A few weeks ago, I submitted some sample responses to Dr. 20th Century (Sorry. I am too jaded to think up a clever name for him) after he requested that I write "a few (relatively informal) pages on each and see what you can come up with?" So I did. I wrote about 2-3 pages on each question and submitted them for his review. I sent them to him about a month ago and he responded today. Basically, he ripped me to shreds. He told me that "they do not demonstrate a level of intellectual analysis, synthesis, or critical rigor appropriate to a doctoral examination." My responses were too brief, too general, not analytical enough, and, well, not PhD level obviously. I didn't discuss poetry as an "art" and didn't focus on Eliot enough. Way to go me! My bad. I thought he wanted informal responses and told me in the meeting that he wanted me to jot down general ideas and thoughts. I'm sorry but when someone uses the term "jot down," I automatically assume that extensive revision isn't required. Clearly, I was wrong. According to him, "Anytime you turn something into a committee member—especially doctoral work—it should be at least minimally polished and well-revised." Well, then don't tell me to "jot" some ideas down.
All that said, I now feel like I don't even belong here. Just when I was going full steam ahead, the wind is completely taken out of my sails. I am seriously questioning my intelligence and desire to finish this whole thing. I feel like a friggin' idiot. And now one of my committee members thinks that I'm an idiot as well. Great.