of faith left in me, and work my damned hardest to sort things out. That probably equals late evenings and weekends at uni. I'll tell ya, I'm willing to do that if that's what it takes to get this things (back) on track, but the problem is: I have no idea where to start. Exactly how much of my almost-filled lab book is just rotten and diseased? God knows. Super definitely doesn't know!
  • Come clean
    I could come clean about having doubts, motivational issues and generally just struggling with the work and/or with a PhD. Maybe then I can just wipe the slate clean a little. But, I've tried this before and either I don't really get my point across about how difficult I am finding it or Super just doesn't hear me!
  • Lie
    Now, I don't normally advocate lying but if a little white lie -- such as, I have been having personal and/or family problems -- is gonna get me out of a whole heap of potential mess, then what's the harm? As long as I am doing it for the right reasons.
  • Quit
    I think that one speaks for itself.

I repeat, what do I dooooo?! I have to shoot off now as I am going to have a night in -- takeaway, wine and a movie -- with my new housemates. I am really not in the mood but I really don't want to cancel. Hopefully it will be good and I won't have had too much wine to cycle home later.

Not an amazingly happy bunny but toodles!


  1. Hi Ging - I did not read your blog for a while., but I am thinking you should go on with your PHD - you will succeed and you have a good future ahead of you. So just hold on for some time. Lie, pretend, drink more wine than you shouldbut don't give up - and listen to R - sometimes people that love us know better than ourselves.

  2. Well, you probably won't read this in time. As a man who's nature it to be critical, I'll lend my thoughts for your future reference:

    I'm a rubbish liar, and pretending is one of my worst and most uncomfortable zones. Sometimes it's necessary, maybe this is a situation. I've done it before though during my MSc, my research was non-existent and I convinced (badly) that it was all good - I won't be leaving myself in that position again. There IS time to turn it around (I knew what I needed to do, but just hadn't done it) but like you said, you need the drive and direction, only you know how much of this you have. If you have it, do it!

    Coming clean is the honest thing, but is oddly the thing I wouldn't do. It comes across as lazy and isn't constructive. The fact that the research isn't inspiring you after all this time doesn't bode well for his trust/belief in you. Maybe it's a sign, maybe you've 'held on' for long enough. Let's be realistic, after some sympathy, the choice of whether to carry on or quit might be forced upon you.

    Tough times make us who we are. On one hand, if you believe you can see it through, then really believe it and do it - the sense of achievement will be unbeatable. If you're contemplating otherwise, don't regret it. Just remember there are no right or wrong decisions, but decisions you can act positively on.

  3. So what did you decide with your fudd?