22 September 2010

Incoming: rant

My apologies in advance for this non-crafty, rant-a-licious post, but there's something that's been weighing me down for weeks now and I've finally taken a step forward so I feel like I should let some of the stress out.

It's about my thesis.

As you may or may not know, I'm a student and am currently trying to finish my Master's Degree in Translation by writing a thesis. My subject: Young Adult Literature. I love YA lit. Not just as a reader, although I must say many of the YA-titles that came out in the past few years have entertained me very much. I love it as a bookshop-employee, because it gives me the opportunity to help kids find something interesting to read when they no longer feel at home in the children's section but don't feel like switching to adult literature yet. I'm probably projecting; it's how I felt when I grew up and had read every single book in the children's section of our local library by the time I was 12 and moved on to fantasy because there was nothing to read.


I love this category to bits, so I figured that writing a thesis on translating YA should be a piece of cake for me.

Wrong. Very, very, very wrong. It's a difficult subject at best. YA as a literary category is relatively new, but it's known under so many different names that finding secondary literature on it becomes a slow and frustrating process: you never know if a text is discussing YA under another name, or simply discussing something different alltogether. And that simple fact has made me push it away from me since I started last year in June. Summer interfered heavily with my work too, since I was gone most of August. Then September hit, and it hit me hard: I felt so stressed I was unable to sleep for nights in a row, it was affecting my health very much, it was making me tense and probably not very pleasant to be around. I had row after row with the boyfriend about really stupid things. I think we once had a fight over toilet paper. I was ready to break down. So I finally made the decision to stop what I was doing.

Well, no, actually, that's not entirely true. I've made that decision three weeks ago, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, and wrote something down in a notepad on my phone about it. I didn't do anything with this, though. I just didn't want to admit defeat and move on to something that would be more productive, like an actual translation. I'm stubborn like that. Very unattractive trait.

But I've done it; I've admitted defeat. I've bitten the bullet. After not sleeping again all night because I was tossing and turning and frustrating myself with thoughts about my thesis, I got up early and sent my supervisor an email explaining the situation, along with a proposal for 2 texts I would like to use as a translation thesis instead. Now all that's left is waiting for a reply and hoping he'll accept one of my proposals, so I can get started.

I've been taking deep breaths all morning, ever since I pressed 'send'. I hope he'll get back to me soon. In the meantime, I think I'll just go and sort out my stash. I've made a small start on that last night, but I'll devote an entire post to it one of these days. It'll be both yarn-porn-ish and yarn-horrorish. I promise.


  1. Wow... walking away from something that you've spent more than a year must have been really really hard. It sounds like you kind of had an abusive relationship with thesis idea and you're better for having left it be. :) Good luck!

  2. (Have found your blog through the Attic 24 message thread on Ravelry, just by the way)
    I know that was a very difficult decision to make, "changing horses in mid-stream" so to speak. But it sounds like you already feel a bit better about it. If the task was so onerous it was keeping you up at night and affecting you so profounding, you can rest assured you've made the right decision, even if you're on tenterhooks waiting to hear back from your advisor. Hope all goes smoothly from here!

  3. (Hi! Ha, that blog thread is turning into one of my favourite threads on the discussion board!)

    Thank you both :) It doesn't feel like it was a good idea to abandon my thesis and go for a new one altogether yet, though people have been telling me all day that if that's how I felt about it, it's probably the best solution. It'll come, I guess. I have to get used to the fact that I 'gave up' on it, and that this was not a bad thing.

    Haven't heard back from my supervisor yet though. I'll keep you posted.

  4. I found you on ravelry too :)

    I just wanted to say that I hope everything works out for you with your thesis. I'm with the others in thinking that the change was probably for the better. I know college can be stressful, but the levels you seem to have been under weren't healthy. I hope your professor sees that and lets you pick a new topic.

  5. I can wish you good luck with your thesis!