Keeping it Brief

This week I thought I’d keep it brief.

Monday

Worked on my research aims and the draft proposal. Bit like wading up hill through thick mud – never has so much effort been expended and yet so little real progress made (it feels like).  Not 100% happy with the progress but sent some things to my supervisor for comment, so I can see if I’m totally off the mark.  Also agonised over research theory and method and how concrete I need to be in what I use.  Bit of a lost at sea day really.  High spot was a nice sort on twitter noting they’d been watching my most popular video as part of training in Open Access and IPR over at the University of Sheffield’s Information School (one of my alma maters as it happens).  If you’ve not seen it – and want to know more about repositories, OA and publishers – here it is.

One of these days if there’s enough interest I might make an updated version!

Tuesday

Read the stacks of papers and reports I printed off last week.  Some illuminating, some useful but a bit dated, some I wish I’d read years ago.  But all in all a day where I at least felt like I knew what I was doing.  Made chutney in the evening as Mrs Llama is on a business trip in France for three days so a very solo evening for me.

Wednesday

A trip to the nurse in the pouring rain kinda threw the spanner in the works for my morning, so a little admin and a lot of printing once I got to campus.  So much printing that I had to dash off to class and ask the very nice, very helpful, library staff to bundle it up for me.  Tea and medals all round for the NTU Library staff again.  RPC classes were a real curates egg.  Research methods looked at the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.  Very much a hands on, flip-chart kinda of session; totally my thing.  Loud, active and interactive; not to mention some good discussions about our research in small groups.  Came out thinking I’m actually pretty experienced in more areas of the framework than I first though.  Second session was the philosophy of Husserl.  Confusing and confused session, although the lecturer was bouncy as anything.  Thankfully the look on the faces of the rest of the class told me I was not alone in willing the clock to reach 5pm sooner rather than later.

Still no Mrs Llama, so bottling the chutney and then a bath then bed – as I have to be on campus tomorrow first thing (a bit of a novelty!)

Thursday

In campus for a 10am meeting organised by the supervisors in my dept in an effort to get all years of us PhDs together.  Great idea I thought as I was utterly clueless whom any of my fellows in English, Culture and Media are!  While it was a bit halting at first (given that it was the first time for many of us meeting) by the end of the hour we’d agreed to try and meet up once a month to exchange experiences.  It was really nice to meet the other folks, and hear a bit about their experiences.  I was especially pleased that rather than letting it hang, we arranged to meet up next week and talk about what our research is all about.  Given that everyone but me seems to be doing new media stuff I’ll either amuse or bemuse them.  Not sure which, but no matter what it’ll be nice to have the chance to interact with folks who are all working on some topics I’m genuinely interested to learn more about.

Went off to the library afterwards to run off another 100 pages of printed reports, and then home to dip into a spot of philosophy (and give the chickens some time to run around in the garden!)  Mrs Llama’s taxi from Heathrow made it here through the floods around 9.30pm, only three hours after she landed – so not bad at all (even if she was feeling rough).

Friday

Clearly two days out of the house ate all my mojo as getting started today was a nightmare.  It had gone 11 before I really got going, and even then it was only to have an early lunch.  However, I did then work through to 6pm without a break reading up on the psychology of influence – which was very interesting indeed.  I now know how to deal with car salesmen, how to start my own cult and understand waves of copycat suicides and air crashes.  Honestly, this is all directly related to my research!  Probably blog a bit more about all that though more next week once I finish the book.  I also exchanged emails with my supervisor who is very pleased (!) with my aims, and now wants me to press on with writing my RD1PA form pronto (we have to do this within 6 months of starting to formally kick off our approved projects – I’m 7 weeks in!) and meet to review it in two weeks.  Nice to have a challenge, but it means I’m going to have to knuckle down seriously next week – mojo or not.

I also set up my ORCID ID – following a suggestion from an old collaborator of mine.  Not sure yet of the advantage over Academia.edu or the TR Researcher ID, but I guess it’s worth grabbing one while the getting is good!  Unlike Academia.edu though, it wasn’t able to automatically track down any of my papers – so to date I’m less impressed with it.  May have a tinker with it over the weekend and see if I can’t make it work a little better.

After dinner started banging on about the Husserlian view of a blue chair, that was neither blue nor a chair.  Suspect something from Wednesday’s lecture has stuck in my brain after all!


And that’s the week – and, oh dear,  said I’d keep it brief.  Honestly I tried dear reader!  I would class this as a not especially eventful week, and yet despite all that it seems more happened than I thought.  Next week more reading and plenty of writing I think too!

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