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Margaret DJ Diva Cook
817 followers -
Where I get my geek on + more.
Where I get my geek on + more.

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Thoughts on how to survive a MA Thesis

My thesis topic was born over 5 years ago and I wanted to share the most important things I have learned on this journey. Looking back now its hard to imagine that one bright idea in the middle of class,  would turn into a half of a decade's worth of research, sweat, and tears. A 10 page seminar paper has turned into 60 pages of quotes and original thoughts.  18 revisions so far and more lie ahead of me before my final deposit date.

Some of my methods have failed but some have worked wonderfully. My advisor also helped to shape the work, reading my thoughts and guiding me to a more cohesive framework. I am confident that the work is original and will lead to more research at the PhD level.

It is important to try to investigate different topics through literature. If the idea seems preposterous,  then that is precisely the notion you should be following.  If it doesn't make you say "this might sound crazy but" then it's not worth writing.

Write everything down. Whenever you have a thought about your research WRITE IT DOWN! Those short scribblings will lead to sentences which will lead to paragraphs which will lead to pages!

Be prepared to fight for your idea because the battles will come. Take solace in the fact that with every debate over your work, your own comprehension of your topic will sharpen until it can roll off your tongue easily.

Most importantly, don't give up. Don't ever give up. Your work is important and the world needs it. Believe in your work and in yourself!

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This has seriously been on repeat ALL DAY!!! http://open.spotify.com/track/2RcanAJpudPNDkyIe9DzKS

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Strangely..I am not too thrilled about this...

Now...Back to writing... I found a wonderful citation for my thesis while I was reading "Invisibility Blues" by Michele Wallace on the way home tonight:
"we knew that the feminist notion of history, continuity and tradition, was a way to remember what we could no longer afford to forget about the patterns of being a black woman."

THE PATTERNS!!!

Fear 

As part of healing myself, I have to be real with myself as well. I have to be able face a situation and it’s reality. It is quite easy to fool yourself and even easier to lie to yourself. And I have done a lot of both. Whether it was from self-preservation or from fear, I have shielded myself from pain but increased my heartache.

I have made great strides in this area but there is still a lingering problem I have to solve. To walk away without a resolution would be the easiest way to handle it, but as I said, I’m trying to do things differently in my life.

I have to push past the fear. I managed to do that this weekend when I sent my personal statement to my advisor. After countless revisions riddled with self-doubt, I finally decided to get the advice of the most important person in this equation. That was not the only piece of this PhD process that has been giving me trepidation, so I have decided to give myself an assignment.

Everyday, every single day, I am going to do something that I am afraid of. Whether its writing or applying, everyday for the rest of the year, I am going to accomplish something that I have been scared to do. Everyday I fight the urge to smoke cigarettes and everyday I win. Hopefully this same strength will lead me to be able to face the biggest thing that I’m afraid of in my personal life.

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Making sure I can continue to revisit this post when I need to..

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I am so honored and blessed to have been chosen for @TwoBiddies's Wonderwoman series. I am overwhelmed today :)

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The official end of my Birthday season always happens with my best friend of 29 years TuTu's birthday. I love my girl!
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TuTu's Birthday April 2014
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