Overview of Alpacalover

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I'm so pleased with myself!

That's fab Eska! :) hold on to the feeling to keep you going through the next chapters - and then you can get that feeling again when the next one's done! (gift)

List of typos

Thanks AQ, you're right of course, its content that matters, but sup used to always go on about making sure it looked good, cos if examiners see that you've taken care over presentation and style then generally you will have for content too! But it's just afew errors at end of day - i'm just a perfectionist!

I've just finished chapter 3, and didn't find any where near as many errors in that chapter, which is the biggest one, so that's good!

I'm off to chill out before bed and a very busy day tomorrow, need to finish thesis and get some practice in for talk! Also still got broad questions to have answers for and wee summary of main points of each chapter (?)! oh, and afew papers to read!!!! ARGHHHHH!!!!

most importantly though, i still need to find a nice cardigan or shawl or something for my outfit - it's cold up North! And my beautiful new shoes need breaking in around the house :p

Hope you're doing ok? x

List of typos

Ok, so my viva is on Thursday - ARGHHHH!!

due to work commitments, I am only just getting through the thesis now, and as I go through each chapter i'm looking for any typos/ corrections and areas for further understanding etc that I can research abit more over next few days.

I'm passed half way in thesis and have 27 so far, i'm kicking myself over majority of them though as I changed order of some sections in Intro, but then didn't find ALL of the references to them throughout rest of chapters, so I have things like 'as discussed in Section 1.4.6' when it should be 1.5.6 (I have 6 of these already :( ). I could kick myself, I thought I had checked for these, but clearly missed a load, and dreading how many more I have to find!
The rest is mainly just odd commas that are missing from an in text reference, comma use, lack of apostrophe. Not found any spelling mistakes which is good :)

I'm just really worried about the mis referenced sections, as this is something that really should not have happened! Do you think they would make a deal of this? I hope it doesn't affect how they feel about quality of what I have done!

Anyway, only 4 days left to prepare, 1 of which i'm working, so better just get on with it, there is nothing I can do now!


6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Thanks Bilbo, that's good to here! :) My aim for today is just to get talk written and maybe do chapter of thesis. I'm trying not to push myself with those 10-12 hour days I was doing before my submission as it really seemed to affect my health and I don't feel that it is worth it!

I did read the Tinkler book and found it very helpful, if only just to read about other peoples experiences etc, and calm me down a little.

I realised this week that everyone believes in me, except me! Even my horrid sup seems to think all will be well and I shouldn't have any problems as long as I keep myself together! But I don't seem to be able to look at it and see anything but holes. I think the main thing I need to do is just be confident, think confident, obviously not too confident, but just to be proud of what I have done and achieved and believe int eh work I have done. And after getting comment from external I feel much better, although a tiny part of me is worried that sup is lying...!

Anyway, better get on with this talk and stop procrastinating. Did you have a talk to do? how long would you recommend?

I'm thinking about 20-25 mins, as my convenor said talk is set for 1.30 with viva starting around 2ish! Which is quite vague, but obviously depends on who turns up to talk and the questions I get! I think if I can keep to 25mins max and then 10 mins of questions (I hope!), then that would be fine, but there seems to be no guideline!

How many publications?

Don't worry Sarahlouise, everyone is different! i'm just at the end of my PhD with my viva next week and I have no publications relating to my own work. I have potential ones, but concentrating on your actual thesis is much more important. If you can get both then obviously that is great, but it's not the end of the world!

In some countries, such as Norway (?), then a requirement of the PhD is to have a specific number of papers and these are collated to make up the thesis, however in the UK a thesis is all you need to get your PhD. Publications do however prove originality of research and contribution to knowledge, but they are not essential so do not freak out.

I know how it feels though, people around me have publications and it can feel quite disheartening, but it does not mean that your research is any less valuable, and I know plenty of students who have just finished and passed who have none either.

Just concentrate on the thesis and papers will come as a byproduct.

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing ok? Sorry I've not been around and wasn't there during your hell last week AQ, I can't believe all that happened, what a sh*temare! But i'm so proud of you for picking up and keeping going I think I would have thrown the thesis through my sups window and walked away if that was me! :) (but i'm a little emotional right now...!

Ok, so in exactly 7 days time I will be in the middle of my viva!!! I have done absolutely sweet nothing yet, well it feels that way! I'm still struggling through writing my pre-viva seminar talk, which sounds awful when I try and present it to myself out loud, not sure what i'm meant to say and what I shouldn't!

I haven't got past the introduction yet of my thesis checking for mistakes etc, and doing a page by page summary! still got a good few papers I want to reread, one chapter I know I need to study up on a bit more, and main key questions to have answers too!!

I can't believe I have to get all my prep done in 6 days, luckily I have been given 5 of them off work (I cried on my boss! :) )! But i'm so tired and just still can't be bothered, i'm freaking out inside, but the rest of me is like, oh who cares, que sara sara!! I did get abit of good news yesterday though, my supervisor emailed to say he'd seen the externals preliminary report and it was 'entirely positive'! and he's gonna bring couple of bottles of champagne into the office for afterwards (guess he's expecting we can celebrate...!). He also said 'all that is expected of you is that you don't go to pieces in the viva'! He has said my chapter 4 needs to be concentrated on over next few days, to back up the excuses (!) I have made about lack of data etc - I wouldn't have called them excuses though, more explanations, equipment failure etc! So not sure what I can have as back up, but I know its my externals main area of interest,therefore I'm expecting him to want to discuss this chapter most! I don't know where I'm going to find time to revise that though, need to get the main stuff done first....!

Anyway, I hope you're all doing ok, sorry i'm in a little hell/stress/teary/emotional bubble at the moment! but thinking of you all, keep your chin up folks, and Sue, i'm sorry you feel interview didn't go well, but you never know, have you heard yet? as said though, i fully believe that what's for you doesn't go past you, and if it wasn't meant to be then just look forward, something better will be coming your way!

Big hugs, and I'm totally up for a champagne breakfast - we could just skype it up! :)

AL x

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Sue, I agree, she is ridiculous! It sounds to me like she's working you like a horse, and just keeps piling it on. Have you ever said no to her? Giving you non-phd work to do at this stage is not fair. Maybe if you just turned round and said sorry, but I can't, this is too much then she might back off? I know with my sup he would just keep going and going and one day I turned round and said I physically couldn't do it - he backed off and said fair enough! I think they just like to see how far they can push you like a child pushing at their parents....?? Just a theory and an idea but maybe you need to just say 'I can't'! we all have our limits and I really don't want to see you pushed to the ground, one day off Sue is just not fair, does she know this?
I know my sup just doesn't take my full time job into account, and don't see just how much work you do. Either way, just be strong and if nothing else you can do then just think 6 weeks and then I can sleep! :-)

AQ, wow, submission on Friday - very cruel of your sup, but also awesome! Like you say, then you can sleep! That is all I did this weekend, my body just collapsed on Friday night and I couldn't move on saturday and most of sunday! Unfortunately the weekend of my submission I had family and work commitments both days so just couldn't flop out! so after another week at work and then weekend hitting, my body went Oh Yes Thankyou!!!
So just plough in and then think about resting youself.

I've not heard yet about examiner :( Been working elsewhere this week, and again tomorrow, so have a bit of a commute - took opportunity to take my thesis with me and start doing a read through, filling it up with minipost-its and stuff! Great to do some phD work in normal work time for a change, normally its just my other job eating into the rest of my life!!! Had a freak out last night at home much I have to do, but realised there is nothing I can do, I just have to do what I can and that will have to be good enough!

Starting to get over my multitude of cold infections, and feeling little better, still very tired, but hopefully infections will be gone for next blood test and it will give a truer picture. I was starting to worry they were going to go on for ever! but think alot of it is just how tired I was!

Right, i'm off to bed, so tired.....! Keep smiling girls, we'll be there soon! Shame we can't celebrate together afterwards...maybe AQ and I should take some beach time in Oz!! :) if only I had the money eh, a 6month trip to some far off countries would be pure luxury right now! :)


6 mths to go - count down's on!!

oh Sue, that sucks, i'm so sorry! Have you tried to explain this to her? I think sometimes tehy like to infuriate us just cos they know they can! Although yours has always been lovely! but I'm sure mine just enjoys the powertrip!

Just keep swimming, swimming swimming.....you will get there, and even if can't graduate this November, it won't matter, as long as the thing is out of your life! I can't graduate til June next year, but I just want it finished, I don't care about graduation - infact, by June I should have just about recovered from the ordeal and be able to appreciate and enjoy it! heehee! :)

you'll get there Sue, just take deep breaths, tell yourself this isnt' forever, and work tomato by tomato!

hugs xxx

About being nocturnal...

Hi bleebles, I am a bit of a night owl too, or rather productive between late afternoon and 2am ish! I end up in this routine when I am off work, holiday or writing, but normally I have to work 9-5! I do struggle in mornings and find myself more productive in the afternoon, luckily I'm flexi time so sometimes I do say 11-7 shift just so I get more done in my day during my productive hours!

As BigBadDom said, you get light alarm clocks. I bought one a couple of years ago to help me in winter mainly, and it is very helpful, and a necessity now! You programme it to go off at your normal time but for about half hour before (depending on chosen light intensity) it slowly lights up your room naturally as in the Summer.

I think ours cost about 80£ off amazon, but I would say it has been very very worthwhile purchase, and my partner and I now couldn't live without it, especially in winter.

Feeling like my life is going nowhere

Hi 4Matt! I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way, and I'm sure there is nothing much I can really say to make this all better, however, speaking out on here and just getting your feelings out in the open is a big step forward. And you know you have people on the PGF who you can count on to listen and talk to!

I would say this though, you never know where life is going to take you so don't give up! I'm a couple of years younger, but started PhD a bit later too. My friends are ALL doctors and dentists - even those who studied different things at uni have gone on to postgrad study, they mostly have own houses, are married/close to, good jobs and now children! I do have a partner but we're so deep in study that property ladders and weddings still seem far away - and i'm sure due to stress and coffee my ovaries are shrivelling to nothing! :$

However, life has changed dramatically for me in last year or so of PhD, I went from thinking like you that I'd never be settled etc, to finding a new direction for my career to take. I don't know what your area is, but by doing a doctorate, you don't have to stay in research, I always thought I would, and maybe you will too (I used to adore it), but I have now moved into a different but related area, with a more stable environment, where I don't have to worry about short contracts etc.

You are still early in the PhD process, and there is time to join societies and get a network of friends etc around you (there are other threads on this topic in here). Don't give up though Matt, everyones story in life is different. I have spent so long being sad, comparing my life to those around me and wishing I had their settled normal life! Doing a PhD isn't normal, but you don't know what your other friends and family are thinking about how lucky you are in your life! For example, I was moaning to my sister about this a few weeks ago, and she threw it straight back at me! I felt silly for even having thought it.

Just remember you got the PGF to support you and encourage your through this time, and be strong! To do a PhD you have proved yourself and your strength and determination, so just use that in all aspects of life. The 3 years will fly by and life will move on for you.

have some AL hugs >>>> (gift)

Top 3 Gadgets Must Have For 2010

Definitely Stressed - there is nothing like a book in your hands, all new and shiny - even better if signed ;)! But for going on holidays, I could take my 10 books (and lots more), in that little thing, and then have loads more space for shoes and handbags, heehee! :) But really can't afford one either, so i'll maybe just start making wee hints close to xmas!

Top 3 Gadgets Must Have For 2010

If I could i'd have an HTC, although I won't deny, i'd have an iphone if they weren't so extortionate! I don't see the point in an ipad, i'll stick to my macbook! :)

I would quite like a ebook though for going on holidays and stuff, but I think for now I have all the gadgets I need.....!

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Hi everyone, thank you for your words of encouragement! We really have been there for eachother throughout this last year and it means so much to have all your support etc.

Bilbo, thank you, this is exactly what I need, as I think that is about all i'll have time for, and I defo think it is the best approach. I see no point in trying to have answers for a large array of questions, stressing about remembering them all, and not getting asked any!!

I'm hoping to start reading the book today, do the main chapters, and then start going through actual thesis! really need to write talk as well!

Unfortunately, if examiner can't do viva then they're going to find someone else, as that day was only one that external and convenor could do!! But at least then it will be over!:) hopefully.....

I'm sure there is nothing serious wrong with me, but its pretty difficult not to freak out, I come from medical/micro/immunology background, and low WBC just kinda stand out to me and freak me out a little! Maybe also bit of hypochondriac in there too (too much medicine!). but as you say, if it was dangerously low or highly abnormal then they'd have done something more, so just have to hope it is just this infection. I think what's worrying is that iv'e had symptoms since the end of May, and only had a cold last few weeks!

It really does feel like since handing in my body has gone into meltdown - does anyone ever wish for hibernation? I think that would be just perfect! i am completely fatigued and worn out, and I WANT to be working, but I physically can't get my body and mind into it. Like you say Sue, maybe I just try one tom a day and build it up, but I only have a few days really.....!

Sorry for moan, i'm off to finish my coffee and try and get stuck into Tinkler! Thank you for your support, don't work too hard this Sunday!

AL Xxx

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

======= Date Modified 11 Sep 2010 14:07:52 =======
Hi Sue, I'm so happy and relieved for you, i've been in thinking of you and hoping all was ok! Enjoy your day of relaxation on Saturday, i'm sure you will do uber fab at your interview and can then relax and enjoy yourself with partner and doggie!

I'm ok, absolutely shattered though! Submitted on friday, viva will hopefully be on the 30th - less than 3 weeks (no revision done yet....)! but having problems with internal examiner who double booked himself, so just waiting to find out that all is ok with that!

got results yesterday, I have a low white blood cell count, which is hopefully due to infection, but got to get them repeated in two weeks. After submitting on Friday i came down with cold on sunday, so i'm hoping that's why its so low, however, i'm pretty concerned, and just hope infection caused low count and not the other way around! Anyway, have to put it to the back of my mind as I get tests week before viva and will find out around the day - think i'll try and avoid finding out until day after just in case!

It feels so weird to see thesis bound and sitting on dining table, but i'm just avoiding it, I don't want to ahve to deal with it anymore! I know its only a few weeks away, but I just don't know where to start and feel like once I get stuck in i'll feel I have so much to do, not enough time and the stress will increase further! I'm still recovering from this cold, infact, its really not much better, so I don't want to make myself more ill by pushing myself!

I'm assuming quite alot of folks feel this way after submitting, not long to prepare and body just falls apart! How do people do it? I want to do well in viva, defend the thesis and make life easier for myself with minor corrections (I don't think I could bare more!), but i'm just so tired and weary of it all!

Anyway, enough of my moan. I'm going to finish my lunch and then try and start throwing a powerpoint together for my seminar talk, which hopefully is mainly just taking things from thesis and putting it into a powerpoint....! I'll think about the big questions later!

I hope you're all well.
Sue, keep pushing on, but remember you can only do so much, and enjoy your interview, you deserve it!
AQ and Teek, your time will come soon, you're doing so well and it will be over sooner than you think, time flies! And Rick, fingers crossed for some papers! I just got sent a pdf of my second one (2nd and 3rd author), unfortunately neither of them are directly from my work, just time spent during my PhD helping others with theirs.....! very frustrating! but really, I don't want to stay in academia so papers are not my top priority (unfortunately thats not how my sups feel! :))

AL xx

People say the most annoying things

my motivation is this:
Once i'm done, i never have to deal with my supervisor again....!!

That's it, the best reason i have for getting this over as quickly as possible!!

Right i'm off to bed, must get some semblance of sleep so I can feel half human to get this to printers tomorrow! Don't wanna spend a fortune on the f***ker and find I did it wrong..... :p