Friday, October 12, 2012

Rock Bottom and Dead End

Surviving the most horrible M.A. Comprehensive Examination conducted for three straight days was a rock bottom and facing the final course with a descriptive title Thesis Writing afterwards was the dead end. One might say I am just overstating, but really both are the major events in my life to which I lived through all tastes of hardships - physically, mentally, emotionally, financially.

I could only look back then and realize that I was actually the one who gave myself an ordeal. The first day I started my thesis, I have already imposed in my mind that I should have done it after just a month. But it applies that life is stranger than fiction, and I am just an ambitious speck of a dust dreaming big. 

Just a day after I presented my topic to my chosen adviser, I was scheduled for thesis proposal the following week. My topic about special education for autism was welcomed as a new, fresh and original one. That's the benefit of researching thoroughly and writing seriously. Yay!

But my ordeal cropped up when I started looking for experts in special education, child psychology and occupational therapy to validate the instrument I designed for my thesis. While some shared their spare time with me, others declined because they were busy. In a week of juggling like I am on the verge of my life, I did my instrument validation process.

Yet after finding out that the school where I would conduct my study has lesser special education teachers who qualify to be my respondents, it was then time to resort to the Plan B that the thesis panel advised me. To meet a statistically acceptable population of respondents, I have to include more schools with special education programs. Until in the end I found out that my scope have stretched to forever to include the entire region! Hello, how the hell can I do it? Heavens, please save me!

Gathering the data of my study, that is administering the questionnaires to the teachers, was the most difficult, I should say. I was the one who conducted to accessible schools. The first school I visited was truly an experience because the two teachers vehemently refused to answer my questionnaire. Pity on them. What are they afraid after reading the content of my questionnaire? They are not the kind of teachers who should be there in the first place. And I am no kidding.

Not all the teachers I approached welcomed me with hearts. Some just received my letter and had left me in the midair.  Others begged off and had me wish I never knocked their doors. How sad, so disheartening.

For schools from the bay and province, I politely asked my personal acquaintances to do it for me in their schools that have special education program. Of course I was just requesting, so I could not demand that they finish it by a week nor control inevitable circumstances when they are busy. So, I have to forgive myself during the most worrying times when I almost hurled curses in the wind as the thesis deadline I set out for my self was extended for one week, and then for another week again, and then for last week yet.

There were days when I went home with shrugged shoulders and just wanted to swim among the swamp cabbages in the murky pond. Sometimes life is just so outrageous, so outrageous than the way I expected it. And all I have to do is accept it with as much resignation as I can muster.

Yet for all the things - sweats, tears, wishes, dreams - that I have put in this journey, I know, oh I know for sure, that rock bottom is a good solid ground, and dead end is just another place to turn around. The trip is not over and I am picking up the pieces from where I have almost stopped.

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