Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Five Stages of Red Ink

As a Doctoral Candidate allow me to assure you that receiving Feedback from one's Advisor is often an Unpleasant Experience, to say the least.  Below I have converted the Five Stages of Grief into the Five Stages of Red Ink.  

1.) Denial:  What criticism?  Pretend nothing happened.  Slap on a Stupid Grin, Say your Dissertation is Awesome, and keep assuring yourself your Advisor thinks so, too.  He's just too stubborn to admit it.  Now, Kids, this step works best if you can find Friends who will begrudgingly listen to you drone on and on about how how true all of this is.  Because, remember, Jung defines fanaticism as an overzealous reaction to insecure beliefs.  Denial takes a lot of commitment, Folks.

2.) Anger: Throw a Fucking Hissy Fit and Tell Your Advisor to go to Hell.  And, while you're at it, knock a couple things off his desk for Good Measure.  Then, promptly, withdraw from Grad School before you are kicked out.  When asked about why you left, respond: "It just wasn't the right career path for me."  

3.) Bargaining: Attempt to debate these so called "Necessary Changes" with Your Advisor.  Remind him of each and every single piece of criticism he's given you in the past that has lead to the creation of the brilliant piece of work you hold in your hands now riddled with Red Ink.  He will not remember any of them, but in a desperate attempt to salvage your pride (and sanity) dig the Hole/your Grave even deeper by returning to Stage Two.  As You Walk out of the Office, turn around and say: You're the Meanest Advisor EVER.

4.) Depression: Sit in a dark room and cry.  You wanna cry you, Cry Baby.  Let me see you Cry.  As my mother always said, Laugh and the World Laughs with you.  Cry and you Cry ALONE.  On a more positive note, this option is only detrimental to one's self unless, of course, you cry in front of Colleagues.  In which case, I suggest pretending a Loved One has passed, rather than admitting you just buried your Hopes and Dreams of a Successful Career.

5.) Acceptance: Wash the Red Ink Stains off your Hands, mumble a few Curse Words, and begin the rewriting process while reminding yourself that someday you no longer suffer as you do now.  We will find Eternal Bliss in a Tenure Track Job.

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