To be or not to be a dissertator again

16 Jul

That is the question. And considering that I swore to not study beyond an MA, I laugh at myself for even considering the question.

The dissertation is submitted. Ofcourse, I discovered last minute booboos which had to be fixed manually, with paper, scissors and glue. But it’s done. Despite every weakness it might have, it is DONE. The uncertainty about whether or not I would finish is finally laid to rest.

Oddly, the end did not bring with it party hats and balloons and those annoying whistles that elongate as you use them. It brought, that’s right, anxiety and panic. I wanted to smack my forehead and say, really, head?? But actually, it makes sense. The dissertation was an instruments that helped train my mind and self, it helped deepen my practice of and reliance on God. Now that it’s gone, I’m feeling unmoored. I’m assailed by doubts about whether I will go back to the pre-dissertation me. Make no mistake, if I let myself, I will. But I won’t. There will be hiccups, as I find a new routine, but the biggest journey I’ve made has been in seeing these issues for what they are: they exist, can’t be wished away, and have to be dealt with. And with God, they can be and are dealt with.

However, the question of ‘what next’ has to be answered by next Monday. Do I or do I not enroll for a PhD. One professor says given my plans, a PhD 3 years down the line makes more sense. Another, says why not give it a shot now. Both have taught me extensively and have guided my dissertation.

Maybe I should mention what these ‘plans’ are. For the last few months I’ve been thinking I’d like to set up an organisation that brings together my spiritual and political beliefs. I’d like to set up a condition-less resource centre that brings together all networks that presently provide aid to the urban poor. Eventually, I’d like it to expand to fund-raising and provide condition-less funding to movements of the poor. It is only the seed of an idea, but I feel excited and committed to realising it. I have been blessed to have accumulated a lot of interesting and varied experiences in my life, both in terms of work and internships. I have also had the good fortune of having studied in permier institutes all my life. I have, therefore, ready-made access to a valuable network, that I can tap from the get-go. It just feels right. The rightest part of the feeling seems to be how I will not have to separate my beliefs at my ‘workplace’, instead, my beliefs will fuel it by aiming to work with the laws of Energy.

The question to chew over is whether the initial groundwork for this as yet hypothetical organisation will be better served within a structured PhD or outside of it. There are pros and cons either way. And them I shall mull on while eating pizza and reading a book for the rest of the day.

One Response to “To be or not to be a dissertator again”

  1. countingducks July 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I always love the way you reflect on things, and I like the way you think about your future. As always, when I talk about my dreams, I ask about funding. How expensive would such a project be, and can you command the resources to make it happen. I am not expecting any kind of answer at all but it’s just the way I would think about things. As always your thoughts are pleasure to share and your aims are easy to admire. I wish you nothing but success with both your dissertation and your future. I shall continue to follow the progress on both fronts with interest.

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