“Doing” a Doctorate – week 30

Published on Friday 1st June 2018 by DJ Kirkby

I have allegedly been on holiday this week. In actuality I have spent a week of my allocated holiday time improving my article for the FTC18 conference. This is what life is like when you work a full time job in part time hours (and currently too busy with work to squeeze in time to write for publication), study for your doctorate when you’re not working (because, no work time to spare to do any doctoral studying), and have a few learning disabilities.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Maybe a little. Do I regret submitting  to FTC18 when invited to do so? Only whilst struggling to write an article that I can be proud of.  Do I regret agreeing to do my doctorate? Only when I am trying to write my assignments to a suitable standard. I’d like to pretend I’m loving being a doctoral student, but I’m really finding it a struggle. Everyone seems to speak, with ease, in a different language than I am used to while I nod and try not to gurn while I attempt to interpret what they’ve just said.

I also have no clue how I am going to fit in doctoral studies for year two because of my work workload and doctorate workload for 2018/2019. I plan to try and get assignment three (due Sept 14th) done before August so I can write assignment four (due Dec 14th) during my next allocated holiday period which is three weeks in August. I can see a lot of problems with this, in particular writing assignments before the units for the assignment have actually been taught, but I have no spare work time and no holiday time between Sept and early Dec so I can see no other option expect to do this and then edit during the evenings and weekends. If you have any helpful suggestions (ie:don’t suggest I negotiate ring fenced work time to do my doctorate because this is not possible) then I would be most grateful.

Week 30 in review: read week 29 by clicking here

Publishable doctorate words written – NET article submission feedback still pending. FTC18 article is finished (I hope).
Doctorate assignment words written – Death by Meths
Cups of tea drunk – eleventymillion, let’s be honest, this number is never going to change….I think I’m an addict
Miles run – Zero (this is not a good sign, must run soon and not allow work to interfere with exercise)
Miles swam – Zero (this is not a good sign, must swim soon and not allow work to interfere with exercise
Miles cycled – Zero ( can’t see well enough to cycle safely)
Cakes baked –  a St Clements pie, a layer cake and a peach upside down cake (pics at end of post)
Crafting  done- I’ve knit two cannula sleeves for dementia patients and nearly completed a third one.
Books read for pleasure – The Break Line   (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – None this week
Movies / videos watched for doctorateHumanoid robots, Festo’s robotic animals,
Articles read for doctorateA Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review,
Blogs read for doctorate –Demonstrating criticality in the literature review, To Be of Use: The Work of Reviewing,
Research undertaken – None this week
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – none (not in a place where I have anything to show)
Meetings with ALN / LD support – Booked in dates for submission of future assignment drafts
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – N/A as ‘on holiday’
Overall average stress level – moderate
Average success rate – acceptable

Plan for next week:

  • Wait for eye op appointment to arrive (have had pre-op date but still waiting for op date – waiting list breech is on 15th June, no idea what happens after that)
  • Wait for husband’s referral date to new specialist to find out extent of damage caused by illness number two (he’s received a letter informing him there are currently NO appointments!)
  • Bake more
  • Continue knitting cannula arms sleeves for dementia patients and patio chair cushions
  • Begin working on assignment three
  • Submit revised FTC18 paper
  • Draft second CILVRS article
  • Read more for fun
  • 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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