PhD’s and the fact they consume your life!

And I’m not even talking about studying for the PhD but the simple fact of applying. The form is massive…

Although, saying that, I did once complete a bigger one. For a while I thought about applying for a CSI post with the police; a forensic officer. I was straight out of uni after completing my first undergraduate degree. It was exciting and I can’t remember why I decided to apply, it may have been that where I was in the Midlands there was a distinct lack of jobs. So I filled out the book-like application. It was bigger than the PhD one, but not by much.

I got an interview, and that was interesting. I have never anticipated what it would entail. I ought to, after all I have filled in the book that was the application, but I walked in there with a purse and an easy smile. Everyone else seemed very serious and tense. We were ushered into a room and sat in a cinema-like setting. They then turned out the lights.

“We will ask questions later.” Came the voice.

Okay, I thought and I watched as scene upon scene flashed before my eyes. I would like to say they were fluffy bunnies, but they weren’t. Some were staged and others not. Sometimes, even now, my nightmares are littered with these still-frame shots. I looked around with horrified eyes and realised that everyone was taking notes. I looked at the officer watching and he gave me a smile, and in it I could see he was perplexed. What had I expected? Not that.

You see, I hadn’t thought about it. If I had then maybe I would have realised that they have to make sure you can handle the everyday stuff; the RTAs and the domestic violence. I couldn’t, but then I had no idea until they started to show me those images.

The lights came on and I sat ram-rod straight. I know that my mind was in shock. They handed out a booklet.

“Answer the questions.”

There were things like, what was the colour of the car? But I just sat and looked at it. A comprehension test on what I’d seen. All I could do was hear the screams, you see my mind made stories for each photo. To this day I don’t know what I wrote, but I can tell you that I didn’t get the job.

My only wish is that it had taken me longer to realise that it was the stories I should have focused on. Now, they are the stuff of nightmares and although I will write them down one day, they are a thing of terror for me. Still, I dip into that feeling whenever I write, as I mostly write horror…

So, the forms are filled in and the PhD has gone to see if it will be approved. Now it is the waiting game. Now is the time that I can sit and write… with a little drawing. I have missed it as the PhD has consumed my life for the last month or so. For the time being though I’m back. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “PhD’s and the fact they consume your life!

  1. Hi, Kate

    In December, I applied to the Creative Writing Doctorate program at UW-Milwaukee and I couldn’t agree with you more. The application process was a feat in and of itself! Not only that, but I may have to wait as long as May or June to find out if I’m in! Why do we do this to ourselves?

    I will say, I had an overwhelming feeling of relief when I hit “confirm submission,” and the effort I put into the application made it feel like its own accomplishment.

    Good luck on yours!

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