Express: vb, a., & adv. 1. v.t. Represent, make known, in words or by gestures, conduct, &c. (~one’s meaning or oneself strongly, esp. in disapproval; words cannot ~ it; one’s sympathy & c.); squeeze out (juice & c.). 2. adj. Definitely stated, explicit, (~orders); meant, done, & c., for special purpose (~train, fast, with few stoppages; ~ postal messages, delivery, especially expedited). 3. adv. With speed, by ~.
 
At the moment, I am living almost every waking moment by express. I cannot adequately express my overwhelming sense of time flying by and my current inability to keep up with everything that requires time and attention and patience.  I am struggling to express and squeeze every available moment of the day to get as much out of it as I can, all the while stuffing down the terrible feeling that this is a race I simply cannot win.  I have been running through every day, from one thing to the next, at express speed, and ‘with few stoppages.’ 
 
I have read blog posts and articles about this thing called the ‘phD lifestyle’, which for one blogger, describes the privilege and the pleasure to completely immerse oneself in the rigors of one’s chosen field of study.  My collegues are all similarly dedicated entirely to their work, and are given the space in which to focus, research, and grow their tomes.  My experience of the phD process at the moment is one of frustration, isolation, and constant interruption.
 
I cannot help feeling somewhat jaded at this point.  Being a mother of young children, I have no option but to work whenever the opportunity presents itself, even if that means late into the night every night.  To wake up early and continue running the wheel of exhaustion from one day to the next.  And work really hard at keeping some semblance of a smile on my face. I am unable to participate in networking and social activities, and am almost entirely disconnected from my community of both academic and artistic peers, breaking the isolation only by the occassional trip onto campus and the odd passing comment on Facebook.  My supervisor has become consumed by her own work pressures and I am yet to receive substantial feedback with one year to go to submission.  Last year my co-supervisor politely walked away from my project, recommending that we get someone else more familiar with early modern studies to help out.  That was October last year.  I remain in supervisory limbo.
 
Right now I feel a little bit like Robinson Crusoe, before he meets Man Friday.  Stranded.
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About Melanie

Artist with penchant for art history. Knit-addicted maker of things. Finished a phD thesis on eighteenth-century art. Love for mythology, folklore, music, stories, the trivial, random and accidental. I frequently contradict myself.
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