Archive | September, 2012

The diary

24 Sep

One of the wonderful benefits of studying within a large, well respected University is the opportunity for continuing professional development through training, seminars, conferences etc. The only downside is how to work through the myriad of opportunities and still leave enough time for the all-important studying.

The University encourages self-reflection (which is what this blog is all about; my chance to record my reflections in one place and potentially discuss the process with others). So I sat down to reflect on training presented as the ‘compulsory’, the ‘expected’, the ‘supplementary’. Add to these categories, the networking, the knowledge and the stuff you know will be essential, my week is already full. Which leads me to the dilemma of when to actually read and get around to doing the research I came here to do.

Having spent nearly 15 years in work, the MA that I completed two weeks before starting the PhD was already a wonderful chance to expand my mind in line with my broadened horizons. But with every course I signed up to (“it’s so interesting”; “of course I’ll need to know this in the future”; “it’s too good an opportunity to miss”!) my diary got squeezed and squeezed, until breaking point happened and I stopped doing anything that wasn’t compulsory, and I mean really, really compulsory. Not just ‘expected’ for professional reasons. So the question for my diary now is just how many hours of the PhD is meant for training, and the broader learning, and how many hours do I have to say “No, I AM at my desk. I AM reading. I AM working alone?”

The diary will probably have exploded by the time the next post is written….

The proposal

21 Sep

No, not the Sandra Bullock film, the few hundred words detailing my intended research for the next three years and the start of my journey to doctordom. The start of my PhD. The road to somewhere, I hope.

Writing a proposal is exciting, invigorating and awful. My brain swirled in a foggy mist of everything I found interesting but couldn’t include, everything I felt passionate about but probably couldn’t be objective about, and everything I knew I needed to know but had dreaded the realisation of admitting I didn’t know enough about. Or something like that. But I got a title together and even managed to find some people who kind of agreed with things I wanted to say.

When outlining your research, you have to include your methodology. So far I am committed to qualitative AND quantiative methods, and a whole lot of grey literature. So most of the methods of research in the social sciences then. But the strange aspect of writing the research methodology section is that you write in the future tense… I will… this research will… through the use of… I will… I will…. Will I?  

Hello world!

21 Sep

Welcome to! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!