Curiously Empty Diary

Monday

As Mrs Llama had the day off, I decided to take the day as well.  Making it officially the 5th day I’ve taken off since I started the PhD (not including weekends, bank holidays etc).  I’ve 30 days annual leave in my contract with the funder and university, but frankly I don’t much see me getting into double digits before October comes around.  Wonder if I’m the only student who find it difficult to shut down and take time to relax?  Actually I think I’ve forgotten how to relax…

Tuesday

Back to work today.  This week for the first time…this year I think, there’s nothing in my diary.  My to do list remains massive, but I’ve no interviews, appointments etc.  Well there is a note telling me email is off line Thu-Sunday this week, so I guess I’d best make what use of it I can today and tomorrow!  Spent the day doing transcriptions – which is not that much fun at the best of times, and in the current heat wave even less so.  The fan at the top of the stairs is doing a great job but it is just shifting around hot air.

Wednesday

Another hot day which I spent finished off Harvey’s A Companion to Marx’s Capital.  Don’t know if the first half had been absorbed in the preceding days but I found the second half far more digestible and actually quite enjoyable.  My notes about it include some potential relationships with academia that make some sense in the light of my forthcoming chapter on HE.

Finshed off the day typing in the most recent readings into RefWorks, though by half past five the heat had given me a nasty headache so I went for a lie down in the coolest spot I could find, before popping out for a cheeky drink with a nice bloke I know to bore him to tears with social media, research and LARPing.  He did well not to run out the door screaming 😉

Audit cultures
Audit cultures

Thursday

A day spent reading a book on anthropology, ethics, morality, auditing and higher education, which was recommended by my supervisor.  Have to confess that I wasn’t convinced by the opening chapter which seemed to be focused on the IMF field operations – quite how that tied into HE I couldn’t follow, though it was an interesting read.  However, large chunks of the rest of the book were very interesting in terms of the forced evolutionary path of institutions as a result of neoliberal audit culture influences.  Having worked in my last post for a boss who was statistics and KPI crazy (honestly, everything had a metric) I can certainly attribute some personal reflections here on the subject.  Came away with lots of ideas for my nascent chapter, though I’ve three or four more books to read at least before I really write it.

However, that said I did draft the opening paragraph, which makes it officially the first bit of my thesis I’ve written.  I suspect that probably every word of it will change in editings, but it’s the start of a long long process.

Friday

A day transcribing interviews in the heat.  It doesn’t get more exciting than this at the moment.  Still a whole heap of them to do, but am picking up on themes and issues that I didn’t quite clock the first time round so it’s doubly useful.  Hands pretty sore from typing as a result.

Elsewhere my father went in for a lengthy brain tumour removal operation, so my thoughts were with him and his family very much today.

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