How fragile we are

So, I want to finish my Honours. Not a shock to most people, I’m sure.

After a couple of unanswered emails to Monash (because I was emailing people who are on leave, I think) I found the new Journalism Honours coordinator. (This took several months, because after screwing up my courage to email them initially, I then was terrified of contacting someone else and getting multiple things happening. No, I don’t need you to tell me that is entirely and utterly stupid. I’m well aware. I was aware as it was playing out. That’s not the same thing as being able to do anything about it.)

A replied to my email and wanted to set up a call. Now, I’m better in person than on calls, but that wasn’t going to happen, so a call it was. And it was a good call. A remembered who I was, and even mostly remembered what I was doing. I’m amazed given I’ve not been there for 18 months and we met a couple of times. Seriously impressive.

So, we talk. And I’m amazed at how easy it all is — they want me back (or at the very least, seem happy to have me back), I can do it part-time (i.e. take the full academic year to do the thesis) and, best of all, I could work with the supervisor from last time, which was the thing I was most worried about losing.

So I email B (supervisor), and we set up a meeting for a couple of weeks hence (tomorrow as I am writing this).

In the meantime, I am getting busy with reorganising myself. Reformatted both computers so I could install the referencing software (Endnote is a piece of rubbish, but it’s what we use through Uni), got my old reference library opened up again (the current 150 references and PDFs for the thesis all safely working again), got to working on reading and organising them. Reading about the best way to write a thesis, finding articles about advocacy journalism theories. Getting back into the swing of it, basically.

I figured that re-enrolling might be a good thing, so I emailed, got given a couple of emails to try, did so. Naturally enough, got different answers from both, went with the one that checked my phone number, confirmed it, nothing. A few days later, re-sent the email, and got a call.

At which point the wheels fell off.

Didn’t they ring me? No? Well, they say you can’t re-enroll (via an email sent to the enquirer, not to me, genius stuff), you’ve had one go at it and that’s it. But you can do a Masters if you like (which I don’t want to do, and besides, it’s two years and $40+K, which I also don’t like, and felt like being upsold rather than being presented with a solution, as unfair as that assessment probably is).

Note that I haven’t had a go at it once, we didn’t even get to the ethics approval stage, let along writing the thesis. I was told by the then Journalism Honours Coordinator that I couldn’t do it in 2016, but that I’d have to wait until 2017.

But you can imagine how this effected me — I was good enough for the first few hours, telling myself that it would be fine, it’s just paperwork to be fixed, but in reality it’s a massive institution that doesn’t ever makes mistakes (just ask them!) at the administration level, so I have no idea what will happen. (Was, however, made to feel a lot better in the evening after being dragged into a gaming session with two-thirds of my usual evening gaming crew – one in South Korea, the other in Denmark. Thank you, guys, and thank you, internet.)

Naturally, I can’t log in to see what my student record says, but I was of the opinion that I had with drawn because of medical reasons (i.e. depression) thus the “you can finish it in 2017.”

So we spiral downwards. It’s worse when you’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel, faint and flickery as it is, only to discover it’s an oncoming train.

I was all set to ring/email student services to see if I could work things out, but then I chickened out, on the basis that no matter what I did, I was sure to make it worse. So it’s probably a good thing they’re apparently basically uncontactable.

Hopefully tomorrow’s meeting will give me the key to unlock this, but it’s difficult to hold on to that belief. A stupidly difficult last week. So difficult.

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