… just being boring and unblogworthy.
I had supervision this evening after work; this is the first time I’ve been back to university since starting my job. It felt very strange being back, but was good to get some positive feedback on the chapter and to talk about something other than the colour/consistency/amount of nappy contents*.
What was encouraging was that my supervisors both felt that with the thesis as it is now – all the chapters except the Introduction and Conclusion in draft form – if my deadline was the end of the year they would be more or less happy for me to submit it, and would expect a tough viva and considerable corrections, but not a fail. What I’m doing instead (aiming to submit next summer) is revising and rerevising to make the viva a more positive experience and to ultimately have fewer corrections. So I felt good about that, although there is still a fair bit of work to do. We also started throwing a few names of potential examiners around – it’s starting to get a bit more real now!
In other news, last night at our least successful book group yet, 3 people (none of whom had read the book and at least one hadn’t started it) didn’t come, and of the 3 of us that did go, one had nearly finished (few pages to go), one (the one who is usually ultrakeen and reads the book and several others beside in the time it takes me to manage a few chapters) was only a quarter of the way through due to the book arriving late from amazon, and I had been so snowed under with marking essays and writing the chapter that I hadn’t even bought, never mind read the book. So we have decided to stick with the same book for the next time we meet, and hopefully more of us will have read it by then. I really like my book group, it’s full of unscary people who are human and not book obsessives. I’d find that sort of group a bit stressful. Ours is as much about eating cake and drinking tea as it is reading the book 🙂
* can you tell I’m loving the new job.
Supervision went OK. Lots of comments about the chapter of doom, but largely cosmetic and bits which need more fleshing out, and basically considerably less work than the previous chapter needs. So that’s good. I want to spend the next week or so planning the changes, plus writing a conference paper (the bulk of which is already done, phew) and planning a journal article which can be relevant to nursing as well as the thesis, as I need in the next couple of months to get myself back on the nursing register in order that I am able to apply for jobs (I want to apply for some distance-tutoring work, but the closing date for that is in May even for the course which doesn’t start until February next year!).
And in family news, we are going to be an aunt again 🙂 (another one on HD’s side – my sister assures me that the niecelet is the one-and-only time she’s ever going through that!).
Good things about today:
* At supervision my supervisor referred to the article I wrote as (and I quote) “fantastic”, the best thing I’ve written so far, and if I write all my thesis chapters like that then I’m sorted. So all the agony of last week was worth it, and I’m really chuffed that I am writing to the required standard (when you’re so close to what you’re writing it’s sometimes difficult to tell).
* At the same session I plucked up the courage to ask if I could change the role play tutorial which is coming up in a few weeks. My supervisor (who set the thing in the first place) has previously appeared quite set on it and resistant to change, so I was a bit nervous, but as soon as I asked she said “yeah, do what you like with it!” I know I normally feel sick on a Monday night before Tuesday tutorials, but I was already starting to dread this one, so this is really great news. Hooray!
* I have bought tickets for a Celtic Connections concert on Friday (yes kingsfold, *that* one – see you there). As we aren’t as flush with money as the last couple of years this is the only (paying) concert we’re going to this year, but it looks like being a great one. Hooray!
The reservations about today:
* I haven’t lost any weight this last week. Must try harder.
* The main criticisms of my article were the length of some of my sentences and extreme use of brackets and sub-clauses. Me, ramble on and on? I’m sure you’ll all find that very difficult to believe.
* The Celtic Connections box office was shut when I went this morning (didn’t open till 10, which was when supervision was) so I had to go back in the afternoon. Glasgow traffic between 5 and 6 is terrible!
* I have about a million zits. Normally this coincides with weight loss. This time I have all the pain and none of the reward. Grrrr.
I had a good supervision session yesterday – I really am very lucky that I have two supervisors who ‘get’ what I’m doing and who offer both praise and constructive criticism and suggestions in a good combination which leave me feeling good about myself and my research but also striving to improve it. I realise that not everybody is this lucky.
I’m back down south now, and happy to be back with HD. I must say, I’m just tired of being tired all the time. That’s all. I’m not complaining (whingeing maybe, but not complaining!) or asking for sympathy. Just saying.
I had supervision today, where we talked in some detail about starting writing up. I’m still slightly stunned by the fact that I’m entering my final year and am about to start writing up. I only got here 5 minutes ago!
Today has been one of *those* days. To cut a (very long) story short, it was supposed to involve HD catching an early train down south to a job interview, but in fact involved missed trains, me driving him to the station in my nightshirt without an A-Z, out-of-order ticket machines, hastily rearranged interviews, another cancelled train, a frantic bus journey, and a discovery that the national rail timetable on the internet claimed there was a train to DownSouth that he could catch but actually they were making that up.
So that was HD’s day up until 10am! The rest of the day has calmed down a bit, but we could have done without the excitement! I am more and more convinced every day that the soundtrack to our life will be the theme tune to the Benny Hill Show.
I had supervision today. I bumped into one of my supervisors a few hours before our meeting, and she looked at me rabbit-in-headlights-like and said “I wasn’t supposed to be reading anything for this was I?” To which my equally rabbit-in-headlights-like response was “You weren’t expecting me to write anything for this were you?” So yeah – it didn’t really set the world on fire, as supervision sessions go. But it was OK, considering*.
Tomorrow is the final day of tutorials for this academic year. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy that makes me.
* considering my utter lack of thesis-related work thanks to essays etc.
They didn’t find me out. I’m safe for another few weeks! (phew!)
A lovely weekend down south seeing HD and various family members (on his side) including his cousin whom I’d not met before. Although I now have Scooch “Flying the Flag” going through my head following a frankly rather disturbing impromptu dance routine after lunch today. I’ll be able to use the photos as evidence/bribery material/etc for ages to come!
Now I’m back in Glasgow, and it’s cold! Bit of a panic on the way home, I thought I’d lost my mp3 player (two months after owning one for the first time – that’s a bit careless even for me). But what was lost has been found, so I’m happy again (well, except that I’m at the other end of the country from my husband, but apart from that I’m happy).
I’ve got supervision tomorrow. Feeling distinctly unprepared. But one of my friends who was at my seminar last week sent some really fantastic feedback which I think is going to be very helpful.
What is not very helpful is my laptop randomly CAPS LOCKING and opening new windows (it has recovered now – I hit the keys very hard. I’m sure that can’t be good for it). The wonders of modern technology.
I survived my first PhD supervision of 2007 – helped by the fact that one of my supervisors was confused about the date and hadn’t yet read my work. As she might have asked awkward probing questions I was rather relieved!
I have really good intentions about working hard this year. Let’s see how long they last.
About half an hour before today’s meeting with my PhD supervisors, I bumped into one of them on her way to the chocolate machine. The conversation went thusly:
Her: We’re meeting this afternoon, aren’t we? Was I supposed to read anything in advance?
Me: Yes, and yes you were supposed to read something but I forgot to write it.
Her: Oh, phew.
[My supervisors are in fact both lovely and usually super-efficient. But it’s good to know they’re human too]
An OK supervision today. I don’t think I blagged as well as usual, but it could have been a lot worse and I got some good pointers for the next few weeks. Though I’m not going to be as much of a slacker as I’ve (woefully) got into the habit of being recently. That’s a good thing.