Dear Doctorate – Year two, week 20

Published on Friday 15th February 2019 by DJ Kirkby

Dear Doctorate Diary

I stopped writing here for several weeks because I had suffered a sense of humour failure and all I was doing was complaining. I’ve been busy complaining to myself now and feel as if I am beginning to regain my sense of humour about the absurdity of doing a doctorate when I have very little emotional investment in doing so.

I have also straightened my head out about the awful tutorial I had in Oct 18 mostly due to an excellent tutorial yesterday where I had a chance to talk about things I felt anxious about in relation to being a student with multiple disabilities studying at such a high level. I also found out that I don’t have to have any more tutorials or scholarly interaction with the person who upset me so much, which has also helped, a lot.

I am beginning to firm up a research umbrella / title for my thesis (also thanks to the excellent tutorial yesterday) – Towards more confident clinical practice: exploring self-efficacy within autonomous healthcare education using virtual reality learning environments.  I still need to develop concrete research questions as they are quite wishy washy at the moment. I know what I want to find out but am struggling to shape the questions correctly. I am interested in exploring the student experience in relation to humanisation of their healthcare within the virtual environment,  the affect of VR on their knowledge and reasoning, etc. The other exciting news is that I have my first doctorate supervisor confirmed and it someone who is profession and research speciality specific which is utterly fabulous and is making me feel very excited about the future of my doctorate.

My husband’s health is on an even keel, and although we’ve been told he’ll never be pain free or well enough to work,  he can now play walking football (thanks to the support of the team at the chronic pain clinic and physiotherapy) which has been such a boost for him emotionally even though it takes him a couple days to recover afterwards. Amazing what a bit of fresh air and sporty camaraderie can do for a person’s wellbeing.

We are still short staffed at work due to multiple long term sickness / absence, so my 90 hour work weeks continue but I am lucky enough to do a job that I love which makes it all so much easier to cope with. I do anticipate that there will come a time (hopefully this year) when the staffing issues will be resolved and I will then be able to use some work time to do research and other scholarly activities that are a requirement of any university lecturer’s role. I am currently also trying to cram in story boarding for three VRLE in development as part of my CILVRS project which will form the research platform for my doctorate. Arrrrggggh!   *breathe, breathe, it will all be fine…..*

Week 20 in review: read week 10 by clicking here

Publishable doctorate words writtenVirtual health education: scaling practice to transform student learning article has been made available online by Nurse Education Today – click here for more info. Future Technologies Conference 2018 article NoObesity Apps – from approach to finished app has been published.  I’ve finished the draft of the second CILVRS article and need to choose a journal for submission so I can rework it to suit their criteria.
Doctorate assignment words written – assignment four passed so now need to begin working on assignment five which is about undertaking and analysis of my pilot research. This is the last assignment before my transfer doc, scary.
Cups of tea drunk –  Lost count, tea is so perfect, more tea please.
Miles run – sadly I am running just one parkrun a week due to working all daylight hours plus doing my doctorate on weekends. I did run a half marathon on 3rd Feb, and despite doing no training for it, I did enjoy it (not that I’ll be making  habit of running long distance without training though as that way injuries lie).
Kilometres swam -Zero because, work.
Miles cycled -Zero might have to remove this field on here as I seem to have totally lost the love for cycling, Perhaps now that triathlete spinning season training has started I will rack up some bike miles that way instead of actual tires on road mileage.
Cakes baked –  Check out my Instagram page or my recipe page for bakes. My new fave thing to do is make iced cookies!
Crafting  done- I’m working on knitting a chunky blanket using up yarn scraps so it’s a long term project.
Books read for pleasure –  Less than I would like but work and study make me too tired to do more than a few minutes reading before I fall asleep at night (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – Doing a successful Research Project by Martin Davies and Statistics for Healthcare Professionals by Ian Scott and Debbie Mazhindu – seriously, how boring is my life right now?
Movies / videos watched for doctorateVarious videos featuring Hanson Robots, Robots helping children to go to school, Five robots that are changing everything,
Articles read for doctorate –  Disrupting the narrative by Sarah Jones, Conceptualizing Quality in Participatory Health Research: A Phenomenographic Inquiry by Springett et al.,
Blogs read for doctorate – Hanson Robotics,
Research undertaken
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – none this week, still considering contacting the Programme Lead to discuss options
Meetings with ALN / LD support – Assignment support dates and tutorials agreed for rest of year.
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – Ridiculously high. I’ve stopped trying and am using my holiday allowance instead.
Overall average stress level – tolerably high
Average success rate – acceptable

Plan for next week:

  • Write assignment five
  • Bake
  • Find time to run more frequently
  • Read more for pleasure
  • Have a life

Leave a Reply