*(Cartoon cussing, meant to convey the depths of my misery without attracting the Wrong Kind of Googlers)

The thing is that a *lot* of today sucked. The prof I’m TAing for next semester also hired me as an RA too, so I’m pretty much doing nothing but running around between four different libraries, trying to figure out what her cryptic requests mean.

I fucking hate being a lackey.

And that really would have been enough to make for a crappy day–slogging through hail and slush and ice, feeling like a flunky. So even if I hadn’t run into my advisor, I would be grumpy right now.

But you know there’s more to this story.

Right. He needs to reread my prospectus, of course, but he’s got some preliminary thoughts on it, and do I want to just hear them now? Well, okay, though I’m a little scattered and not so ready, really. The gist of the next half hour: while my topic is good, the prospectus sucks.

Of course, he didn’t say it “sucks,” per se. But it needs work, let’s shoot for submitting in March, maybe later. Here are 12 books that will give you the theoretical framework your prospectus is desperately lacking.

To his credit, he did say, “I wonder if I should have told you all this months ago.”

Um, yeah. That would have been nice. But hey, whattaya gonna do. Telling me now beats telling me after I submit it, I guess.

So I’ve got some work to do. Assuming I can muster up even the tiniest bit of self-esteem and convince myself that I’m not just a big dumb failure who will never be Dr. Luckybuzz.