Starting over…

So, I’ve been getting super frustrated lately. I feel like my PhD is going so slowly and that nothing is working. Feelings I’m sure are common and widespread. But that’s really not that much of a comfort, because I find it hard to stay motivated and keep going when I start feeling like this. Which, of course, just makes everything worse.

But, yesterday seemed to be a bit of a catalyst for me. No, I’m not quitting my program (although I’ve been sorely tempted recently). I am facing reality a bit more (I’m pretty sure the academic route has about a 10% chance of happening now), but I’m still (mostly) determined to finish. So what happened? Well, two things. First, I realized how upset I am with the process and speed at which my current work is moving forward (or, more accurately, not moving anywhere) even with the ton of hours I’ve been pouring into it recently. And two, I received an email from one of those people who seem to have everything go the right way for them during their degree(s) that just made me want to bang my head against a wall (but I didn’t :P).

So I wallowed. But only for a few hours. Then I sat myself back down at my computer and told myself I needed to figure out a new way to approach what was going on. On Monday, I had started re-writing some of my code files, in hopes that by doing so, I could a) simplify them, and b) maybe solve some of the problems. Well, I did manage to simplify stuff (which I’m sure improved them) but most of the problems still existed, and it felt like new ones were popping up at every turn. However, I did ‘enjoy’ re-writing the code, as it felt like I was taking more control of my project again.

So last night, I decided to start my entire project over. Well, 95% of starting over. I am going to keep the files I’ve re-written (and a few others). But I started with none of them. And have only been bringing over exactly what I need, when I need it, into my new project directory. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that with this approach, I can slowly (hopefully not too slowly) build up my project again, and solve some/most/all of the bugs along the way. It should be simpler to solve a problem with only a tenth of the files, right?

Anyway, I think (and hope) that this was a good plan. And a smart plan. And a successful plan. At the very least, it was motivating. I churned out 8 pomodoros yesterday evening, and it would’ve been a bit more, except I didn’t always remember to start the next one. I’ve already started to encounter one of the bugs I had before, but at least I have a better idea of why it’s happening, and what is causing it. Which is way more information then before.

I’m really hopeful that today I can hammer my way through a lot more, as I’m hoping to have a new and improved demo to show my supervisor on Thursday. Fingers crossed.


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