Comprehensive: having an extensive mental range or grasp

Oh My God I Am the Worst Ever/Too Dumb For Grad School/Overreacting!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding?

Day 12 of 21 and I am working on my third of four questions. Despite taking more than my scheduled four days for my last essay, I’m still on track with plenty of time left for editing at the end. I am doing *just fine*. Sure. Uhhuh. I’ve had some hiccups – one day that I lost entirely when I tried to push through with what I thought was a mediocre essay until I was able to let go of my “just get it done” mentality enough to recover the creativity necessary to produce new words.

Stargate Atlantis: Missing

But thusfar, the big struggle has been dealing with self-doubt. Robin’s advice to remember my committee is rooting for me is something I try to keep reminding myself of, as well as my mom’s advice to meditate and run, but I’m still making myself sick. Stargate Atlantis reminded me that rites of passage are about accepting that you can do things that you didn’t think you could do, and I recognize that this – as much as the writing of the essays – is a central task for me in comps.

Clearly, however, I’m not there yet.

Advice welcome.

3 thoughts on “Comprehensive: having an extensive mental range or grasp

  1. Okay. Not advice exactly. More a question. You outlined everything first, right? Your advisor recommended as I recall. Now you are ploughing through each question. But what if there is an interim step? Back in the day when I did 3 all day Bar exam (don’t know if they do this anymore), two days of those were essay. What we were taught was: outline, speed write ALL questions, then go back to fill in, etc. This was because you lost a whole lot more if you left out an entire question or two, than if some answers were better than others. So, I’d answer each question hitting all issues on my outline, and write fast, almost without thinking, figuring that I remembered more than I realized. Then, when I had something down that would count as an answer for each question, I came back and added things. Just a thought.

    One other thought. Adopt a mantra. Like I am now in my 6th week without sugar, and whenever I’m tempted I say my mantra, which is “Tennis, Travel, Adventure.” Because that is the reason I’m doing what I’m doing in a nutshell. I want to be able to play tennis. I want to be healthy enough to travel, and go for more adventures. But while saying “Health” over and over again might be a good mantra, it wouldn’t motivate me. But “tennis, travel, and adventure.” Yeah! I want it! You want this. You don’t want it “too much” you just want it, and it is yours. You can do this. So adopt a simple, fun, this is your life, mantra. And then, just do it. One hour at a time. One day at a time. I haven’t been perfect, But the mantra has definitely helped. Sending powerful vibes your way! Keep at it. You are doing good.

    • Although there are too many moving parts for me to feel like I can speedwrite, this seems like it’s got a good bit in common with my “write fragments” approach – that is, write down the stuff I know I want to say first. And that’s a winning strategy for me for sure, but it doesn’t help me manage my stress as much as I’d like it to.

      I’ll have to think about the mantra … I like the idea for sure, but I don’t know what I would say!

      • Hmmm. How about 3 names of students that represent for you the kind of relationship where you really ENJOY making a difference as a teacher and want that in your future?. Can’t couch as a should though. Has to be something that gives YOU deep sense of joy and satisfaction. Something that your deepest self says YES to even if you don’t know all the reasons why. Make the process of coming up with a mantra fun. Try a few on.

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