Monday, June 8, 2009

Comprehensive Exams Update

So I haven't been blogging a great deal recently because I have been partially immersed in reading and compiling work to put together a decent proposal for my exams. I've added a new committee member who actually specializes in U.S. Latino Literature. She is a Cubana woman who has a great deal of animosity for the Cuban Americans who fled immediately following the revolution. As a result she has written extensively on Cuban working class theater in Florida, that was much more radical than the moneyed Cuban voting block, consistent Republican party supporters. She is also loquacious as hell, and has regailed me with hilarious stories about her youth and assimilation and about the faculty at my university.

This preparatory work for my exams is taking much longer than I and my committee had anticipated. My delay is a large degree to do with the massive amount of anxiety I've built up in relation to the project. Historically, I feel as if I've been judged as valuable only to the degree of what I know. This process essentially tries to measure my knowledge base in a rather qualitative way. The problem is that I am a new interlocutor into this "field" overall (I've spent too much time in graduate school taking courses on early materialism, and film), my advisor (although challenging and brilliant) is terrifying in his ability to kick the legs out from under any project, my friends/colleagues who have taken the exam recently have all emerged exhausted and dehumanized, and I cringe at any sort of evaluation of this form. I am also coming to terms with my general anxiety disorder which is something that I've been trying to deal with in a serious way through therapy in the last year.

Although I am starting to get my anxiety under control to some extent, I frequently find myself turning toward internet, cleaning, pornographic, and dog related distractions in order to procrastinate and forestall the coming anxiety attack about this whole process.

(here's what it looks like)

Hopefully, by the end of the week I will have a presentable draft ready to go out to my committee so I can begin reading in a significant way.

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