Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Blog

So, yesterday I started a book review blog, Ecclectic Belletrist. It has a lot of posts right now, mainly because I took all my old facebook reviews and made an entry for each of those. They're pretty short, but in the future I plan on longer, more in-depth reviews. I ready probably 1.5 books per month, so it won't be too bustling. If you do go there, be sure to check this out first, as it has my comment policy and blog philosophy. That being said, here's a list of books I have so far:

We Need to Talk About Kevin

My Sister's Keeper

The Little Prince


The Power of One


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time



Life of Pi

The Virgin Suicides


The Kite Runner

A Separate Peace


The Bell Jar

A Wrinkle in Time


Brave New World

Lies My Teacher Told Me

The Ocean in the Closet

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Whole new attitude

So. I have had an epiphany. (OK I must stop here to brag that, apparently, I spelled epiphany right on the first try. Go me!). About Grad school, or possibly about my advisor.

See, my advisor and I butt heads a lot. She is a very confrontational, controlling person, and I won't stand for any bullshit. It is very stressful.

But I doesn't have to be stressful. I care too much what she thinks of me, and it distresses me that she doesn't respect my professional opinion. But I realized...she doesn't trust ANYbody's professional opinions, even those people who have years and years more experience than her. Why should she respect me scientifically when she can't respect her scientific superiors? No, that would be illogical.

When I started in this lab, she pushed for a much closer relationship than I was used to, and I think that was to my detriment. She said she sees her students as her kids. That she wants to protect us from failure. This has fucked with my head bigtime. I allowed myself to think that this was true. It's not. It was a device she used to try to get me to open up to her, and a device she uses to justify her paternalistic behavior towards her employees. In all fairness, I think SHE thinks it's true, but it isn't. Or, to put it another way, if she treats her actual daughter the same way she treats her employees, than she's a pretty shitty parent. But if I can sever this "close" relationship and move towards a professional one, like I had with bosses before here, than I can protect and distance my emotions from her constant negativity. I will never have her approval, nor should I desire it. She is not, and should not be, a parental figure for me. Her approval or respect don't matter. As long as I can finish my thesis and get a decent recommendation letter out of her once I go job hunting, nothing else matters in the meantime. I will no longer let her manipulations, her misreadings of my personality, and her berating my not being perfect bother me. Screw that noise.

And you know what? I've been living with this new attitude for the past week, and I feel great. For the first time in 3 years I feel the knots in my stomach loosening.