Getting the best of you.

If I may, dearest friends, take this moment to vent about my dissertation committee.

I love these people: I picked them because they seem to be interested in the work I am doing (except the outside committee member who I pretty much chose because he was the only person I worked with outside of my department, and he has a pretty good grasp of certain theories that no one else on my committee does). Two of them are very large names in their fields. One of which is practically an institution. She is fierce as fuck. My chair gets me drunk whenever I see her and takes a genuine interest in my personal life. She also doesn't care for the red tape and is shoving me through this bullshit exam as fast as she can. The third woman, I think, may not actually like me personally, but she's too professional to let on. She's also the only one who has any idea how the system works.

In March, I sent them a draft of my comprehensive exam. This is a sixty-page essay that's a very general argument over 100+ texts of my choosing. Most people actually get stuck in a room for four days to bang this out, but my process involves doing it over the course of several months. I was a bit behind when I gave them it in march by a month or so, but considering there are people who are two years behind in my program I don't feel terribly bad about it.


So, first go around, everyone forgot to read it. Literally everyone. Perhaps this was my fault for sending it to them right before spring break. I gave them a gentle "please give me notes on this essay for revision" in April. My chair read it and said "good job!" and left it at that. Which, obviously, is why she is my chair. Three weeks, professional woman gives me a page and a half of solid revision notes.

The other two? Nothing. This pushes my defense date back into September, putting me pretty behind on my dissertation work. The man I have actively been avoiding, since (I learned this later) he is notorious for threatening to fail people if you bug him too much, as well as having, apparently, no idea how the process works. He was confused that I sent him a draft at all. He was also confused why the administrative assistant didn't send it to him. BECAUSE IT'S A DRAFT. SHE SENDS YOU THE FINAL. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THIS.

The third, the fierce woman, I have been bugging over email for awhile. We had a date to meet (she doesn't want to type up comments, which fine) and she had to cancel. Then she went on vacation. I finally got in touch with her, and she said "well I pretty much need to re-read your stuff ... do you want to wait until you finish revising?" NO I DON'T WANT TO WAIT. I don't want to be revising this eighteen million times. There's no possibility of me using this as a publication and I can't use it in my dissertation either. This is literally a hoop of which I want to put in the least amount of effort. CHRIST.

Anyone else have problems with the academy? Let's commiserate.

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