You know when you just feel absolutely exasperated? Where everything just seems to pile on top of every other thing and somehow you find yourself being buried alive in anything that so much as looks in your direction. Well, if it wasn’t quite obvious enough…that’s how I’m feeling right now. I still can’t seem to work out if my brain is simply brilliant or just dubiously stupid. I seem to be wondrously talented at erasing all memory of anything that feels traumatic (unless of course I find myself repetitively thinking about it…luckily, my mind is like a sieve); but that often leaves me pondering if I ever experience anything? Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t ever feel like I’ve experienced it in reality, but more so feels like some sort of dream that I only remember fragments of. And it’s not just limited to feeling overwhelmed, it’s a lot of things and in a way that says a lot. If you’ve ever spoken to me, you’ll know that many a time I’ll say ‘I don’t ever know how I’ll react in a situation, I just react and somehow it’s always the right kind of reaction’. Perhaps my conscious forgetfulness leads me to feel as though I can’t predict my own behaviour in a given situation; but my subconscious has so far been excellent at standing by me and learning from past experiences…without my knowing. The marvel that is the brain.
So what causes such mind-baffling application of analytical psychology? Well, I’m due to submit an abstract for a symposium; it’s only an institutional thing but for me…it’s a big deal, it’s the first chance I have of showcasing my research; and although I’ve not been particularly positive about my PhD, my work is the one thing that I’m proud of. I’ve worked hard and I think it’s a good way to share my research with my peers (and once I go to the symposium, I’ll share my poster on here too :D). So the abstract was proofed by myself, followed by being completely re-written by my DoS (yes, he’s actually doing what he’s supposed to…shocker), edited by me again, and then sent to the rest of my supervisory team. My third supervisor spoke to me about it and was quite positive with minimal changes suggested. Great, I thought, this is going well…should be able to submit asap. Think again. So I wait a couple more days to hear from my second supervisor, and nothing. Okay, he’s busy and I’ve not really had contact with him in over a month, I get that…but I saw him at least half a dozen times this week (all very awkward encounters where I tried to get away quickly…I had to get to lab to teach!) and still nothing. I only have a day left to submit my entry/abstract and so I finally decide that I have to see him myself, only to find that he’s away for the day. Feeling frustrated, especially after hearing that my colleagues have already submitted their entries…I wrote an email…I admit it might have had an air of frustration but I wasn’t expecting the response I got. He quite literally told me that everything that I’d written was wrong (he probably didn’t say that…but I was feeling so annoyed with him that it was the only feeling I could get from his comments), some part of me thinks that he isn’t even aware of the fact that we only have a word limit of 150! Which in itself is completely ridiculous! I literally wanted to burst out in tears when I saw his comments, I blame hormones. I still haven’t looked at the comments he’s left…only because seeing all those highlighted sections on my Word document gives me anxiety…it’s a good thing that I can opt to view the revisions as a ‘simple mark up’.
I wish that the symposium was the only thing giving me grief, but alas that is hardly ever the case. I’ve now moved onto my second study…sadly still the same technique. My DoS was supposed to assist me today, once I finished 4 hours of teaching. He showed up 20 minutes late, and stayed for 10 minutes before leaving me to it. I’d not even had a chance to clarify what I ought to be doing with the experiments and the fact that I don’t even have one of the reagents I need! Not to mention that he invited Kenny along to my supervisory meeting last Thursday without my consent! (I’m sure you can sense that there’s a lot of bottled up frustration here) Our teaching contracts still haven’t been finalised and we’ve not been paid for anything since September. So not only are we working without contracts or pay, we’re also now obliged to take part in departmental performance reviews, despite not being formally employed by ‘said’ department. There’s just a lot going on, and I just want my head to be firmly attached to my neck because I know for a fact that it won’t be long before I’ll just topple over and the last thing I need is a missing head. I’ve already lost all of my marbles. My guess is that they spilled out of my ears. If you see any lying about…give me a heads up!