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Friday, October 25, 2013


October is soon over and I haven’t written a sentence here. All sentences written this month has been going to the dissertation introduction, right now at 35 pages and about 93% of my goal text output. The thinking work behind the text (which is tiring physical work more than it’s given credit for, I’m telling you!) is probably twice to thrice as much as the text reveals.

You name it: inspiration, frustration, feelings of competence and doubt – October has it. Basically, if someone told me at the start of this PhD that I would not only be in for an intellectual challenge but also a physically and psychologically strenuous period, I would probably have noted this, but would never have understood how these last months of production could really feel like a test of fire. All for the license of being an academic! Haha! You have to keep distance to this job to the humor in it sometimes. 

Seriously though, I do have ambitions of making this thesis as good as it can be, make it enjoyable to read but factually solid, and most of all, make it mine. So, it’s personal that way. Hard to imagine otherwise if you have spent five years on an intellectual product.

So, October has been strenuous, but when I see my text now I can feel a tranquilizing feeling of relief and pride. Granted, there’s still a bit of the finish line to go. I have yet a Discussion to write. But now I finally feel that something is coming out from all this work; like something being squeezed and coming through to the other side. Hey, didn’t Socrates say that thinking was like giving birth? This project that I’ve been working on for five whole years is now taking shape into something independent of me – a book that will bear my name. It's very hard not to feel the weight of anticipation, and see this product in a personal way, like setting a child free into the world with motherly hopes and fears projected in it … And yet, at the bottom, it’s really just an academic degree. Life goes on. Proportions, dear. Proportions.



Anonymous jamenijamjam said...

Hello! Fellow Pinoy here just browsing around the EM scholar's blog. I'm helping out a friend apply for at the moment (grammar checking and moral supporting lang naman mostly, haha!) and I was looking for some inspiration for her. Then I came across your blog and was sucked into it! Nakakatuwa ang blog mo, hehe! Not trying to be creepy here, just genuinely appreciating someone who shares her experiences abroad! Mabuhay ka. Goodluck sa iyong PhD! :-)

P.S. if you have tips about writing the motivation letter for applying to the EM scholarship, please feel free to reply!

10:20 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hello jamenijamjam! Thanks for posting your comment. I appreciate it! I also think it's great that people still find each others' blogs despite FB. It's rewarding to have a blog that way.

Motivation letter for the EM scholarship? I must have written something about my (at that time) future work plans. Medical ethics was not a strong subject in AdMU back then. Something about how the program could be applied in your friend's own context would be a good argument. Also, you could try to read about the host universities and the program in question, and try to argue how the strengths of that program could benefit your friend's development in the field (e.g. strong research group in the uni, more resources and appropriate supervisors, international perspectives, etc.). Studying abroad really opened my perspectives in different ways and I don't regret ever daring to apply for EM! :-) These are exciting times for your friend!

9:58 PM


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