Secrets of Successful Thesis Writing

I promised myself that I could blog as a reward for rewriting my introduction of my prospectus.  I don’t know how I’m going to bribe myself to get the rest done.  However, I will say, now that I have part of the rewrite under my belt, I am feeling much better.  I’ve also spent two hours or so corresponding with my advisor, and she has been really helpful, so the chances that I’ll spend tonight sobbing about anything/everything like I did yesterday are much lower.  It’s amazing to me how much being overwhelmed about this project can affect my ability to handle anything at all.  That and being home alone because Joey is on a trip with the guys (note to any freako pervs who may read this and want to break in:  I will shoot you dead.  And you can believe that).  I’m doing better with the solitude today, though.  It’s funny to me that, even though I enjoy and value time spent by myself, I don’t really like being alone all that much.  I can remember being a kid at home and crying all by myself when my parents went somewhere and I was home alone.  I wasn’t scared or anything, I just liked having them around.

I am getting more done without Joey here, though, so this is a blessing for me.  And, since he’s gone, Shelli is having to settle for second best and is currently sleeping on the couch with me.  I love this.  However, I am a slow coffee-drinker and have a bladder the size of a hamster, so I’m currently sitting here with lukewarm coffee and an intense need to pee.  Ah, the price we pay for the happiness of our fur-babies.


Here’s what the other half of my immediate surroundings looks like.  Except now, there’s an empty tupperware container that had sliced deli ham in it.  Lunch of champions, folks…coffee and sliced ham.


I’m totally amazed at the writing process for this prospectus.  I cannot begin to imagine what the next few months hold in the actual thesis-writing process.  I can tell you a couple of things I’ve learned thus far, though:

  1. Your first draft sucks.  Expect it.  Send it in, get criticism, pick out a few sentences that work, and then scrap the rest.
  2. Research *anything* that you think might have to do with your topic…not just about the novels you’re discussing.  In addition to the three novels I’m working on, I’ve ended up researching mental illness among Latino communities, mental illness and feminism, feminism in Caribbean literature…you name it.
  3. Think of your research as a pot of spaghetti; do a ton of it, and toss it at the wall to see what sticks.
  4. Ask, ask, ask, ask questions.  Dialogue with your advisor…about lots of things, not just the paper at hand.  This is a lot harder if you’re doing DE, but it’s worthwhile.
  5. Cut some slack in other areas of life.  I had to beg off on a slumber party last night that I was looking forward to.  I didn’t want to do it, but a peaceful evening at home spent sobbing about life and this paper, followed by a good night’s sleep left me refreshed and prepared to take on this paper this morning.  Some times you’ve got to be okay with letting things go.

OK, back to it.  Enjoy your Saturday!


Hi. My Name is Melanie, and I am Socially Awkward

Sometimes I wish I was less socially awkward.  I mean, put me up on front of people to speak about some issue or another, and I’m totally put together and fine.  Put me up there with a song to sing, and I’m even better.  But putting me in a small group of people is generally safe neither for me nor those around me. 

In happy news, The HEABlet has arrived!  I’m so happy for Heather and CD.  They are going to be completely awesome parents, I know it.

In other happy news, I HAVE A THESIS!  Finally!  Unfortunately, it involved me scrapping the idea of writing about Native American literature entirely, but it brought me back to my first love way back in undergrad:  Latin American literature.  Particuarly, I’m focusing on Cuban-American lit at this point.  We’ll see when/if I include other Latin-American sub-groups.  Now that I’ve got an idea of where I’m going, things are moving very quickly.  I’m glad.  I’ll be thrilled to finish this up and graduate…and then figure out where I go from there.

On a highly irritated and unpleasant note, I experienced a 30% tuition increase that was voted in shortly after the semester began by the general assembly and put into action last week.  The real kicker?  It’s retroactive, so I had a charge for an additional $500 bucks on my account.  Gotta love those who promise that they won’t put a greater fiscal burden on the lower classes and then jack up the price of education.  But “it’s for the children,” right?

I’ve been writing a lot in my physical journal lately, hence the dearth of substantive posts, but I think it’s a good thing.  I keep telling myself how badly I want to be a writer, and then I never write.  I’m toying with the idea of starting to wake up at 5 every morning and blogging so that it remains a priority.

I also need some knitting to work on.  And I need to figure out what I’m doing for everyone for Christmas.  ‘Tis a busy, busy world.

Did Anyone Watch House Tonight?

1.  Donna, oh how you have fallen since That 70’s Show.

2.  Do you think the writers really understand blog culture?  It seemed a little over-the-top to me from my own experience and from the blogs I read.

Joey loves House.  I am okay with it…used to love it, but had to stop watching because of my hypochondria.  Now that it’s under control, I haven’t been able to reconnect, but I watch anyway because Joey likes it.  Anyway, I thought that the way they portrayed bloggers was a little funny.

I made homemade pizzas tonight with peppers and onions and mozz, parm, and a little feta.  YUM:).  And I have a pot of stock cooling on the stove to be strained and frozen.

Here’s what happens whenever I try to capture Shelli up-close on film:

Just a second too late…

Ill Blogger:(

I intended to post yesterday, really. I had all of these great ideas and stuff, but my throat started to get sorer and sorer throughout the day and by the time I got home, I was feeling awful:(. Joey sent me to bed, woke me up for dinner, and then sent me back to bed, so I slept for nearly twelve hours, I think. After some effervescent cold medicine, it’s not hurting as bad today, so I think I’ll still do the Christmas Eve festivities. I promise a better blog tomorrow. Merry Christmas Eve!!