Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekend wonderings: Darn that dissertation!

What I'm trying to do.  (Poster, from Keep calm and carry on)

My dissertation has met with numerous bumps ever since I started.  I had contacted my supervisor in June last year, as I intended to start my project early to buy me more time.  I had to apply for a permit to catch some of the crabs, and I dutifully filled in the paperwork in early July 09... but the permit never surfaced until Jan this year!  I then started catching the crabs and using the experimental setup I had (which I had to lug up and down to my research site), only to find out, after a few weeks in the hot sun, that the experiments were not working, and the crabs were just not behaving themselves (or at least in the way I had hoped them to be).  But that's just the nature of animal research I guess!  This was followed by a whole slew of email correspondence and meetings for me to re-think up another topic for research.  Thankfully, I managed to work out another topic with my sup, and went about on my behavioural studies, and managed to get all my data by June.

Then came the tedious viewing of hours and hours of videos (and not of the "Desperate Housewives" variety, though it did involve watching alot of "flirting" and courtship!) and the slow, painful process of writing.  My initial deadline for submission of my dissertation for examination was the 15th of Sept, however, just this weekend I'm told that with how things are going, I will need to extend my deadline (and pay another semester's worth of fees because of that!).  Apparently, it takes 4-5 months for the writing process, and that's for those who have NO children to take care of. 

After reading that email, I really felt like throwing in the towel, and just giving up.  After all, if you think about it, I've no need for that extra qualification, and that cert doesn't help me to cook better meals, or be a better parent!  I signed up for my studies with the intent of improving my knowledge of content so that I could teach better, as I was still teaching then.  Then Junior J came along, turned my whole life upside down, and my priorities changed.  I still stayed on for the interest in the subject, and I must say I've learnt ALOT from the courses I've attended, and I've gained quite a bit from the research process.  But something must give, and all this research work has meant I have to sacrifice time and energy, and others like Junior J and the hubby would be invariably affected.  

So now with me having to fork out more school fees, I'm tempted to just give the data to someone else to use, burn up all my journals and make a run for it.  Seriously.  The only reason that I'm still working on my paper starts with the letter "A", and its not advancement (The degree doesn't entail me a raise in homemaker status anyway!), neither is it achievement.  Its accountability.  I feel I'm still accountable to God for doing a good job in what I put my hand to, and to do things to completion if I can.  I'm accountable to my mum, the hubby, to the little boy for all the time they've sacrificed so that I could write my paper.  I'm accountable to my sup, for the time she did invest in guiding me.  But I do admit, I have been feeling pretty frustrated.

Thus, I will still plod on.  BUT!  Its no longer going to take up my time with family.  I'm no longer going to ask the hubby to babysit the boy after dinner so that I could read one more journal, or type another paragraph.  I'm just going to work on correcting it at night when I do have the time (I've already finished my first draft of all the parts), and I'm not going to bother with it during the weekends.  And I'm not going to let this frustrate me any longer.  Oh, and when all this is done, I'm going to Jumbo Seafood, and will go take my revenge on those crustaceans.  Those that I study are way too small to eat, so I'll just take my wrath out on another species: Chillicious crabeus delicious.  

PS:  We had an uneventful weekend, since I had that bad cough, and the hubby was on call again (imagine, the poor man has 3 consecutive weekend calls, which means he'll be at work 21 days in a row!).  We did manage to pop by a warehouse sale to get some cabin luggage, as well as a jacket for the hubby (who lost his previous one).   Like all sales, the place was crawling with bargain hunters once the place opened, so we ended up parking in one of the lots at nearby building (there was quite a few lots, and there was no "no parking" sign), only to come back after shopping and find that they had locked the gate!

Our baggage inspector.  He approves of the bright cheery colours, that's for sure!

Hope everyone has a great week... and teachers, enjoy the well deserved school hols!  (Though I think most of it will be spent marking and preparing lessons!)


  1. Wow..hang in there gal..I share your pain (that's why I've decided never to do masters!! heee)..but i so love the part when u wrote about devouring those crabbies..I miss my chilli crabs!!! :)

    Jia you ok..all the way!

    Darn those crabs!

  2. Jo: Hey, thanks! Ya, some days I regret taking it up! :p Haha, next time we should do dinner with the 2 hubs too. Go poke poke poke those crabs, and hammer them! See ya Fri!!!

  3. oooooh no!!! gosh! I felt sooooo painful and really terrified to hear the entire journey! and can relate the journey exactly ... and the tunnel im going in is totally black and deep! i dont even see any light and I'm not sure how long it will last, how much i have to endure....
    but jia you still... money can be earned again or (try to sell your embelishments and make money ya?)... dont throw your hard work away...

  4. hang in there, yes agree that u've come too far to stop now! take heart that IT WILL BE OVER, and when that happens, that joy that awaits is simply immeasurable :)
    sometimes i feel upset when i heard some have already handed in their manuscript and all (and they started around same time as me), and i wish i could just heck care, convert to Indep Proj get a 'C'.. but yes, that Accountability is too much... must press on!!!

  5. Oh how I understand your angst! I was completing my Masters dissertation last year as well and sacrificed (too) many hours on it! I usually try to spend 2 hours after the girls sleep, which sadly means sacrificing some precious time with hubby. It took me all of 6 months to complete, but you're very right, for me, it doesn't give me added advancement at all, but the accountability of completing something we had started drove me on as well. And I love your scientific name for the chilli crabs! Hilarious!

  6. Ooh..yes take that sweet revenge on the crabs..mmm Chili crab!!!

    I agree with you, it's easy to throw in the towel especially since it seems that you have no need for the degree at this moment. But indeed we are accountable to the Lord to give our best effort in all that we do and our loved ones for the time sacrificed in the process.

    Hang in there...He will continue to give you the strength, the patience to see this through.

  7. yes yes..let's do dinner man! With the 2 hubbies..will be awesome!! I so wanna eat crabs man!!

  8. Pooi: Hang in there! At least you are based in NIE, can always "chase" for your drafts etc... ;) We will survive!

    Bing: I totally understand and agree with you! Chant: "We will survive"... After that, we must do a crop k! We'll distress them journals and stick as the background to our LOs!

    The Beauties in Our Lives: At least I know I'm not alone! Its really tough going... but glad to know you survived it all!

    Rachel: Thanks for the encouragement... :)

    Jo: Ok set! I'll let you know again, then its hammer to the claws, meat to the mouth! Yum!

  9. Hey - I am certainly glad to discover this. great job!



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