Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Friday, May 13, 2005

This weekend is the Connections conference. Although it is for doctoral LIS students, the committee has decided to let me present nonetheless (I was a PhD student at the time my proposal was accepted). Attending the conference will be my last act as a supposed PhD student, and to be honest, I'm not looking forward to it.

Although my decision to drop out of the PhD program has been met more or less with approval and support from everyone I've talked to, there have been a few rough spots I've had to work through with myself. The first was the hardest, that being attending Wenger's talk at GSLIS only days after deciding to abandon my research. It was clear to me that I had stepped down a rung on the ladder, that while I may be the intellectual peer of the others in the room, socially, professionally, culturally, I no longer was. A hard pill to swallow, but something I will have to get used to.

It has gotten easier since. Mostly small twinges of regret as I filled out the official paperwork, was told my mailbox would be moving back to the hallway, asked if I could return my keys to the office, etc. Reminders that help me tear down the shaky construct that was my identity as a PhD student. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly.

This weekend, however, I'll be thrown back into a situation that will feel even more alien to me then it did before. What is likely to be an energizing and motivating experience for most will be for me a long, difficult, cumbersome charade.

I'll do my best, but I am not looking forward to it.


Hang in there, Ed. It's never easy making these kinds of tough, life-changing decisions. Deciding to stop your Ph.D is one of them. But you never know, maybe things you never envisioned before will come to light. Good luck!
I've long made peace with my decision to stop my PhD. My concerns re: the conference is that it will be an experience that makes the transition a bit more difficult, or at best, be riddled with uncomfortable moments.

Having said that, for the short time I was there yesterday, things went relatively well. One person did radiate me with a condecending attitude, but I don't think that had anything to do with my changed academic status.

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