The ramblings of an absent-minded doctoral student

The ramblings of an absent-minded doctoral student. Chronicling my life as I earn a PhD in history.

Friday, April 22, 2011

bigger than the Twilight love affair

No matter how many times other people say they feel the same way I do, I still feel vaguely alone. I've always excelled at school. It was the one thing I thought I was really good at, where I felt confident. School was just kind of my thing, where I felt the happiest. At this level, though, I feel average at best. I know that there will always be people smarter than me, more accomplished than me, but I often wish I just understood things the way Elegant E, Boonie and C. Dawg* do. We're all first years, but they just have this knowledge base and this ability to grasp concepts that seem to just....escape me. The feeling I have when I'm sitting in Military Thought and Strategy, of not knowing what's going and feeling like I have nothing of value to contribute, is the same feeling that's started to creep into all of my studies. Beyond my inability to read Dutch, the only time I feel even semi-confident is when I'm reading about and discussing piracy and privateering events. And even then, my knowledge is debatable.

I love my colleagues. The cohort at OSU is fantastic and they've really helped to make my transition more bearable. But there's still something about Ohio that feels mildly uncomfortable. Maybe it's just been the weather lately. But battling depression on top of doctoral work is a challenge and a half....

*names have been changed for privacy.


  1. it's Marianne-- if YOU feel average at best and like you dont have a knowledge base comparable to others, then I definitely feel like a piece of dirt. i feel like i know nothing. about anything. *sigh*

  2. Hey Jamie, it's Derek. Sorry to hear that things aren't going as you would like. I can relate to what you are saying. Despite having been here for going on two years and (finally) having funding secured for next year, I still really feel like I have no place at UK. Maybe we just hoped that the grad school experience would turn out to be something more or other than it is?

  3. You pick up things now that could be useful later on that you don't even realize you know. And the weather in OH sucks ass. I'll check back on you in a few weeks when it starts to warm up and see how you feel. You are beautiful & brilliant even if you couldn't quite strategize a military thought. (haha... is that even possible? I was just trying to use all the words. *lol* But I still meant it!!)