Whew! I sent off my thesis proposal this afternoon, along with my application to enroll for a doctorate and an application for a scholarship which will enable me to study full time for three years. Knowing that my six pages (including bibliography) had some $70,000 dollars riding on it created a bit of pressure to do a particularly fine job!
Among the many challenges of developing this proposal was the catch-22 of limited library access until I am enrolled, but being unable to enroll until I submit my proposal which should demonstrate that I have done some library research already. This was further complicated by deciding to live approximately 600 kilometers away from my university of choice and its library. This distance won't be a such a big deal when I am enrolled and can access all yummy electronic journals and distance services of the library, but it is a very very long way with out that magic username and password.
I have managed a couple of visits to the library on my travels up and down the island this spring, but unfortunately I also kept changing my mind about my thesis topic, so in the end I didn't really have access to all the literature I needed for the final version. Fortunately, my years of working as a government bureaucrat have finely honed my ability (or at least my confidence in my ability) to sound authoritative with minimal evidence and no time. I know that it won't be the talent I need to finish the actual doctorate, but I am very much hoping it works for getting let through the gates to those ivory towers.
I feel a bit like I'm setting out on a fairytale quest which will involve succeeding at a number of apparently impossible tasks. The first is telling the right story to impress the gatekeepers of the ivory towers, where I will be given the magical tools I need to complete my journey through the towers and beyond. The mysteries that will be revealed to me upon correct use of the magic tools will eventually lead me on into another journey that right now I can't yet imagine. Like the Tarot's Fool I am following my intuition, open to all possibilities and facing the unknown and its challenges with equanimity.