What Thesis?

After weeks of trying to coordinate schedules, I finally met with my thesis advisor.  The university’s campus has been turned upside down since I was here last in 2008.  Old spaces were remodeled, departments were moved to different buildings, and the GRADUATE SCHOOL ITSELF had been relocated.  It looks nice but I needed to grab a map to navigate this place.  Yes, I’m still here as I type, still in shock.  I needed a cup of soup and a cozy new mod chair to sit in and feel like a student in my 20’s again.  Yes, that reminds me, I just turned 31 last week.

Anyway, to the main point.  After looking at the way I’ve begun to approach the data analysis on my qualitative study, my advisor looked at me and said, “Well if you’re going to do it this way you will have to change the methodology section in your proposal, because THIS is NOT grounded theory.”  Grounded Theory, did I ever tell you how much you annoy me?  And after I expressed to her that just weeks ago I was thinking about scrapping the whole thesis and doing a silly project just so I can graduate, she asked, “Why don’t you?”  WHAT?  WHY DON’T I?  Is all this hard work PURE CRAPOLA? 

My tears were going to explode out of my eye sockets.  She presented her case.  I listened, spoke, and CRIED.  I am not one to hold in my tears.  Eventually I told her that the reason I chose to do a thesis in the first place, as opposed to a project, is because it is much more well-regarded.  The thesis has status.  “Regarded by whom?”  she said.  Well, I THOUGHT back then that maybe ONE DAY I would go Doctoral, you know, a PhD, and isn’t that what THEY want?  “This is not going to be your last piece of work.  Plus,” she explained “I knew this project was very ambitious from the beginning.  Qualitative studies usually take 2 years at the very least with continuous work and it usually happens in research TEAMS.  You are all alone!”  Yes I am, Lady, yes I am. 

We discussed the differences and the rationale and I agreed.  She has assured me that switching to a project is not a step down, which is what I was afraid of.   We will still create a quality product in the form of a thesis but without the BS of a thesis committee.  We will still aim towards publication and a presentation of the project to Women’s & Gender Studies faculty.  The goal is to finish in 5 months, rather than another year. 

So, things have changed, but I will have more freedom on this project than I might had on the thesis.  More importantly, I will graduate sooner and isn’t this the whole point?  So, yah, who needs a thesis anyway?  Me and my project will be just fine.  I meant to say “my project and I.”