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….


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