Higher learning: my thesis advisor's POV

Whenever I receive inspiring messages or thoughts from significant people in my life, I normally keep them to myself. If I want to share what I've learned from what they told me, excerpt lang. But for this entry, it's going to be different. Read everything:

I may not be the best person to tell you to take things slowly, relax and things will be alright, but it might be a consolation to know that you are not alone in your thesis journey. I too am struggling, waking up in the morning with my research as the first thing that comes into mind.. spending 16-17 hours a day, thinking and writing papers for my phd, recruiting participants and conducting my rct. in fact, i have had a serious attack of back pain last sunday and monday due to my prolonged sitting hours...
what i can share with you is. in this journey, nobody can match the type and amount of knowledge that you are learning. managing a research project develops the adult learner in you. when you have solved your problem in your research, you have produced a body of knowledge that you can rightfully claim as your own, and that is a wonderful and fulfilling emotion! when you get to that point, you will be proud of yourself!
i have sent you an article entitled: stupidity in scientific research, which has been sent to phd students. you may not be in this stage yet, but i know that the feeling maybe the same. (click here to see the article she sent me)
if it is any consolation, when dra bebet was doing her phd data collection and writing, kala daw nya ma stroke sya sa tension.. si dra na un.. cguro nga, it is all part of it.
don't worry, we will work out your problem tomorrow.
When I told Mam Janine the other day that I had problems sleeping at night because of my thesis, she sent me this through email. My exact words were: "di ako makatulog, magtwo-two weeks na akong 3 hours lang ang tulog every night. Kabado kasi po. Haaay, ganito pala ang thesis, basta maisip mo lang saglit di na sya mawala sa utak". Everyone knows that I really have a sleeping disorder since highschool pa. But lately, it has been compounded by toxicity at work and school.

Mam Janine is my thesis advisor. She is currently taking up her doctorate degree in Australia. I can say she is one of the busiest bees I've ever known in my whole life (only stopping to sleep, eat and laugh with colleagues, maybe shop coz she's really a good dresser) and that she is one of the best researchers in the field of allied health! God knows how thankful I am for having her as my advisor not only because she's good (i think "great" is the right word!) in this field but also because she can still find time to help me in this endeavor. She has to juggle between going to Australia for work and dissertation, then go back to the Philippines to work/train/teach and dissertation and yet she never fails to guide me and ask about my progress.

Why did I share the whole of her message? Because I want everyone out there who's struggling to finish their studies to feel that it is not wrong to feel stupid at times and that it is really important to be feel the assurance that someone is with us in this journey called HIGHER LEARNING. Sure we know very little at the moment we start taking our master's or doctorate degree, but who cares? That's the reason why we wanna learn more dba: to further our skills, our knowledge, and (quoting mam Janine) to develop the adult learner in us.

I dedicate this post to my batchmates in UST Graduate School, as in all fields ha, who are currently feeling the same way as I do. Also, to those who are about to enter this phase next semester and to those who are quite scared to start this phase in their life. I know some people who'd rather settle for non-thesis track degree because they know it is less toxic. I say, choose the course that is close to your heart, your interest talaga. Whether it has a thesis to finish in the end or three comprehensive exams, okay lang yun. What matters most is the fact that you were able to improve yourself for your students, your patients/clients or for you mismo.

God bless and happy 400th UST! Viva Santo Tomas!

1 comment:

Cecelia Metts said...

It is true that despite their hectic schedule and busy life, advisors can really be the person you can run to when you face a blank wall when it comes to thesis and dissertation writing. And some might think that they always make things worse by dictating and controlling the flow of thesis writing. But, in the real sense, they were just guiding us so that we can avoid problems and mistake that would certainly not help with our writing.