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i’m theoretically locked away, finishing my thesis.

so far i have entered in all the corrections and highlighted areas my supervisor thinks needs some work. and some of those i found on my own too! (it is very embarrassing to find all these typos and syntactially bizarre sentences my supervisor had marked out, especially when i realise that they were mostly due to sloppy cut-and-pastes…he must have been wondering where the hell i learned to write)

then i went and read the paper and had some lunch. then i decided my back was still hurting and so i should lie down for a while. then i checked my email. again.

now this blogging is the last resort. i have exhausted all the other superficial procrastinatory avenues and any further time wastage would actually involve some effort. so now i have to work out what i’m trying to say and finish this stupid thesis.

it was quite exciting to realise that the thesis thus far actually does have a point. it is so easy to forget the point and wander aimlessly round and round in circles, especially in a longer piece. much of the despair i’ve been feeling is due to feeling like i’ve lost my way and i’m stumbling down the wrong path.

i hate the disconnected criticism of a supervisor or marker. when you actually have a conversation with them about the work you realise that many of their markings weren’t as harsh as they came across on paper and i usually then remember how harsh i can be when editing work for other people. but the deflating effect of scribblings and underlines and offhand remarks in the margin can be difficult to avoid. from what i can gather, my supervisor doesn’t appreciate certain elements of my style – obviously subtle attempts at humour don’t work, anything remotely creative in style doesn’t work…i take the point that critical academic writing follows a certain pattern, but i’ve always been drawn to the type of writing that is a bit more informal, a bit more conversational. that’s not to say i like only lightweight, popular-styled theory, but it makes it much easier to digest and i have little patience with wanky, needlessly elaborate and artless slabs of text. but maybe the lighter style is actually harder than it would seem, as every time i have tried to write in that kind of style in an essay or non-creative piece there are usually many more editorial marks about being vague or sloppy or charming notes like ‘what?’ ‘who?’ ‘meaning?’ scribbled throughout.

the funniest is when those things are marked next to a direct quote from a published text. what am i supposed to do then? just rewrite it? maybe i should send the notes on to the books’ publishers.