I am still in a state of shock and disbelief about what I am about to share… It’s good news, no, great news. It’s the news I needed to ‘just keep swimming.’
You see, I had recently failed my proposal defense. The defense was brutal; it totally kicked me down. I was excited and engrossed in the carrying out of my project going into it, and completely deflated by the end. In just two hours, too. Three years of planning, networking, learning, and heart-investment just felt a waste. I took about two weeks to feel that ickiness. I allowed myself the time to think about it and process. And then, I moved on.
I started throwing myself into projects. The result of which is three completed manuscripts and four more in progress. Also, I am writing a book with two friends and colleagues (more on that in another post). I shifted modes and started giving more time to the academic work of others, helping them work through hang-ups like I was, in that same moment, experiencing. I scoured the internet for funding opportunities, open collaborations, speaking engagements, and the like. I’ve been applying to so many things the last month I had to start a spreadsheet to keep track!!!
Having emerged from that haze of applications, I can say with undue honesty that my underlying goal was to find a source(s) of external validation. I desperately needed to feel of value in this particular way. And in that process, I went from feeling like a failure with bunk ideas to a thoughtful and masterful researcher again. Rather than build myself a ladder to climb out of the hole I was in, I dug a system of tunnels!
All of this is to share the impetus behind the GREAT STINKIN’ NEWS! One of the applications I submitted was a grant for the UIC Provost’s Graduate Research Award. It’ s $5,000 grant to support preliminary dissertation research. And guess what?
I WAS SELECTED!
MY DISSERTATION IS FUNDED!
This is huge news in the academic world, but also for the community members I am and will be working with throughout the rest of my journey as a graduate student.
You all, I get to PAY YOU for your time and ideas.
I’m over the moon and back on the horse. I am planning to share a series of blog posts to discuss what my project is and how I will be doing it. I can’t wait to get this thing finally approved and move onward, my friend, onward.
For now, I will leave you with the suggested title:
Politicizing the Condition of Diabetes Online: Counter-Narratives and the Pursuit of Normalcy
Whoo hoo!! Let’s do this thingy!