Friday, December 4, 2009



This time next week, I will be sitting on a plane, about 30 minutes from landing in Tokyo. I feel like it's coming up so quickly, even though I've been planning it for several months. There are so many things to be nervous about... but instead, I'm trying to focus on the things to be excited about!

So, I didn't ditch my professor. My director decided to have me proceed with my defense, which I did. And at the meeting, the two of them asked me if I would like to pursue a concurrent M.A./Ph.D. instead of only the M.A., which is my current plan of study. They said to really go in-depth with what I want to do, it would be best to extend my thesis and do two field trips instead of one short one, then take a semester and try to get published.

Which is great.


My director neglected to tell me all semester that I have to get board approval to work with human subjects, and now since there are four business days left until I leave, there is not enough time to get the certification pushed through. Which means, I cannot conduct any official research on this trip. So a lot of questions are going through my mind, like, should I try to do a Ph.D. even though I don't feel ready for it? What happens if I can't get funding to do a second research trip next summer? There is no way I can fund it myself *again* and if I only go to part-time status next fall, I will lose my assistantship. Also, I can't take out any more student loans. I was so excited about the prospect of going to Korea, and I'm just not feeling excited about this. It wasn't part of the plan. I'm not good at my theoretical classes, and I have to be able to ace those to even keep my head above water in the Ph.D. program. And if I can't even do a second trip next year, what will happen to my plan for my thesis? Is there even a point in going over winter break? I'm missing Christmas and New Year with my husband and family because I thought I was going to be doing some valuable research for my thesis. But now it looks like I will just be sitting on a tiny island in the Pacific.

The silver lining is that I get to mull all of this over while strolling some of the most amazing beaches in the world. And that seems like a pretty decent silver lining to me.

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