Unshackled

It’s done. The thesis I’ve worked on solidly for the last ten months – through thick and thin, edits and rewrites, blood and tears (but no sweat coz my deoderant’s anti-perspirant) – is finally completed, submitted and left up to the ineffable machinations of fate as I wait for a concluding mark and, by extension, an indicator of where my next year is going to go.

It’s been a long, gruesome road since I started in January. The topic’s changed, the structure’s been altered, classes have been attended and the end result is a work I can be proud of. I spent the better part of the last ten months setting out to prove Batman and Captain America, as cultural artefacts of a time eight decades removed, still hold relevance as contemporary as the world’s best literature. I like to think I’ve done that – or, at least, started to road towards proving it.

The journey’s been rewarding, if difficult at times. I was familiar with academic deadlines, though none as stringent and hectic as these. Assignments. Ethics forms. Consent forms. Dialogue transcripts. More assignments. Final essays. Major presentations. Major presentation final essays. And did I mention the assignments? All of it came together in the end, giving me direction in the major piece and contributing to what I hope will be a scholarship-worthy mark when December rolls around.

But y’know what? Even if this is the end, and I don’t get a coveted place in a PhD next year, and my life changes considerably from the direction I’m shooting for, I’m still really glad I did this. For the longest time I’ve found large parts of my undergrad degree to be so arduous and finicky that it almost dissuaded me from continuing after last year. My work was good, but not great – “P’s make degrees”, as the saying goes.

This year, I’ve got a work I can stand behind, call my own and say “I’m proud of what I’ve got.” It wasn’t easy, but the best experiences never are. Except eating an entire Cadbury block – that’s no task at all.

For those interested in reading it I need to double-check before I send electronic copies out, but anyone living locally to me can borrow the spare hard copy I had bound in case of emergency. Anyone interested in superheroes relating to critical cultural theory should give it a look.

It’s not a bad piece of work.

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