I was a bit down today. A bunch of stuff just overwhelmed me, and the old Inferiority Monster kind of took over for a while. And so I stayed home and got some work done, including printing off two of my three reading lists so that I can submit them officially. (That way, even though I'm still waiting on my profs to figure out who is supervising my major field, I have this out of the way.)
I showed Chris my Culture list, all typed up and alphabetised. I have put so much work into putting that list together (in fact, an entire Directed Reading Course was devoted to defining the field and putting together an annotated bibliography which would become that list). Finally, I had fifty books that I will be happy to read.
Chris looked through the list and read out loud parts of some of the titles, at random. In response, I told him who wrote that book, the full title, around when it was published, and how it fits into the field.
He got a little weirded out. Isn't this a list of books I'm intending to read? And how can I (who have no memory) know those books so well? And so I sat down and looked through the list.
I've already read almost half of the list, between the Directed Reading Course, my MA thesis, and books that I read before I took up with reading the Canada list. If you include books where I've read the introduction, the conclusion and book reviews, then it's a large majority of the list. And I really, really know the field.
I didn't realise that. Apparently, I'm actually further through this list than I am through my Canada list. And apparently I've made way more progress than I thought I had. And a lot of that is because my supervisor made me do a lot of work to figure this out on my own. (And, boy, did I complain about having to do all this legwork.)
You're going to hear words that sometimes seem uncommon in grad school: I love my supervisor.