Thursday, April 14, 2011

The start of a beautiful friendship?

Have you ever heard the old adage about the people you meet in life? They say there are three types:  acquaintances, friends that come and go and the longstanding variety you can count on. In many ways, I think an honours project is a bit like the people you meet. Some variables inevitably remain acquaintances, never taking on a life of their own. Others blossom initially but eventually wane, serving as important stepping stones to the ideas that stand the test of time. I can see this clearly in the evolution of my study. New aspects have been introduced whilst older features have disappeared, either re-emerging or being replaced. Just like relationships, an honours project is never static.

Inevitably, my 'relationship' with my project is complex. A thesis needs to be explained, defended and supported, a bit like a friend who cannot speak for themselves. At times I feel overwhelmed by it all, especially given the importance of high marks to my future career. Nevertheless, support from those willing to give feedback and listen makes it seem possible.

Despite all this, if my thesis could chat to me right now, it would probably vent its frustration! You see, I've identified a problem and I'm trying to fix it. However, I have not had much success. What is worse, is that I keep making the same mistakes. I'm placating myself with the knowledge that I will overcome this and by doing so will learn a lot from it. Even so, I still need to change my approach because my current tactics are evidently not working. Does anyone out there have any tips for approaching re-occurring problems?

At least writing this post has made me feel better. Challenges are inevitable but they will make it all the more worthwhile in the end. I'll let you know how I get on.

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