“Doing” a Doctorate – week 18

Published on Friday 9th March 2018 by DJ Kirkby

My week has been pretty much like the (verbatim) dialogue below, and it’s included on this post as reminder of why I chose this doctorate course – the unit leaders are completely casual about my histrionics:

Me to doctorate unit leader: “A research ‘methodology’ is the same thing as an ‘approach’ and a research ‘methodology’ is also the same thing as a ‘paradigm’? But apparently ‘approaches’ and ‘paradigms’ are not the same thing? WTaF? Kill me now and put me out of my ‘doing” a doctorate misery. PLEASE. It’s the only solution. Because, no matter how much material I read about these things my brain still says NO.”

Unit leader: “No need for the stun gun just yet: a paradigm isn’t the same as a methodology – think of the former as ‘static’ like architecture, whereas the latter is dynamic and active.”

Me: “So…a paradigm is quantitative / positivist or qualitative / interpretist while a methodology is the approach such as phenomongraphy. This is bonkers, it’s like learning a new language.” *considers taking up drinking regularly or recreational drug use*

The pic below is another way I tried make sense of it all – just need to write 5000 word about it now…what could possibly go wrong?

I did also go to a PG Conference this week where I had the pleasure of catching up with two of my favourite work colleagues @blueprintteach and @LizFalconer – get me dropping their Twitter handles like I’m so social media (no wonder my children are embarrassed). The conference also lead to a chance encounter on the stairs with  @EastAnnie who is a year ahead of me in the same doctorate programme. We’ve met before during virtual residentials, but never in person. She’s actually as hilarious in person as online and I am very much looking forward to spending time being not at all serious with her during our next doctorate RL residential.  I’m sure our lecturers will be thrilled….

Annie’s presentation at the PG Conference was hilarious and inspiring. It means so much when someone who has been though exactly the same course tells you they felt the same as you do right now, and that they did well enough to be allowed to continue with their doctorate. There’s hope for me yet….

Week 18: read week 17 by clicking here
Publishable doctorate words written –  waiting to hear from NET editor about article submitted last month
Doctorate assignment words written 105 actual essay words written this week (and a similar number written complaining about it).
Cups of tea drunk – eleventymillion, also some cups of coffee (desperate times call for desperate measures).
Miles run – ZERO (and no, I don’t want to talk about it. SULK!)
Miles swam – ZERO (shaddap, I’m going for a swim tonight!)
Miles cycled -ZERO (IKR? Very poor effort)
Cakes baked –   None but I did create recipes for vegan truffles, smoked carrots and snuggets (my need for kitchen play time appears to be directly proportionate to the amount of stress I am under) See my recipe section for various recipes (because I’m nice like that).
Crafting done – one 12″ square knitted for a blanket for a child going into foster care
Books read for pleasure – The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate –
Movies watched for doctorate – None
Articles read for doctorate – Understanding Paradigms Used For Nursing Research
Blogs read for doctorate – WIRED Guide to AI, Pregnancy in Virtual Reality, If you want a robot to stop screwing up, hold its hand,
Research undertaken – Will begin second batch of research with new cohorts in March 2018
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – none (not in a place where I have anything to show)
Meetings with ALN / LD support – in process of organising one
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – Impossible
Overall average stress level – Beyond extreme (I keep reminding myself things will ease up)
Average success rate – zilch (this week)

Plan for next week:

  • Complete surveys ready for new cohorts
  • Complete recruitment of new cohorts
  • Enrol new cohort onto pilot VRLE
  • Wait for eye op appointment to arrive (have pre-op date but no op date yet? WEIRD)
  • Wait for husband’s referral date to new specialist to find out extent of damage caused by illness number two
  • Bake more
  • Play with grandson as much as possible
  • Read more for fun
  • Find time in work / life diary to fly to Canada to do some legal stuff with my mom
  • Allow myself to get distracted by all things shiny and appreciate that for the future creativity and benefit it may add to my doctorate


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