Following a meeting with my supervisors yesterday we have made a bit of an executive decision. The thesis is nearly nearly there, but still requires a few structural changes which may end up being a bit fiddly and time consuming. So although I am still working on it at the same pace (note to my husband: don’t laugh) I have only now put in my intention to submit form which gives me a bit of time more for submission. Not loads more time, but just having the spectre of September 30th removed has taken away the bulk of the pressure and given me a new burst of energy. I’m still aiming to have most of it done by then, but it means that I can take a few days out to prepare for my job interview the following week, and then hopefully I will only have the fiddly reference checking and pagination and contents pages and turning it into a pdf file and that sort of thing still to do which means it will only be a couple of weeks late with any luck. They seemed to think it wouldn’t be a huge problem, and that if it was it would be them that are moaned at rather than me, so I’m happy with that. They’ve told me to aim for Christmas, but if it’s still not submitted by then then please do poke me with a cattle prod.
I’ve got most of the next couple of weeks off so I’m still going to go thesis mad, which will hopefully get the bulk of the work done – who knows if it goes well I might still manage the end of the month. But having the pressure of the deadline removed is really helpful.
I was reminded of this recent PhD comics cartoon: ready to graduate?
I did my first OU tutorial today, I think it went well! I was expecting 8 students, 5 came, but they were nice and chatty, and I think this is the first time in my life ever that I have planned stuff for a tutorial and had too much material rather than not enough! Anyway it’s a relief it’s done, and I don’t have another till January – last night I was really antsy and feeling a bit ill, but more tense than ill really, and I remember that it was exactly the same before every tutorial day for the last 4 years, I always used to feel sick the night before until they were over! Maybe I need to rethink my idea of going into academia, it’s no good if I feel sick every time I have to teach! But seriously, I did actually rather enjoy it, and I don’t think they thought I was a numpty so that’s always good (I’ve not read the feedback form yet though, I’ll save that for another day!).
HD is home for the weekend – am happy about that 😀
I have a provisional start date for my new job of 2nd November, which I agreed with HR yesterday (I need to confirm it with my line manager next week, assuming she’s back from holiday). Unfortunately, I got home from the tutorial this afternoon and found I have been called for jury service from 16th Nov! I hope I don’t get a reputation at work for taking time off as soon as I start! Not the best timing, and I can’t say I’m brimming with enthusiasm at the prospect, but I guess if I do it I can at least get it out of the way.
As for my thesis chapter, and my various doomed attempts to get it finished when I say I will: I think this Dilbert cartoon pretty much sums up where I’m at with it (guess which one’s me?!).
This particular PhD comic made me laugh, as even after all these years of being a PhD student I still have conversations with people who assume I get the entire summer off (if only!). Perhaps I shall just print this out and hand it to the next person who does it.
This isn’t my PhD experience right now (at least, I hope it’s not!), but it did make me laugh a lot. Actually it’s probably closer to my tutoring and marking experience 😀
Wah wah wah.
James just posted this on facebook, for me. Can’t think why (ahem).
First of all it was Dave Walker. Producing cartoons about impossible filing systems that made me convinced he could see directly into my flat. Then it was PhD comics, which all too often replicates my life to the letter.
And now, today, xkcd does it. What I want to know is, where is that hidden camera that is recording my entire life, and why is it the cartoonists on the other side of it?
(Hmm, I wonder why I couldn’t get the image to embed?)
For the last couple of weeks this spider has taken up residence just outside the back door of my in-laws’ house. The left hand edge of the web in this photo is attached to a tall shrub, and the right hand edge is partly attached to the top of the door frame and partly seems to stretch out for ages till it meets a shrub on the other side. There’s another similar-sized web on the other side of the door, though I haven’t met the occupant of that one yet.
I haven’t felt scared of this one as it’s slightly too high for my head to brush it. HD though had a bit of a shock this evening when he went to take out the empties and went eyeball to eyeballs with this spider!
Every time I see this web it reminds me of my favourite Far Side cartoon (which, irritatingly, I’ve not been able to find on the internet). There are two spiders who’ve just spun a web at the bottom of a kid’s slide, and two fat kids at the top of the slide about to slide down. One spider says to the other “If we pull this one off, we’ll eat like kings!” I think of that cartoon every time I see a big web at human height – I guess they’re nothing if not ambitious!
I still want to write a bit more about the Cathedral service on Sunday, but will probably do that tomorrow. For now (this isn’t related at all to the first sentence by the way!!) here is a fabulous link to a recently discovered cartoon (well recently discovered by me anyway, it’s been going since February and has featured in Time magazine and all over and is about to be made into a book) – Garfield minus Garfield. With the blessing of Garfield’s creator Jim Davis, Dan Walsh has taken the original Garfield cartoons, and removed Garfield from them. The result, according to the blurb at the top of the RSS feed, explains:
Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.
It’s genius, in a slightly weird way!