Of Plague and Proposals

Monday

My head, this morning.Came down with the start of what felt like a cold yesterday afternoon, and as the day progressed and my energy levels flatlined it came out.  Spent last night tossing, turning and running a bit of a temperature (surprised the bed didn’t catch fire personally), so consequently today I feel like drekk.  Not planning to do any work today as a consequence as concentrating on anything right now is next to impossible.  So shall try and remain warm and probably sleep at lot.

Blurg.

Over on the course discussion board, amused to see at least one of the posters is following my suggested “Me too” approach.  We had a debate before class last week about the boards, as we’re supposed to do “5 interventions” on each of the two of them (one for each RPC class).  Most people in the class just haven’t bothered, which means I expect the tutors will just fudge a “Turns out it wasn’t a core competency at all”, which is a crying shame.  Personally think would be academics need to get used to communicating and collaborating in online fora, and that the majority of my cohort can’t be bothered is pretty piss poor.  Wonder if they’re the same people who never speak up in class either?

Mood: Oh dear, I’m very cranky. Must be the cold talking – I’m clearly not fit to say anything much today!

Tuesday

PlagueFilthy, filthy cold.  Been awake most of the night since it’s one of those colds that lying down makes you feel a whole lot worse.  Hence grey thinky thing in my head still isn’t functioning right.  Which is annoying as I’ve finally gotten some feedback from my supervisors about my research proposal…and at first glance it looks like there’s a whole lot of work to cram in to get it to the standard they want.  Right now that sounds like an impossible task, and frankly I’d only make a mess of it or my essay if I did any work on it today.  Deeply frustrating as I’ve never liked losing days to being sick, and even more so when I’ve got these deadlines breathing down my neck.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to float in a hot bath to try and open my breathing tubes and then I’m going to wash my collection of hankies.  *sigh* Plans for this week pretty much wreaked so far 😦

Mood: Less cranky, more feeling shitty and sorry for myself.

Wednesday

My current neurological strataFinally managed something that approximated sleep last night (aside from a few hours around midnight when I got into a nasty cycle of panicking over never being able to sleep again).  Brain (and nose) still feeling stuffed with wool, but I’m hopeful I can do something useful today.  Currently debating if I can drag myself in for my classes this afternoon.  I don’t like missing them, but then neither do I want to sit in a hot stuffy room sniffing my way through them.  Perhaps if I dose myself up on painkillers I might be able to make it, but we’ll see.

I am feeling deeply frustrated at the loss of working time this cold has provoked, which is good news in some respect as it means I must be getting better.  On Monday I wasn’t feeling much of anything emotionally other than feeling sorry for myself; so where’s there’s life there’s hope I guess.  To start my brain slowly getting back into work mode I’ve just filled in a large survey from the Uni asking about the research student experience.  Tried to be objective in my answers as there seems little point in ranting about the elements of the study that have frustrated me (lack of personal workspace, low levels of interaction with other students, zero interaction with dept beyond supervisors, relative isolation, research methods module) and have highlighted as much as possible the good points (research philosophy module, support from supervisors, satisfaction with the challenge etc).  Think I’ve highlighted the same points in my interim report as well, which I suspect I’ll need to chase my supervisors over shortly.  Clearly the RPC course needs more emphasis on managing your supervisor as at times it feels like I’m supervising them in terms of getting feedback and responses to emails.  Ah, what it would be like to be based on campus and be able to pop my head around the door!

Mood: Frustrated but muzzy headed

Thursday

I'll take a small victory when I can!Fairly quickly become apparent yesterday that I wasn’t fit to go anywhere – and thanks to Vic and Mohamad who sent me their feedback on the sessions (Intellectual Property and Grounded Theory) I feel I didn’t miss too much.  It also sounds like it was a heavy and long couple of sessions, so I’m doubly grateful.  Today for the first time all week I actually feel human enough to drag out my papers and start thinking about doing some editing/writing again.  The RD1PA is going to have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest as I really want my head to be clear, but I plan to work more on my philosophy essay.

Speaking of that, got the feedback and mark on the first essay yesterday – but I couldn’t face opening it until just now.  Not being one of lives natural philosophers, I was very pleased with my mark and the feedback is pretty spot on.  Some of the flaws are ones that I was aware of, some I think are an artefact of my writing style.  However, I will now be able to take account of them and polish off the other book review and get that submitted.   I know each bit of coursework doesn’t have to score that highly, a pass is good enough, but I’m damned if I’m going to hand in any piece of work that I’ve laboured over to make it the best I can!

Mood: Finally optimistic

Friday

Well yesterday’s efforts were a bit limited to checking the references and citations and organising myself for today, and a few hours reading one of my introductory philosophy works.  But today I’ve finally been able to put in what I could happily call a decent’s days work.  The philosophy essay is essentially done – a whole week before deadline too; though I will give it a brief read and polish on Monday morning before submitting.  This time I shall not be risking Western Power Distribution cutting off my power at the last moment!  I’ve actually used the university’s file storage area to archive a copy as well, so if the power goes out, this time I can jaunt to university and submit it there.  Of course once I move further away from Uni later this year, jaunting over’s going to be more of an issue – so perhaps that’ll be the point at which I either invest in a UPS or laptop device to keep me stable during times of power-outtages.

Delighted today as well as a book on Marx and another on psychoanalysis turned up.  As they cost me mere pennies (and postage) they’re going to be a useful addition to my personal library.  Next week though, I am going to have to pull some long and focussed days to really go over my research proposal and make the modifications my supervisor wants.  I would have prefered to have started on it this week, but since the damned cold wouldn’t have let me do any critical thinking (let alone any critical writing) it was never going to be a good idea.  In some regards getting the essay out of the way means I now have nothing else to focus on but revising the RD1PA.

Quack!I am still a bit stressed by the whole process of getting this research approval sorted, as my supervisor’s attitude seems a little too laid back – especially in contrast to what I’ve heard in my research practice course.  I don’t want to rush this, but it would be nice if I could feel like he was on board with the relative urgency of getting all my ducks in a row ahead of time.  After all, the end of the month isn’t that far away…

Mood: Relieved if exhausted!

PS: I still have the edge of the cold – but am no longer infectious (sorry, Mrs Llama) and am open and available to visits from friends, well wishers and international dignitaries once more.

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