November 2, 2010 by 8junebugs
(I say seven-ish because she is advising me online while out of state to care for her ailing mother. It’s two years today since my mom died.* If my advisor needs a little extra time? I’m not the one to complain or panic.)
I’ve got butterflies in my stomach (along with the last of the beef stew I made this weekend) because about a week ago L’Advisor mentioned a concern about my topic. My response, apparently, was compelling, but…over my head, there’s a cloud of “holy fuck, what if I have to start all over with a new topic?”
I’m going to be honest with you: My full heart hasn’t been in every single assignment. I’ve handed in papers in the last year that I have not cared about. I’ve handed in papers in the last month that I haven’t cared about. I work full time and I’ve taken two classes every semester since last summer — I have learned to pick my battles.
I have also learned that just showing up and talking in class on Monday nights this semester is worth more points than the slew of 2-pagers we’ve been turning in.
I’m just sayin’.
This, I care about. I care because the research is timely and useful. I think I’ve made a good case for that. I’ve enjoyed what little original writing I’m allowed to do at this point (the majority of the first full proposal is literature review). I care about finishing my master’s, but I care more about the topic of my thesis:
Corporate Social Media Policy Commonalities: A Content Analysis
I know. It sounds boring. It is, sort of, and it surely will be when I’m deep in the throes of content coding, when I will WELL AND TRULY SO NOT CARE ABOUT THAT GODDAMN PAPER ANYMORE.
And that’s when I will set it down and have a cocktail, because my thesis on social media ain’t gonna cure cancer.
Deep down, though, I do care. I care because social media is the most important blend of people and technology I’ve seen in my lifetime. I suspect that will hold true for me until we build a decent robot.
I care because it is, quite literally, changing how we think, how we learn…and how we work. And although my field is markedly collaborative, there’s still a shortage of research to back up how we change our organizations to accommodate the changes in how we communicate.
For my small corner of this wide world, the research matters. So I care.
On deck: Assuming L’Advisor is satisfied, I roll into data collection and coding, add the results and discussion to what I’ve already written, revise as directed, click my heels three times, and turn it in. I’ve decided to take advantage of a little extra time and defend during the grace period between semesters, and then I’m done.
*This deserves a post of its own. I haven’t decided what, if anything, I need to say about it this year. I’m okay. Life is going on. I’m doing things that I think would make my mom proud; a lot of them, she might not understand or agree with, but she’d be proud anyway.