Well, it’s Wednesday: the middle of the first official week of school – and what a week it’s been already. I went out of town for the weekend – mostly to escape the frosh-week antics, but also just to clear my head a little. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting started on my thesis project. I know it’s only early days, but I’ve been toting around a stomach-full of dread about embarking on the research for what was (is?) going to be a very personal thesis project. I was (am?) going to make a documentary– it was going to involve interviewing both my parents, among other people. The project and process were (are?) going to be laborious, emotionally demanding, but ultimately, probably really satisfying.
But nobody wants to launch into a year of major research with a feeling of dread tucked into their gut, right?
That’s why yesterday, I threw out a NEW documentary idea to the head of the Cultural Studies department. The problem is, she liked it. Now I’ve got a very few short days to try and decide what to do.
My new idea is lighter, in that it doesn’t have to put the spotlight on my own family. It does not involve emotionally challenging storytelling. It DOES involve interviewing young women – something I like doing at the best of times. It does involve my auditing a class on feminist theory, which will up my workload slightly (but I’ll need the background if I am going to make this work…). And it still involves my producing a documentary… just a different kind of one.
In other words: I have quite a bit of important decision making to do over the next few days!
I am wondering whether I am wimping out by not persevering with the more intense, personal project. That said — and as a professor rightly pointed out to me — grad school is tough enough. Bogging myself down in really dense, difficult, personal material MAY NOT be the easiest undertaking, much as it would probably be an “important” project, for me at least.
Has anyone else changed subjects halfway through a degree?
In other news, I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the first year student who died just hours before the beginning of the first day of classes. I’ve been thinking a lot about him — wondering what happened, and feeling so sorry for his family and for the many people who were probably just getting to know (and like) him during frosh week. There’s an article about Cameron Bruce in today’s Globe and Mail — it’s here.
I’m off to a day of meetings/reading/decision-making. I’ll write again soon.