Dear Doctorate – Year two, week ten

Published on Tuesday 15th January 2019 by DJ Kirkby

Dear Doctorate Diary

After the last two posts I took a bit of a break from writing these posts as I literally did not have one spare minute for this sort of thing.  I did consider packing in my doctorate and had a meeting to discuss this with someone who knows about these sorts of things.  It seems quitting is not an option so I will just have to take each week as it comes and try not to go completely mad from lack of downtime.

I asked for an extension to my assignment hand in date due to workload demands, which wasn’t very well received by my doctorate school as work is supposed to give me time to work on my doctorate. The issue of course is that although work did agree to give me a bit of work time to work on my doctorate each month, there was no way that the existing staff shortages could have been predicted. And no way we can get around them except for us all to work much harder and of course this does mean that non essential things (like my doctorate) must be put aside. I totally understand that, ad agree that the needs of our students and team must come first. So I was shocked when my request for an extension on workload demands was turned down. However I was granted an extension due to my husband’s ill health.

I couldn’t focus on doctorate writing when my husband was on the two week cancer pathway and work was sucking all of my other ‘free’ time out of me so I was getting no worthwhile work done at all on my doctorate assignment number three. Much to our delight we were told my husband doesn’t have  head and neck cancer. Instead he has another chronic illness to add to his collection, but at least he will die with these illness rather than from them. So he now has a speech therapist to help him learn to function when he loses his voice / reduce the strain on his voice. Part of the recommended coping strategies is to ring a bell / clap his hands / whistle instead of speaking. Hilarious, seriously. You can imagine how much fun he is having with the bell Santa brought him for Christmas. He has also now been seen by the liver specialist who has sent him for a full range of genetic screening to try and figure out what is causing his liver problem.

So things are still hectic at home but at least there’s no cancer for him to contend with! I have made progress on assignment number four and will be ready to submit it by the extension date. No idea what will happen in terms of being able to submit on time for assignment five and my transfer doc (assignment 6) though. I have tried to book holiday in closer to the time when those assignment are due so I can have some writing space but doing that means  that I may not get any actual downtime this year.

In other good news the funding has been secured for the safeguarding themed Virtual Reality Learning Environment which is excellent news for our healthcare students and also for me as those are the ones I will be using for my doctorate research. Now, somehow, I have to find time to plan, and story board the learning content.

Week ten in review: read week three and four 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 accepted for publication.
Doctorate assignment words written – 4933 – assignment 4 is complete, just one more to go before I begin working on my transfer doc.
Cups of tea drunk –  Lost count, tea is so perfect, more tea please.
Miles run – quite a large number of miles since I last blogged
Kilometers swam – Just 1K and a new Years Day sea dip because I’ve been in the toddler pool with my grandson.
Miles cycled -Zero but have signed up with Team Steadman to do a 50k GoTri in January so will have to get back on the bike!
Cakes baked –  lots and lots, too many to list here but photos are on my Instagram page and also my recipe section on this website.
Crafting  done- I have begun a new project which is a knit blanket using giant circular needles and 4 strands of yarn
Books read for pleasure –  Approx 1 per week (see 2018 and 2019 reading pages for links to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – Errr next question please!
Movies / videos watched for doctorateDoodle robot, Lovot, Mui,
Articles read for doctorate – None this week
Blogs read for doctorate – Bake your PhD,
Research undertaken – Received resrach ethics approval so will begin research in Feb.
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – got agreement from a very experienced midwife who has extensive safeguarding knowledge to act as my ‘outside’ supervisor for my doctorate so I am super happy.
Meetings with ALN / LD support – Missed deadline and know they are very busy so haven’t bothered to request a revised deadline
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 – minimal
Average success rate – could do better!!!

Plan for next week:

  • Wait for husband’s head, neck and chest CT scan results, referral to another neurologist for second opinion on diagnosis and also for appointment with Hepatologist (28th November).
  • Write more of assignment 4
  • Bake
  • Half marathon training
  • Read for pleasure
  • Have a life

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