I’ve got the – Critical Reflective Academic Paper – Blues.

It is June 3 and I am completely lost. So lost, I have retreated. So lost, I’ve got the blues. I may have very well pushed myself into a dark corner. How you may ask? In an effort to do well on our final paper, I researched how to do a critical + reflective + academic + paper. I then read at least one thousand articles (at least) and looked at thousands of templates (at least). I then tackled the outline, wanting to get Irwin’s feedback as early as possible was going to be the key to my success. That is where my efforts went off the proverbial tracks. What outline should I follow? Is my issue too wide? What exactly is my issue? I sounded like I knew what I was doing during our team presentation. Instead of handing in an outline – I stared at my page for hours, days and weeks.

I completed a few logs – three versions. I commented on a couple of blogs and whilst doing so, I noticed only some of my colleagues were posting their progress in WordPress. This lead to me wondering what I was missing? What else would they use? Irwin needs to see the posts and follow our progress? Was I doing something terribly wrong?

I then read Myrna’s blog (2022) which in turn lead me to research that may or may not have anything to do with my final paper. The research is called “Grad School Blues” (Fogg, 2009). At first I chuckled to myself because of the name and how I plan to make a t-shirt. As I read through the article, I felt a wave of relief. The opening paragraph resonated with me so deeply that it gave me permission to feel how I was feeling without whining and putting myself down as a graduate-school candidate who did not deserve to be there. “Graduate school is gaining a reputation as an incubator for anxiety and depression. Social isolation, financial burdens, lack of structure, and the pressure to produce groundbreaking work can wear heavily on graduate students, especially those already vulnerable to mental-health disorders” (Fogg 2009).

Okay, so I’ve got the graduate school blues. Other brilliant minds get the graduate school blues. “At the University of California at Berkeley, 67 percent of graduate students said they had felt hopeless at least once in the last year; 54 percent felt so depressed they had a hard time functioning; and nearly 10 percent said they had considered suicide, a 2004 survey found” (Fogg 2009).

I’m not sure how this will help me finish my paper; perhaps knowing I am not alone will help propel me forward? All I know is I have three days left and I still do not have an outline. And having the blues? – Well, really, blue is just one more colour. And the reflective paper is big and high and wide.

I’ve seen this thing you won’t believe
Why it’s big
Bigger than the biggest trees
High as the mountains
Wide as the widest skies
And that’s both sides
Well, at least as big as me

— Jane Siberry

Jane Sibbery One More Colour 1985

Here is V3 of my log. I pulled literature from some of you if I felt a connection to it in my context.

Log 3.0

One thought on “I’ve got the – Critical Reflective Academic Paper – Blues.

  1. You aren’t alone! I appreciate you and this blog post so much, and your honesty is a breath of fresh air. Is it the pandemic? Is it that we are at the halfway point of our program? Is it that summer is around the corner? Is it the shenanigans and tomfoolery occurring in the world at large? Whatever it is, I’m feeling it too and I get it. Sending you love and positive vibes <3

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