November 16, 2013

Day 175

So, remember last post when I said that I had an outline/plan for my preliminary analysis? Well, surprise, I don't know jack about what I'm doing! That's not technically true, but dammit, I sure feel like an idiot! I have so much to say about Buffy, yet I don't know how to say all of it without it turning into a huge mess, because nothing that i have to say can be said on its own without the support from all the rest of the stuff I have to say on it. So yeah, today was basically a day of me wallowing in self-pity, watching several episodes of the show, and writing four pages that can hopefully be turned into something resembling my preliminary analysis.

That's not to say that I did not make progress on it today; I did. Those four pages are four pages more than I had this morning before I started, and I did get some crucial things I've wanted to say about the series for some time out onto paper. So that's good. I find myself struggling however, because everything that I have to say can't be said in this paper. The way the senior thesis works at my school is that we have first what is called the preliminary analysis, a "draft zero", if you will. In this paper, we are supposed to talk about our topic in broad strokes, in my case discussing its implications socially, politically, societally, etc. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: "Luke, why don't you just treat this as an Overview? You've done six, you're probably working on a seventh for the Holidays (where's my T-Arc that you promised us, dammit?!) why not tell your reader your thoughts on Buffy in an Overview-ish style?" And wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do that? But alas, I can't seem to do that with this show. Buffy, I'm sorry to say, is far too complicated a show for me to tackle, at least in full force. I'm perfectly fine analyzing bits and pieces of it, it's characters, maybe a story arc or two and it's effect on a character, but that's really where my comfort level stops. I don't know how to write an overview of a seven-season long show, analyzing things in bulk, because honestly, that's not what Buffy is. I can't do that, because Buffy didn't do that. This show is subtle, it's complex, it's multi-layered, and for me to clump all of that into three or four points would do the show a disservice, because it would be leaving out so much of what makes up the show itself.

So, doing a full-blown overview is out of the question. What if I focus on an arc? A single season? Like Season Five, the best of them all (sorry, Season Two fans). I could do this, but much of what I like about Season Five lies within Buffy the character, and since my actual thesis is analyzing Buffy... well, I can't really talk about her in a paper that is supposed to be the setup for my actual in-depth talk in my thesis, now can I? What if I analyze the impact Buffy has on academia? I've played around with this topic already in the first four pages of the PA, and so far it's yielded somewhat promising results. What I'm going for, however, is looking at what makes up a "strong female character", and how Buffy handles that aspect of itself. This has so far been the most promising out of all the ideas I've been able to cram into the four pages of what is supposed to be an eight-to-twelve page paper. Still, I feel as though I'm not grasping anything tightly enough. I am out of focus right now. I don't know what to talk about in this paper. On Tuesday, we have a work day in English class, and I have the afternoon off, so that should give me ample time to sort this mess out (and it really is a mess; I don't even have a proper introduction of what I'm talking about, I just kinda plunge into things headfirst).

So, I did watch several hours worth of the show, plus some Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to keep my mind sane (though this probably did more damage than good). I wandered aimlessly around the web for a few hours, until my Mom finally said that we should grab an early dinner since we didn't have lunch. Went to Applebee's (it's a guilty pleasure; don't judge!) and had some supper and a superb dessert, and then returned home. My mind must have been in some insane "I need to take on more projects to feel overworked even though I already am" mode, so I've started drafting my second movement to my second violin concerto. I don't know why I'm doing this now; I have so much on my plate already... Anyway, I've written an A section, a development of that, and a recapitulation that ends very sweetly. I'm now of course frustrated that I can crank out a draft of a concerto in the span of an hour and still only have a mess of four pages of about fifty ideas for an eight-page paper at minimum! God, I do not like this thesis thing at all!

So, I don't know if you all can tell, but my mind is pretty much shot for the day. I'm going to bed so I can wake up sane (ish) tomorrow and play a concert in the afternoon. Goodnight, everyone.

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