Signup date: 06 Sep 2008 at 1:33pm
Last login: 09 Aug 2010 at 12:30pm
Post count: 214
Well, I take some consolation from not being alone in the skanky-phd-writing process.
My body is in a state of decay, I look like I've just spent 4 days partying (I wish) rather than weeks of sitting at a desk.
I noticed tonight that I have a slight limp, suspect curvature of the spine to be imminent and have developed a delightful spot on my chin that would shame Mt Vesuvius.
We should be relieved that we don't have a webcam function otherwise we'd scare the bejeebers out of each other.
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I have *never* been this tired. I look like crap. I appear to have aged about ten years in as many months. My skin is like the surface of the moon. My sleep pattern is no longer a pattern. My teeth will be rotted to stumps due to all the diet coke and sweets I've been gobbling up for the sugar hit. My friends will all have deserted me to be with happier and more interesting people - I am not just a fairweather friend I am a phd-writing-up friend, this is worse. I am a neurotic, exhausted hell-b***h and I probably smell a bit as well.
These are just some of the joys of frantically writing up to resubmit.
Christ, will it ever end?!
Hey, don't worry about the craic of the 'never-ending-loop' etc. My thesis feels like the never-ending-story and I don't talk to friends or family about it anymore. I bore myself even thinking about it, let alone inflicting that boredom on others! I think almost everyone who has been plugging away at them for years feel pretty much the same - I am trying really hard to focus on how good it will feel when it is over.
Yes, get your supervisor on board - even if s/he says they can't be involved in an approach to the higher eschelons, you at least need to make them aware.
Let us know how you get on x
Research institutes and researchers in HEIs have been hit hard over the past 18 months due to university deficits. When an HEI realises it's spent all it's money, the first people that get a kicking are the researchers - believe me, I've been there on three seperate occasions in the past three years. My colleagues and I have all had contracts terminated / curtailed or have been made redundant. Many research centres are running on the minimum possible staff and relying on them to undertake ridiculous hours (with the temptation of rewards) then they get rid of them and pass the work down to junior staff or force teaching staff to take on extra research work.
I have loved research, the processes involved, the people I've met and many of the people I've worked with. But I have been screwed over once too often by HEIs and have watched people literally destroyed by the callous and cruel practices of short-term contracts and ridiculous income targets.
The last research centre I was on had its staff halved, through a range of pretty horrendous processes, and had its income targets virtually doubled. I got out before I lost my mind!
I am, of course, bitter and twisted, but that aside I would say be very careful about going into research and go in with your eyes wide open and a healthy dose of scepticism.
Yes, the work might be low-paid but it would trigger the payment of WFTC, if it was over a certain number of hours. If my partner had not been working we would have had to live on the studentship only - his working meant we were significantly better off, even though his pay is low.
Good luck with it all.
We have a Dean of Postgrad Studies, who is a not the Dean of the School, if this makes sense? I have found the one in my institution very helpful on a situation that the grad school was simply stonewalling me on, and he has power too!!
Hope you can find someone in authority that will listen. And yes, as Ruby suggests, can you get your supervisor on board? I'm sure this might help. In the meantime, work, work, work!!
When I was funded we received CTC and WFTC - but WFTC was based on the fact that my partner was working. However, none of the PhD money counted towards the tax credit calculations as they only take into account taxable income (this was a couple of years back so double check). This meant that we managed pretty well - my partner has a relatively low wage (less than 20k pa) so we got a fair whack of CTC and WFTC.
Could you consider maybe working for 16+ hrs pw? This (from memory) would kick start the WFTC and maybe this is time when your partner could be at home with the kids (evenings?).
You could also be entitled to a 25% reduction on your council tax bill, if one is working and one is f/t student. It took a little while for our CT dept to get their head around the PhD idea but once they head a form stamped by the grad school, they just did it all annually.
I'm not in the same position but am approaching the end of the end in terms of extensions (for a variety of reasons) and am working on a resubmission following a fairly disastrous first submission! I have only weeks left and a heap of work left.
I honestly believe you can do this. Yes, it might be horrific but once it's done then you're at least on to the next stage and closer to the end of it all!!
The ££ side of things, I really empathise, I'm living off credit cards at the moment as I'm not working (and have not got time to apply for jobs). It is truly awful and very scary. I feel that it is less crazy to carry on than to pull out now though.
In terms of what can be done about the uni fees stuff. I would recommend going past the grad school and maybe approach the Dean of Postgrad Studies direct. This person has been helpful to me in the past couple of weeks and has powers that the grad school do not. If you set out the position in black and white terms and any suggestions/solutions you might think of...?! Whether the university could allow you to submit on the basis that the fees are met in the next six months or something? Or whether there might be some legwork you could do for a research centre or some other work available that you could undertake (I know occasionally research centres have helped people out temporarily).
The very best of luck with it all.
Ok, here's my list for the re-submission:
Ch1 - Redraft
Ch2 - awaiting feedback but should be fine
Ch3 - finish two sections and give up trying to get it down to 15k
New chapter - write it
Ch4 - insert new conceptual model, discuss and rewrite the conclusion
Ch5 - update last few datasets, discuss and redraft conclusion
Ch6 - enlarge upon the positionality discussion
Ch7 - Conclusion - rewrite.
Refs - Insert all new refs.
All to be done by the end of March :-0
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