Tag Archives: carrel

Permanent Residency

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe circulation doesn’t really carry to Olin’s attic very well.  My carrel smells a bit like stale corn chips and feet.

At last count, there were 83 books sitting on my little desk, illuminated by the meager light beneath the shelf.  It’s the kind of light that goes off if I sit and read without moving for too long.  The over-priced amazon white board sits to my left, its reflective surface making the light go just a little bit further and flashing my latest chapter diagram back at me.

I’ve discovered that if I angle myself exactly corner-to-corner, it is possible to fully extend my legs and take a nap on the floor, which is something of a discovery in a room so small that you can’t really open the door without hitting the chair.  On the plus side, at least the chair is comfortable.  Duly sun-faded and possibly as old as the CSS itself, but comfortable nonetheless.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe completion of chapter one marks a significant accomplish and one that I fully intend to revel in until I get Prof. Elphick’s comments back.  The research for chapter two is scheduled, the readings for chapter three started, and the logic for chapter four partially solved, meaning that despite long hours (pushing 8 hours in this chair today), I remain on track.

It’s a good thing I like what I do, otherwise this tiny, little office space might be just enough to drive me crazy.

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A Reverberating Thought

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“This is hard,” which is undoubtedly the point.

My chapter one thesis document is 17 pages.  Unfortunately, only 5 of those 17 pages are real text.  The rest is half sentences and scratch paragraphs that don’t fit in anywhere.  The perfect framework and outline in my head and somewhere deep in the trenches of an exponentially expanding Evernote notebook spirals out of my fingertips and onto MS Word without rhythm.  All the while, the date on my Macbook dashboard and unfilled Word pages shout back at me.  It’s like having the hiccups in the library–uncomfortable and loud.

I catch a shallow breath every time I think about the interviews I have not yet setup, the books I still have to find (let alone READ), and the emails people still haven’t responded to.  Other theses writers lock themselves away and just walk out 15 pages in hand.  Not clean, thoroughly unedited, but 15 pages nonetheless.  I can’t do that, at least not yet.

Now, to an extent, this good, at least in theory.  Instead of burying myself in the proper ordering of facts and theories and spitting them out, I’m laying-out the basics of my own argument, explaining how all those conglomerated facts will contribute to the point I’m trying to make.  Right now– I’m defining all those commonly used words that everyone uses differently (evangelicalism anybody?) and placing them in the context of my argument.

“How are you?” has become a question synonymous with “How much did you write today?”  That’s probably isn’t what my friends mean, but it’s all I hear.

All that said, the gnawing stomach-ache of stress is offset by writing-euphoria, the joy that comes with each new paragraph, and a deep passion for what I’m studying that sometimes makes me so excited, I can’t even focus.  So I know that what I’m doing is good.  It’s just going to take many long nights to get there.

I know I’ve stepped away from blogging this semester, but what can I say.  My thesis is knocking all the words right out of me.


Carreling Fall 2012

As I sit here in my thesis carrel, my mind bursts with the potential of the ideas that surround me (literally, I put my notes on the walls).  Narrowing in on those ideas, is a slightly different ordeal and is why I’m still here.

Despite firework-exploding epiphanies that have gotten me closer to the ever evolving question of what exactly I’m writing about, I sit here, not quite sure how to procede.

There’s something that is desperately exciting about this process.  Something inside me that recognizes that I have never read anything like what I am intending to write, something that recognizes the potential of a well thought out and convincing argument on my topic of choice, and that’s breathtaking.

The last week has delivered a variety of experiences– nearly all of which are deserving of their own blog posts.  Unfortunately, the nature of college life is that they don’t all get written down, which is indeed a shame.  As reading some of my own old posts has taught me, it is easy to forget.

So as I find myself mesmerized in jaw-dropping academic wonder and discover in more and more meaningful ways how to lead and love in with a Kingdom vision, I just have to take a note of how incredibly cool this is.

Because it is here, deep in the catacombs of Olin library, up the hidden staircase on the 4th floor, carrel 435 that all of that slowly swirls into a single line of thought, a single story, and it is one that I intend to tell.  Just give me time.  #senioryear #thesis2013