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April 10, 2015

lisa hammershaimb

And just like that…another course is finished. (Or, I should say the seminar portion of another course is finished. In an amazing stroke of grace everyone in class will be receiving a 10-day extension on the beast that is our Capstone project. Though mine is legit pretty much baked, I’m never one to deny an extension. In addition, I know I’ve gotten way too close to my project so forgetting about it for a couple days and then revisiting it before final submission is sure to make it much stronger.) 

Though I don’t have many words left in me this week, I did want to capture one small element about tonight because I think it’s important on many levels. After the general info portion of class, which was mainly talking about what we’d learned, our experience, suggestions for future, etc. Dr. M turned the conversation to our next course, 805 (I took this as a good sign that we will all be passing 804!)

My initial reaction to thinking about 805 is to just not do it because I know even saying the word “805” tends send me boarding the panic train with lots of “what ifs??” and “what next?” and “how can I ever do it?” But, as she brought it up and it is actually going to happen in the not too distant future, I thought I should at least practice engaging with the idea like a reasonably normal human.

When it was my turn, I talked a little about what I came to the program wanting to do, how that honestly hasn’t changed all that much at its core (though each course I decide I’m absolutely married to a different facet of it…until the next course comes around!) and how my summer plan (note: not my 805 plan…not quite there yet) is about me looking back over all that’s happened these past two (!!!) years and really taking the time to intentionally reflect in preparation for the future.

I’ve got so many ideas at the moment and it seems with each course and each connection the possibilities grow exponentially. That said, I can’t do everything and even more I don’t think all the ideas really do have the longevity to sustain me through what it takes to do a thesis.

In an effort to figure out a lot of things in general, this summer my plans are more about building a nest for my ideas. This summer is going to be quite strategic in a getting-to-know-myself-manner and especially in a building-into-myself-manner because I’m pretty sure the hardest part for me in 805 will be what’s been consistently the hardest part in all my courses, namely me managing my own head and my own thoughts, and finding my own stable core in the midst of life and learning.

Dr. M encouraged us all to really enjoy this process moving forward as she said for her this was a unique time in her own life where she was able to focus singularly on something she was super passionate about and really explore and discover as she’d never done before and has never done since. I love when people can talk about their thesis journey in words that aren’t battle metaphors or endurance and pain metaphors. Dr. M was very much in the best friend metaphor with her descriptors and I want that experience too as I embark on what seems like the next chapter. I know it’s hard as anything is but I think with the right framing it just might be possible to make the narrative about something better and more healthy.

So yeah, this summer key word is….nest.

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