Signup date: 25 Apr 2008 at 3:27pm
Last login: 24 Nov 2009 at 11:22pm
Post count: 214
Well, I got through the viva last month with minor corrections. In the end it wasn't traumatic at all (the anticipation was far worse!). I've done the corrections and they've been signed off, now I need to get four hard bound copies before I can finally call myself Dr Spaghetti.
I'm at a small college so there isn't a uni print shop I can use nearby. I've had a look at some of the online companies who print, bind and deliver theses at quite reasonable prices but it seems a bit scary paying circa £150 and then just waiting for the bound copies to turn up. My thesis doesn't include images or charts, however, so it should be fairly straightforward - perhaps I'm worrying unnecessarily. Any advice?
I was also going to suggest I broker and to target any applications carefully - each time you apply for credit it goes onto your credit records and apparently lots of searches close together will count against you (as proof that others have not found you credit-worthy recently).
We all know (at least, I hope I do!) what a PhD needs to do to pass: contribution to knowledge, originality, critical awareness...
But what actually makes one fail?
is it just down to not demonstating those things, or could something else provoke a thumbs down, d'ya reckon?
EE, I too frequently feel like getting down from my chair and just lying on the carpet for several hours instead of looking at my bl**dy thesis ever again. In fact, I have done it several times (minutes, not hours though!) and only two things help:
Finding a bit of the thesis I feel pleased with (content, language and everything-wise) reading it and hoping I kind of take flight from there into the not-so-good / still needs doing bits.
Tricking myself. Sometimes I start doing a footnote or adding to the bibliography, I get interested (ok, maybe just distracted!) and start doing Work That Really Needs Doing
Sometimes though, I can't even be arsed to try either of these things because I don't want to be tricked into it. I don't want to do it at all and finishing stuff is REALLY difficult but it will be really worth it when you can truly be free of it.
Can you find a way to break today's cycle, come back and really give it a go? I mean like go for a walk or something.
I'm trying to think of everything I can suggest because I know so well how it feels! Believe me, you can get into it again. Just do something - anything which is a step in the right direction (walk, "official" break, footnote, anything) and you'll feel better.
Definitely sounds like Imposter Syndrome, Magic.
I didn't do an MA at all, which has probably fuelled a sense of waiting to be sprung. My imposter-ish feelings faded quite a bit as I progressed through the research and felt a greater sense of ownership. But even close to submitting it's still in the background and I think it might always will be.
I heard a programme on Radio 4 a few months ago with in which a panel talking about Imposter Syndrome came to the conclusion that it's less bombastic, more self-deprecating people who tend to suffer, and on balance that sort of person tends to produce more sensitive work and is nicer to work with. I'm obviously biased but I thought it was quite an interesting theory.
Pretty much all PhD programmes have lots of research skills training when you start. Plus, the PhD is your journey so it's doubtful you're going to be getting compared with anyone, if that helps at all.
If you feel like doing any reading on PhD skills over the summer, I can recommend: "The Craft of Research" - Booth, Colomb & Williams and "How to Write a Thesis" - Murray.
Good luck with your research!
Hi EE. I'm doing final revisions following my mock viva a few weeks ago with final submission in 10 days time. I reckon you'll be fine to get everything done by 3rd week of August if you keep going at a steady pace.
Why don't you get the draft of your thesis spiral bound? I printed mine at home and then took it to a print shop nearby who charged £5.00 for spiral binding - only slightly more than purchasing a folder and makes it look really good. It felt like a proper thesis for the first time instead of stacks of paper!
Like Rosy says, there people of all ages and backgrounds on this site, but maybe not too many who've come back to a PhD after a break. I don't have experience of the situation myself but I reckon you should definitely give it a go!
Perhaps have a look on the research pages of your local university's website and see what the procedure is for approaching them to do a PhD. I can't see how different it would be to ask them to consider you for a part-completed piece of research.
As you say, you'll need to look at what's moved on since you were last doing the research and as well as new technologies, the focus might have shifted towards different / new conferences and publications. It would probably help to have some of that context under your belt when you approach the university. Maybe you could attend a conference or two to get you thinking about the subject again, and also to get talking to academics in the field (potential supervisors?)
As long as there's somebody to supervise you, I think universities are keem to attract self-funding students so that might be on your side.
It's generally recognised that people become a bit more focussed as they get older and that mature students can be very committed.
Hey Pineapple, I'm glad you've been feeling a bit better about things today.
I completely understand when you say you've known him since 2000 and you will feel his absence from your life if you don't stay in touch with him. Although it might seem like the more difficult thing to do right now, I reckon you will feel better about the whole thing much, much more quickly if you can process it all in your own time and not have to be confronted with what's happened every time he decides to pop up in your life.
I'm slightly suspicious of his motives for continuing to text you all the time anyway and I don't think you're being bigheaded at all when you say he'll miss it if you stop contacting him. As I see it there are two very good reasons for excluding him from your life if you haven't already: 1. to regain your own sense of perspective, and 2. to cut of the oxygen supply to his inflated ego.
Maybe you should consider telling him outright that you need to some time to get used to the change in your situation and you'd appreciate it if he didn't contact you for the time being. At least then (if your anything like me) your stomach will be able to stop flipping over every time you get a text and you can stop worrying about anything happening to disrupt your balance.
I've heard the interview about the ping pong research on Radio 4 twice now and I thought the PhD student acquitted herself really well.
Having listened to it twice, however, that's four times I've heard Laurie Taylor ask her when she's going to submit her thesis. Doesn't he know that every time you ask a PhD student that question, a fairy dies?
Oh Pineapple, poor you! Don't blame yourself for believing in him, it sounds like he did a pretty good job of exploiting the feelings he knew you had for him.
I agree with the others - your PhD is the route to achieving what you want in life WITHOUT him. You need to focus on your own ambitions and don't give him anymore of your time or attention.
His actions two years ago put him in a position of control over the relationship but you can shift the balance of power by excluding him from your life and moving on. In fact, he might find it quite bewildering when this happens, which serves him right!
Since it's not long until I hand my thesis in, I really should have worked this out by now. However, I'm still feeling uncomfortable about the parts of my thesis where I refer to myself. My research is by nature in parts self-reflexive as I have investigated the area that I worked in previously. But "my experience..." "I observed that..." just doesn't sit well with me. I don't even much like "I suggest" and "I argue".
Should I replace the "I"s and "my"s with "this researcher" or the equivalent (which can sound a bit contrived in my opinion) or just get over it? Looking at the writing in my field, there are "I"s a-plenty.
How have y'all tackled this issue? Can you suggest any useful third person phrases to get round it?
======= Date Modified 11 Jun 2009 11:18:43 =======
If you've already got an iPod it might be worth considering a plug-in voice recorder. I've never used a dictaphone so I don't know how the sound quality compares but the good thing is that it makes digital files so they can be stored on a computer (although maybe dictaphones do that these days too!?)
I've got a Griffin iTalk Pro voice recorder for my iPod which Google product search is listing for betwen £17 and £28 (I think there are others now too though) and I use Express Scribe, a piece of free software from NCH for transcribing or making notes from sound files.
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