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I won’t worry about all the partially written posts that are stacking up in my draft folder.
Instead, I will say this: Something I actually really enjoy about research is how your ideas and conceptions change as you go. I started off with an idea of what I thought I would find, and as I research, I am refining and redefining my ideas. I’m changing things–nothing so big that it completely ruins everything, but in nuances and directions.
I thought I would find X, and it turns out I’ve found Y. And that’s okay. That’s why you don’t write your paper until you’ve finished researching. I like what I’ve found better than what I expected anyway.
I’m getting there. I have pages and pages of research. It’s encouraging to look at the stacks of paper and know that eventually they’ll be turned into something cohesive.
And sometimes I think I should become a Catholic. Although they’re messed up, too. But at least they somewhat understand the idea of ongoing, progressive revelation.
Did you know I’m moving home in two weeks? Two weeks isn’t very long to completely “finish” researching for my thesis… I’m working my way down my outline systematically, tackling every point before moving onto the next. I think this strategy might work. In any case, when the time is up, it’s up.
Researching and writing about the imago Dei and the Trinity in light of gender should be rewarding. And I think it is… But at the same time, it makes me disenchanted with my faith. And, of course, reading feminist writings reminds me that I believe in a religion that was communicated by men for men, historically. Throughout most of the written record of the Bible, women were viewed as little more than property. And this is the belief system I adhere to? It’s discouraging, to say the least.
One way or another, I’ll pull through. I’ll finish my thesis; I’ll graduate.
And then I’ll escape to Ecuador.
What’s the first thing you do when it comes down to the wire on a deadline?
If you’re me, you spend a leisurely morning doing nothing of consequence.
Then you head to the library, where you frantically check out a stack of books that look like they could potentially relate to your chosen broad topic and happen to be available.
But that’s a lot of work, so then you have to take a break when you get home. You don’t want to burn out too fast.
You listen to some music, blog a bit, spend some time on facebook.
Then you realize how messy your kitchen is. Surely you cannot justify doing homework when you’ve left a stack of dishes while knowing your roommate will come home at some point. So you have to clean your kitchen.
But now it’s lunch time. You have to eat, or else how will you have the mental energy to do research?
After that, you’ll open some of the books, stare dismally at the table of contents and realize, again, that you have no idea where to start.
Eventually, the hope is that you’ll make up a passing thesis statement (or two) and manage to fake your way through a couple of rough outlines, detailing how you’ll somehow get from point A to point B on a topic for which you have yet to do any research.
I suppose some people start ahead of time and don’t wait until the last minute. But I can almost guarantee that those people aren’t in graduate school.
Wish me luck!