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Showing posts from 2011

World AIDS Day

Burning out

It’s that time of year when everyone seems to be running on or at least towards empty. But I got to thinking , well feeling really, this weekend PhD burnout. It’s a peculiar thing that actually few except those experiencing it or their long suffering close friends/partners/parents actually experience or understand. It’s not just ‘I’m a bit tired today it’s been a busy week’ more ‘I’m that tired I might fall down and not get up.’ And the even worse, ‘I’m so tired I feel it in every muscle but it’s 3am and I’m still awake.’ It’s the end up sobbing in your car all the way home on Sunday night because you’re so tired and it all starts again tomorrow. Which is what I did this week. Let me preface this by saying I’m not the only one with a hard job-I tip my metaphoric hat to hardworking teachers, nurses,armed forces etc everywhere who do difficult and demanding jobs often with risk to their safety. I’m not comparing my experiences to them for even a second, what I am saying and fairly so, i…

The World Only Spins forward

So it’s been a while since I updated-a month in fact. Busy time, but you may be glad to know I’m a lot happier since the last time I posted. I survived the Mphil viva, so now am officially on the second stage of the PhD journey (how many stages there are I think is an open ended question if ever there was one.) The viva itself was a very positive experience-that is the actual hour I was in there talking about it. Despite all the frustrations and my worries and concerns about reactions to my research or potential problems around it the discussion was supportive and constructive. I came out of the session with a clear idea of what I’d done and where I was going. I also felt that I had held my own and knew what I was talking about it and (say it very quietly) was in fact on the road to really being an expert in this area. One day. Following this all the PhD students were asked to give a short talk in the School research seminars. Now frankly I’d rather have done the viva again. There is s…

Head meet wall

On the back of a not very good morning on the back of a few not very good weeks I’m taking to the blog once again if not to complain then to vent my anger. This morning a member of my supervisory team introduced a new researcher to the rest of us, when getting to my work she said (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘She does something with…well drama…well why don’t you explain’ Then went on to introduce the others with ‘they’re IT experts, oh she does work you’ll be interested in and her work is fascinating.’ So everyone else is either fascinating or an expert but she can’t even bring herself to explain what my work is? I have two theories on this, neither of which fill me with hope or joy with regard to my current position. First is that a member of my supervisory team still doesn’t fully understand what I’m doing or trying to do. I should note that it wouldn’t have been too hard to wing it because above my computer is a giant poster with the title of my research on it. I have a viva with this perso…