Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Proposal Accepted!

Huzzah! Despite my own doubts, my thesis chair apparently found my thesis proposal legible and believes that I have a solid argument. Now I have to set out and actually pull it off. Oy. Why did I choose such an ambitious topic that no one has written on yet? Sure I've found a niche, but what was I thinking?! It's overwhelming every time that I look at the stack of research or think of all those blank pages I've got to fill with legible thoughts.

It's very odd not having classes this semester. Tonight, my roommate had her first class of the semester, and I felt a bittersweet pang. I'm actually jealous of her! I would love to have taken a class or two just for fun this semester, but my thesis chair forbid it (he tends to know what's good for me much more than I do). I feel a bit like a boat that's been let loose from its moorings and given free reign on a windy day. It's going to be tricky to self-motivate enough to stay ahead. And as stressful and terrifying as this final hurdle is, I'm saddened by the fact that it's all going to be over so soon. I'll finish writing at the end of March, defend in April, and graduate in May. I honestly wish I could just stay in the cocoon of academia, even though I know I need to metamorphose, spread my new wings, and launch into bigger and better things.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"