Après Moi, le Déluge

Monday

Bank Holiday day off, and it is of course raining.  So in the meantime please enjoy the following strip which so elegantly sums up my life for the past year:

Click the image to enbiggen/visit the excellent PhD Comic site.

Tuesday

My view this week
My view this week

Back to work and joy, more rain.  Morning spent adding in more quotes to my analysis chapter and thinking about printing it off to edit.

Then remembered I’m due in for a meeting tomorrow afternoon (College Research Degrees Committee) so I may as well plan to work on campus for the day and make use of my free printing allocation.  After lunch I got ready for my essay marking, which took longer than expected (a recurrent theme of PhDs).  Downloaded all the essays, attached the header file (from all those students who forgot/didn’t bother) and worked out who had answered which question.  Plan to mark them next week in batches of the same topic – given that there were 10 essay choices there’s quite a spread, although no-one has gone for the one on transnational media.  Can’t say that I blame them though!

Highlight of the day was putting in my booking for the Sheffield conference (which tells you how thrilling a day it is!).  Which means I’ll have to think about writing my paper for in the next couple of weeks as well.  Probably once I’ve put the current draft chapter to bed, it’ll be an ideal time to get to work on that.

Finished off the day tidying the chapter up, and finalising my quotation/anonymised quote file.  Oh, and drawing up an updated plan of action based on the outcomes of my annual monitoring meeting.

Wednesday

Another wet day (and as we’re feeding the neighbours’ chickens, who live in a quagmire, it makes it especially delightful) and a bit of an odd one work-wise.  Went onto campus first thing as I had a meeting in the afternoon, so thought I may as well avail myself of the printing in the library.  It was a lot quieter there than it had been the previous week, so I guess most of the u/grad deadlines have passed now.  I did make the delightful discovery that they’re closing the library next week for the entire summer (June-Sept, inclusive) for refurbishments.  Sure, there’s going to be some kind of rump-library with a limited collection somewhere behind a porta-loo, but I really doubt that’ll have anything I can actually used.  Once again in the quest for the almighty under-grad experience rating/recruitment the post-graduate research student gets shafted.  *sigh*  Lucky I don’t need to be on campus much, but it basically takes away the only resource on campus that’s any use (let alone the only place that was fit to work).  This upgrade in facilities better make the library a shining beacon of excellence or there’s gonna be a whole lot of grumpy PGRs wandering around Clifton camps!

Ran off my printing, and a copy of an OA journal I read.  Then tinkered with my thesis chapter outline plan, as it was something my supervisors had expressed an interest in seeing.  There’s currently about 12 chapters in the plan, each of which has a brief bit of text associated with it to guide/remind me what it’s about.  I only started to create the paper for my Sheffield conference – or at least tidy up the template so when I come to start writing it next week that I can move swiftly on with it.

Then I went a picked up a huge pile of cultural/social theory books in preparation for research for chapter 4 of the thesis (not due to start on that until July, but planning ahead).  Boy were they heavy!

Ran out of anything too useful to do, so ended up reading the Guardian for the best part of an hour while I waited for my CRDC meeting to start.  As it was this ran on much longer than normal due to a long (and quite heated) discussion around changes the Graduate School had made to annual monitoring/project approval protocols; seemingly without involving the committee in them.  Seems this had caused a few ructions in some of the schools (though not mine), and provoked a looooooong discussion.  Hilariously for the second meeting in a row I was the sole student rep present; not sure why the others weren’t there (too wet? nothing to say?) but you could tell the academics from their schools were less than impressed.  Score one more point for me. 🙂

Came home around 4pm and finally had lunch and my second drink of the day, having forgotten to have anything earlier.  By the time I’d had that I’d lost the will to work, so ended up sorting out the bookshelves downstairs (they’ve been out for the last month while we had work done on the house)…which was sorta productive I guess.  Did end up having an email exchange long after hours with my fellow PhD tutor about marking schemes for the essays.  Looks like she’s dived right in to marking them already, so I can hopefully find out from her if there any hiccoughs!

Thursday

Excellent article by Tim Berkhead on how not to treat visiting speakers.  Having been a guest speaker on the odd occasion…thankfully I’ve never had quite such extreme experiences, but yeah, there have been times when you do wonder about the basic organisational skills of some of the people who arrange these things.

Brain escape!
Brain escape!

Today was filled mostly with editing.  And a spot of procrastination as my brain attempting to escape out of my ears as it was so bored looking at text on a screen.  Come back you grey thinky whale, I have need of you!

Friday

Editing. More editing.  A spot more editing.  Editing.  Whomever said “writing is rewriting” wasn’t kidding.  I’ve ended up essentially rewriting two huge sections from my chapter today.  However, it is now 66% on its way to a penultimate draft.  Looking like I’m on schedule to have it done and ready to share with my supervisors by the end of next week.  Sooner if I really crack on.  And crack on I shall…on Monday!

Most interesting event of the day, looks like I’m getting another publication out of an article I wrote a few months back.  There’s value for money…erm effort.  Best of all they want to use my twitter avatar as the author picture.  Much better idea than my mug shot!

In the meantime it’s the weekend, and I’m off to celebrate my favourite uncle’s birthday tomorrow.  Except we’re not allowed to mention the birthday.  So…just a friendly family visit it shall be!

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