Hesitancy, but no pause

March 21st, 2009

I think I have made it through the night.  [[God, I hope so.]]  The similarities of dusk and dawn, to the casual observer like me, could be playing tricks on me, but I do not have time to question it.  Thus, with hesitancy, I say “Moving on…”

The workload of the last two months of my undergraduate career is astonishing.  Not that I’ve been slacking off, I just seem to have amassed extra work all at the same time for no apparent reason – other than, possibly, not paying close enough attention to the syllabi in the midst of crisis.  Alas and alack.  [[Knowing that other people are in the same workload situation, I have to wonder, “Why?”  As much as I want to get a PhD, I sincerely doubt that much good can come of these “character-building” exercises in sleep deprivation and hyper-stress.]]  But in spite of this, the thesis seems to be going along decently.

Chapters 1-4 are mostly finished, to be shuttled off to the Editor for corrections.  I’m not entirely pleased with certain phrases and paragraphs, and need to really think about how I present certain arguments.  I want this crafting to be perfect.  But of course everyone says that – and what special person am I to actually get time to stop for two hours a day?  I could only perform that feat of magic in high school, when my extracurricular load was ten times worse than now.  (Yes, I do indeed know how to stop time.  See me for details.)  The due date is strict, and I will stick to it.

Chapter 5 is also progressing, since I’ve reviewed all my notes, and am currently in the final stages of acquisition.  The more I ruminate, the easier a time I’ll have writing this last meaty section.  This chapter will argue that Haitians had become embedded into Quebec society by 1995, in spite of such a short germination (30 years, roughly).  It is evidenced through the religious establishment, as well as the cultural output (books, poetry, academic writing) of the Haitians in Montreal.  The way I see it, the first section will discuss religion, because it is a bridge between the two national cultures and is often referenced by historians of Haitian immigration to Quebec.  Missionaries were sent to Haiti from Quebec, and taught the generations of upper classes (in French, not Kreyol); theologians from Haiti studied in Quebec, and returned to Haiti (eg Jean-Bertrand Aristide).  Etc etc.  There are places for Haitians to worship as a community (in a Catholic Church, and in “cultural heritage” vaudou ceremonies) as well as with the greater community (in other religious denominations and in public fairs/festivals).  The second section will discuss the cultural evolution of Haitians in Montreal, since literary production is an easy way to look at how Haitians felt within their new society.  Critics have already examined the progression of themes in immigrant works, and others have examined the progression of themes in native Quebeckers’ work throughout this period, roughly 1960 to 1995.  All I need to do is retell the story, pulling data from the many Reports on Haitians’ and immigrants’ integration into society (unemployment, education, pay rate, etc).

And Ch 7 should be fairly easy to craft during my final editing stage, since it summarizes the conclusions of my work and synthesizes/predicts future behaviour.  I can’t wait to write this chapter, since it means I get to watch a TV show again that makes me laugh so much I have to pause the video constantly.  (I wish it had an English subtitle option, but no…)

So there.  I’m slowly slugging through coursework, and thesis work.  Things will get done, and, as I’ve heard so many times now, things will get better.

Thank you, Life, for easing up.  Much appreciated.


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