Wednesday, June 14, 2006

breaking down the barrier

as i continue to chug along and get my work wrapped up before i depart, i cannot help but feel that i have contributed only a minimal amount of my own ideas and have used many others' ideas to develop my research direction. this is not to say that i am not interested in or did not want to do what i am doing now, but i just feel like the ideas should have been more my own since it is MY research and MY phd. i was just talking to one of the research associates in my group, and he was able to comfort me by letting me know that "a phd is just the process of breaking down the barrier we have setup in our minds that stops dumb ideas from coming out. because, eventually, one of those ideas turns out not to be dumb at all."

i can understand this growing process, but this is one of those things i wish i had been told before starting my phd in order to avoid feeling like a parasite of ideas. it can get very frustrating when you try and sit down to come up with new ideas and nothing comes of the 2-3 hours you spend thinking. THEN, when you talk to other people, they throw out ideas left and right in a matter on minutes.

..............the life of a lowly first-year phd student


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