Seth Godin's blog has a provocation: "Perhaps your anxiety is specific to magicians" He found the quote in a strangely-translated instruction manual for an obscure but beautiful trick. But, as he notes, it has wide applicability. Perhaps your/my anxiety is specific to phd students and a fear of being judged and found wanting. perhaps its a similar one to magicians, the tricks arent new enough, the performance not exciting enough...these are the stressors of performing or of anyone who has to stand up and stand out and stand for something. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you're trying to control things that you can't possibly control. I cant controll what others will make of my work, I can only make it smooth enough...rough enough...logical enough. Anxiety may be a sign that you care deeply about your work. Now that you've been reminded that you care, the anxiety gets reframed. Its a positive motivation now, not something to be fearful of; not something immobilizing. Write because you have something to say :)
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Could you write your phd in a haiku?
Over at dissertation haiku the invitation is to post your dissertation in haiku format
I found this a bit more evocative than the pragmatics of the 160 character text rendition I wrote.
And surprisingly it awakened me to really consider what it is I'm studying. And hence to clarify why it is I keep going off track; its because i have two things (at least) happening simultaneously.
Regarding the study:
Enactments of change
Whats thought? whats done?
Regarding the site of study:
silent and invisible
still i talk, and you listen
whats with that?
A very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:
The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru).
This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas
And a kireji or 'cutting word' between them. A kind of verbal punctuation mark signalling the moment of separation and this colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables on
In three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on respectively.
Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.
(Although I have described haiku as based on 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and on are not the same, but close enough for my purposes)
There are so many ways to be involved in text that it is a shame to adhere only to prose. I've curated a gallery of my phd journey via Flikr. Today's twitterings on #phdchat introduced another by @londonaesthetik - here's my thesis as pie.phd as haiku, the phd as a tweet, the phd in text speak, and of course there's always blogging. The blog allows a different voice, here mine's more playful, more provocative, less constrained. Sometimes its tangential. But sometimes its writing the tangents that allow me to become clearer. In the thesis I am using multiple fonts for different voices, as well as varied backgrounds behind the words to simulate that a message is received by txt. Ive also a lolcat provocation as one representation in the conclusions. Then there's writing around, not so much progressing the thesis but it's the skype chats, the instant messaging or icq of ideas and provocations to thoughtfulness. Or the writing around that's the annual review (I always think of this as an exercise in creative writing, yet am always surprized by how close to the truth it looks retrospectively). Creativity around the writing. Here there are postit notes, writing on mirrors or ranchsliders instead of whiteboards, Great for rearranging and structuring. There's also bath crayons. And there is always mindmapping the pen and big paper. And proving realities are multiple, there's the reinterpretation of one's writing. Here there are wordles of the thesis, or the infographic that my computer mouse thought i was producing. And there's the flight of imagination where i wish I could just write on the inside of a glass sphere for then it wouldnt matter what comes first last or where in the middle of things ideas should fall. i stop short however of the following creative writing idea.
Posted by ailsa at 8:54 AM