03 October 2006

Funding and mid-year slump

So, for the past couple of days I've just been feeling really bummed about my research. I'm not even sure why. There are no logical reasons for this feeling. My writing is going pretty well. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from my primary supervisor. In fact, his biggest single piece of advice was that the writing is good and that I need more figures to help tell the story. I'm also getting things back from a professional friend who is also reviewing my manuscript. Things are really looking good for my research. In fact, the only negative thing that I've seen is that I didn't get a scholarship. Well, I guess there is also the fact that I didn't win anything at the poster competition. To some extent, I feel that I'm working hard, and that a lot of people are telling me that I'm doing good to my face, but when it comes to real outcomes, no one likes my work. Or at least they aren't willing to put their money in to show support.

Part of me also feels very strange about not taking any papers. I don't feel like I'm learning enough. For this reason, I wish I had stayed in the US. But, browsing through the web pages of some of the more prestigious schools in the states, I'm lead to the conclusion that very few universities actually care about engineering geology. This leaves me with the options of Missouri-Rolla (eww, Missouri) or Mines. I went to Mines as an undergrad, and I got along with a lot of the faculty pretty well. In fact, I got along with all of the faculty except the engineering geologists. This makes studying there not a great course of action. Even if I manage to pull a PhD here, I'd still need to find someplace to do Post-doc work. I've promised my fiance that we won't stay in New Zealand that long. I just feel so trapped. I want to be part of academia but I feel that my topic is not something that people actually study in an academic fashion.

I just don't really know what to do. I feel lost. But at the same time, my research is really exciting me in a way that it hasn't for a few months. For a long time, I felt like I was waiting on other people to get things done so that I could do my work. Somebody needs to explain these feelings to me, because I really don't understand them.

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