Back in the Saddle

Monday (w/b 14th July )

A day spent feeling utterly wasted and horrifically bruised (thanks to a weekend away LARPing).  Spent it trying to stay awake, failing and then around 3pm plonked myself in front of the keyboard to start writing a paper I’ve got a deadline for this Friday…to discover my supervisor wants a meeting.  Nothing from him for two months and on the day I’m barely awake he reappears.  Gah.  Set a meeting for Thursday which means I’ll need to send him my 2 chapters by Weds.  Doubt I’ll get much more done on them before then, but no mileage in being too eager.  Did at least get the formatting all set up for the article.

Tuesday

Day spent feeling less bruised and a lot more mentally active, if feeling horribly stressed (although of late that’s basically my SOP).  Article drafted and almost done in a day, though around 6pm I just had to stop as my eyes were struggling to stay open.  Will give it a final polish tomorrow when I’m (hopefully) more awake.

Highlight of the day, some architects turning up to measure the house.  I thought they were due Friday, turns out they were due Thursday.  Everybody agreed to be wrong, and we’ll meet up again on Friday after all (which makes me technically correct; the best kind of correct)

Wednesday

Editing, lots of editing.

Thursday

Bright and early drive in for a meeting with my supervisors…which turned into a nearly 2hr thing filled with discussions.  Somewhat shocked that they’re really pleased with my progress and level of production – I constantly feel like I’m never working hard enough, so maybe that’ll assuage the guilt a little bit.  Director of Studies even asked if I was looking to submit later this year.  Nearly fell off the chair at that one, I think he was joking  – and frankly there’s still so much to do and be written about that it’ll never happen.  On the other hand we did discuss pulling back on some of the empirical work, as it may well be that I’ll have developed enough scholarly material without going through all of it; or at least to the level I originally planned.

PhD in a nutshell – an evolving ever changing beast!

Came home and started working on my talk for next Tuesday’s conference a bit.  But frankly the heat of the day did for me and I didn’t get too far.

Friday

Day spent writing, rewriting, rehearsing and redesigning my conference talk for Sheffield iFutures conference next week.  Fairly happy with the talk, although it’s a bit long and there’s some elements that don’t quite work as well as I’d hope.  Only having 15 minutes means I’m perhaps trying to squeeze too much into it.  Will come back on Monday and give it a final polish.

Monday (w/b 21st July)

Another hot day which saw me in battle with my presentation.  Spent a lot of time revising it to bring it down to well under 15 minutes, but without cutting too much core content.  Some of the slides I’m using are still way too busy, but in the end I managed to get it down to 15 minutes.  Will probably have to speed through it a bit too much.  Plan for next conference paper – one slide I think 🙂

Tuesday

The biggest cake in the world...and there were two of them
The biggest cake in the world…and there were two of them

Day spent in Sheffield at iFutures 2014 which was in part nostalgic and part shocking to see how much of Sheffield has changed since I was last back.  An interesting conference, although as always I think my interests were a little to the left of centre of the conference themes itself (not being a real-librarian researcher type for one), but the folks organising the day were splendid.  Papers and presentations from the day are online now – or you can access my presentation or the paper I wrote to accompany it (Cultural Influences on Academics’ Open Scholarly Dissemination Practice in UK HEIs).  Won a book as well on library metrics which looks interesting (and after I was rude about Neo-Tayloristic managerialism subsuming HE discourse too!).

Had a splendid meet up with some old friends before I went to catch the train, so a not bad day at all!

Wednesday

In a bit of a post-conference slump, and chewing over a few things that happened that slightly irked me.  Rather distracted me from efforts to edit truth be told which was somewhat of a frustration.  Don’t think the continued heat wave is helping things much either – so hot it is damned hard to work!  Realised the deadline for the September East-Midlands PhD conference is this Thursday and I wanted to put in a short paper for that too.  So ignored the editing and wrote this, a development on a theme from the Sheffield paper designed to be addressed to a more multidisciplinary audience.  About to mail it in and realised I’d made it far too pompous, so ended up making some last minute modifications before submitting.  Can’t believe 250 polished words took the best part of the day to write!

Thursday

Woke up with a sore neck, which I put down to sleeping awkwardly – but also a shockingly low level of energy.  Ascribed this to a lack of desire to edit the conclusions of this chapter.  I’ve put off doing this for a while, and ended up dumping all kinds of other bits of text here which means it is somewhat of a melange of information.  Managed through bleary eyes to do a top level rewrite on paper, but in the afternoon my sore neck turned into swollen glands – or rather gland (the left hand one).  And the low energy resulted in me falling asleep on my keyboard.  Dragged myself to bed and just slept – or tried to, as it now hurts when ever I swallow – and I’m swallowing a lot as my throat is dry.  Damn it, it’s a cold most likely and I’m planning to be away LARPing on Saturday.  Hopefully it’ll clear up over night and I’ll feel much brighter tomorrow.

Frustrating as I’d hoped to be done with this chapter draft by Friday at the latest, and now it looks like it’ll be Mon/Tue next week before its done.

Friday

Fat chance.  Terrible night’s sleep.  Left hand tonsil on fire, throat half closed off and it hurts to swallow anything.  Pain killers help make the pain bearable, but the exhaustion. Oh the exhaustion.  Basically half the day spent in bed sleeping/trying to sleep.  Sulking as think the weekend is probably wreaked.

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