“I knew this… but it doesn’t make it any easier.”

I learned this morning that in order to be re-registered full-time and do my corrections, I need to pay the tuition fee of the full academic year.  This is A LOT of money.  I’ve spoken to friends who’ve received major corrections before, and have never heard anyone speak about the full year’s tuition fee.  There are two options under “major corrections” in the report: one says “continuation” and the other one “full-time” student.  I was never a part-time student so  when my examiners informed me that I would need to re-register full time, I assumed they meant returning to continuation status.  It was only when I received the report yesterday that I realized it might actually mean paying the full tuition fee again.  So the option I have left is to revise as much as I can next term, and see if I can submit earlier than the one year deadline in order to save money.

As a result I’ve had to inform our subject head and the convenor that I can no longer teach next term.  If I want to do my corrections as efficiently and as well as I can, I will need time to revise the thesis carefully.  I was going to teach a new module next term (Film Theory) which was pretty exciting, but I’ve had to pull out with very short notice due to the new circumstances.  I haven’t taught Film Theory before, and from my first-time teaching experience last year, I know that teaching a new course would carve out half of my time, and I can’t afford to lose time at the moment.

It was a very hard decision to make.  I hate to disappoint people on such short notice… especially if it’s faculty from your department.  I’m afraid to leave a bad impression, but I really have no choice.

All this shock took place after I finished training this morning.  The new ropes that our instructor got two weeks ago have softened up so they’re much easier to climb and grip on. Last week they were still as hard as poles, and I couldn’t beat on them because my grip was weak.  Today I tried inverting into straddle with straight legs, then pencil, and straddle again (as can be done on the silks), and it was much better than last week.  I think the right side of my body is still fatigued from the week-long aerial workshop I did in August, so rather than feeling super strong I’ve been sensing a few needle pains on my right forearm and  shoulder.  I booked a sports massage for tomorrow to alleviate the tension.

As hard as a pole, this one was.

As hard as a pole, this one was.

I’ve been thinking about whether aerial is more difficult, or the Ph.D.?  I’ve concluded that I’m not at an advanced level in aerial yet, so at the moment the Ph.D. is more difficult because I’m trying to write criticism at an academic level, a.k.a. “professional” level in the terminology of the real world.  I came across this video the other day which explains why doing a Ph.D. is so hard.  The speaker says that from primary school to master’s, the school curriculum is structured so as long you study hard and are good at taking exams, you will be able to pass.

With a Ph.D., however, you’re expected to do research, so the result is open ended, leading to unmanageable expectations to do well.  There’s a part where he says “… the most intelligent people who go on to do a Ph.D….”  I’d just like to reiterate that at this particular moment, I don’t feel intelligent at all.  I may be able to see through nationalist ideologies using cultural studies theory, but it’s taken me a few hours to calculate exactly how much fabric I need to make a cover for our sofa.  I’m also a terribly messy cook.  I suspect an intelligent person would be much better at coming up with a system to keep the kitchen tidy.

Anyway, my friends’ reactions to this video were: “I knew this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.”  True, so true.


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