Finally… after 6 years. Eight years with the master’s. Over a decade if you count undergrad. After all of the classes, the papers, the exams. After all of the grant proposals, the research, the writing. After all of the sleepless nights wondering if it would ever end, the seemingly insurmountable student loans, the years of living off of a graduate student stipend. Finally, after all that, it is over. Finally, I have a PhD.
I’m late in posting this, actually. It was in mid-June that I defended my dissertation. In late-June I turned in the revisions. And with that, I have jumped through all of the hoops, undergone all of the rites of passage. Now I am officially a doctor. A PhD of Anthropology.
What now? The truth is not much has changed. I still have research to do, and there is always more writing. As an adjunct, I still get paid dirt. But a weight does seem to have lifted, and I feel as though there is time. I have read more novels in the past month than I did in the entire year before. I have re-immersed myself in the ocean of thought and interests that had subsumed me before I started working on my dissertation.
I feel a bit lost, to be honest. As if I’ve been in a cave and just emerged to a world that has changed dramatically. Not the big news, of course – the tragedy of global politics, the ongoing disaster of climate change, etc. I was never that isolated, but I remember a time when the blogosphere was lit up with exchanges about processes and relations, the nature of agency, or the value of pluralism. It all seems so distant now, and in their place has emerged a much more political and immediate discourse. So much has happened, and I think it took us all off guard, but focusing on finishing a PhD prevented me from keeping up with all of the changes going on around me.
I hope to be posting here again more frequently now, but at the same time, I don’t really know what I have to say anymore. Or rather, it seems as if there’s no point to saying anything at all. Everything keeps going on regardless. But then, this whole thing has never been anything more than me throwing message bottles into the chaotic abyss – and I’ve gotten some good message bottles back now and then. So here’s another bottle… and another to follow soon after. We’ll see what comes of them.