I’ve fallen asleep on almost every flat surface in my college.
I even dozed off on the floor in front of the printer one day this summer, because I thought the office suite was empty… only to have the head of my department walk by within inches of my backpack/pillow to get his printout.
And bless him, after making sure I was all right, he left me to sleep.
I’ve occasionally been urged to apply for travel research grants, but I’m worried about whether my body could take it, about getting the tech and implants to work in small out-of-the-way archives, and about figuring out heath care and insurance abroad. So I haven’t applied.
I’m terrified that my professors will think I’m not progressing on their timetable, feel that my physical circumstances preclude me from being a good scholar (or teacher), and will therefore not bother to advise me, join the necessary committees, or write me recommends.
I often feel that because my physical status is questionable, I’m passed over for tasks, projects, and invites by my department.
I don’t want to tell the writing group that instead of reading about the portrayal of women musicians in Victorian fiction, I spent hours researching the role of ROX2 in striated cardiac muscle.
I’m rethinking my life goals and career because of my diagnoses, and I’m worried about involving my professors in this process because I don’t know if any deviation from the accepted path (doctorate, post-doc/researchship, up through the ranks of professor, tenure at “prestigious” university) will be tolerated.
My doctors know more about my dissertation than my advisor.
My nurses know way more about dissertation than my advisor.
My physical therapists have heard so much about my dissertation that they can probably write it by now.
I’m fairly certain now that many of my professors have no idea how to handle a graduate student whose life is not conforming to the ideal ivory-tower conception of a graduate student… and it seems I’m not alone in that.
I hope that my professors don’t mistake my lack of energy when pursuing my dissertation for a lack of interest.