How to Eat a Whale
Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.
And everyone said, "You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all.
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a good girl should...
...And in eighty-nine years she ate that whale
Because she said she would!
Even though I grew up with the Shel Silverstein’s poetry books, and even own Where the Sidewalk Ends, I have not read this poem in a long, long time. As I go into dissertation season, I was reintroduced to this poem by a dear friend, and it had a profound impact on my work.
The dissertation process seems like a huge enormous task, much like little Melinda Mae eating an entire whale. I’ve been stressing over the page count, the references, the APA format, when to send it to the editor, and... and... and.
The importance of taking small consistent steps and writing every day is to try to get a handle on this large and massive amount of work. I need to get a giant heap o’ work done, so I am following my mentors words of, "If you don't know what to do next, do the next thing." She knows that there is always something to do, and I can break down the steps into smaller bites, I just hope it doesn't take me the 89 years that it took Melinda Mae!
One bite at a time.
This blog chronicles my research in activist art and my life as a woman in academia.