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Acknowledgements in Thesis

Personally I like to have a bit of fun with acknowledgements ;-)

The acknowledgements in my UG dissertation included everything/one from my two best friends ("for their friendship, gossip and wine"), to God and Buddha (I have a slightly odd mix of Catholic and Buddhist beliefs). I also thanked:

- My computer. Yes, really. She's old and a bit dysfunctional, but she behaved for long enough that I got it done without any major computer problems.
- Supervisors/tutors/mentors
- The "non-living", i.e. aspirin, nicotine, tea, fishfinger sandwiches and Strawberry Actimel. (Couldn't have done it without them!)
- My family, particularly "the best parents a hopelessly disorganised student ever had".

Yes, some of the above sounds a bit/lot crackers, but actually both of my supervisors commented that it was nice to see honest acknowledgements with a sense of humour. Maybe my PG acknowledgements will be a bit drier, who knows?

Ph.D. and chronical disease

Quote From BilboBaggins:

Be careful. People diagnosed with ME or PVFS tend to be high achievers and people who push hard at whatever they're doing. That doesn't help recovery. So you need to strike the right balance between your health and doing the MA. That might make going part-time more important.

Yeees, I'll admit there is an element of that. It was there at UG level (my dissertation research got obsessive to say the least), but was mostly kept in check by the mentor I had as part of my disability support. Providing I have that support during my MA (which the uni have said I will), it should be more managable this time round as my BA taught me some rather painful lessons on that score.

Ph.D. and chronical disease

Bilbo - I'm provisionally applying for full-time, on the understanding that if my health issues don't improve (or, heaven forbid, get worse) I'll end up as part-time. Thankfully the staff I'm going to be working with are rather eager to have me, so it won't be too much of a problem. I'd really love to do it full-time though, because (despite learning languages and the violin when I can), I feel like my brain's got lazy while I've been ill :$

(Not to mention the fact that I love a challenge, me ;-) )

Nic - I've been there, done that, and yes, been proud of it. I'm still not open about my autism in the vast majority of situations, and I'm proud that I can 'pass' as it were, but (and it's a BIG but) I learned the hard way that there is a difference between putting on a front for the world in general, and putting on a front with people whose help will make life easier. There is, for example, a huge difference between acting like there's nothing wrong down the SU with your peergroup, and acting like there's nothing wrong in a 1-2-1 tutorial with a tutor who, given half a chance, could make life a lot easier for you. For me personally, my big issue is 'concept of time' - any deadline further away than 3-4 weeks is meaningless to me and I forget all about it, meaning I either need much shorter deadlines (which interferes with course structure), or I need a mentor to remind me about distant assignments, and extensions on a fairly regular basis. When I started at UG level I initially went down the route of not telling anyone except the Disabled Students Unit, but then ended up with quite a blunt choice between not telling anyone, *or* getting the help (ie extensions) I needed. I got badly burned by my first-year marks (one grade, in one module away from referral/failing), and since then have been completely open with tutors about my autism, even if the majority of my peergroup never find out.

only for Clogsie and Smuggie love

Quote From walminskipeasucker:
I hope you like romantic evenings in front of a roaring fire, passionately, fervently making...fun playing sudoku, battleships and scrabble.

Can I join in? That sounds like a jolly good evening to me!

Ph.D. and chronical disease


I found your thread quite helpful, as I'm currently living with a condition that has been going on for long enough to be considered 'chronic'. I've decided on the course and university, and actually my problem so far has been that I've found it really difficult to say to people (because I'm currently undiagnosed) 'look, I'm applying, but I honestly don't know if I'll be well enough to start the course next September'.

Because I don't. My GP seems to be of the opinion that it's an extreme case of Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome that could end anywhere between now and the apocalyse, but that's precious little help to me when I'm trying to start an MA next September :-s

As far as your specific situation goes, I've long had similar situations in HE because I'm autistic. In my first year as an UG I was living in halls with (VERY) noisy people who, frankly, with the level of noise they maintained, didn't let me sleep a wink for most of that first year. Even when the Dr on campus was convinced I had pneumonia (and tried to hospitalise me), they still wouldn't shut up so I could sleep. Now, sleep deprivation is a fairly serious thing generally, but when you add autism into that equation you get the 'usual' times roughly 100. My tutor in first year (bless him, complete legend he was!) classed my sleep deprivation (when combined with my autism) as a serious medical condition and got me every extension and bit of leeway under the sun. He was, seriously, the only reason I passed first year.

In later academic life, I had further problems because tutors saw me as 'fair game' because of my autism, and either bullied me or passed me regardless of what I'd produced, but that's all another story ;-)

My point is (and I know I've taken ages to get to it - I'm autistic and drunk, bear with me!) is that if you have a chronic condition of any description, there should be help available at your university, regardless of what level you're studying at. Things like the semi-fabled Disabled Students Allowance aren't just reserved for people like me, who have a life-long neurological difference - if you've had a chronic illness for long enough they are *there for you as well*. Trust me on this. You will need things like proof from your Dr etc, and infinite patience for filling out forms, but there is help out there!

How enthusiastic are you about your work?

I'm actually taking a new direction with my MA. I did American Studies and English Lit. at UG level, and now want to study the Vikings! Yes it's partly because I'm descended from the Vikings and I'm passionate about their/our history, but it's also because I feel me and English Lit. have 'run our course' so to speak. I know I'm good at English Lit., but the thought of tackling history, sociology, linguistics, archaeology etc in one frantic year fills me with pure, utter joy.

And don't even get me started on my PhD, which I've known the title of since the first week I set foot in a (proper) university. Arachnophobia and its basis (or rather, lack of) in mythology. It's going to be seriously, seriously epic, and I'm going to love every moment of it. For realz. I want to create a univeral 'scale' of arachnophobia, based on specific species causing more or less reaction in arachnophobes, and the thought of doing so gets me more hyper than sugar ever could.

So yeah, pretty enthusiastic about my future PhD ;-)

Confessions of a PhD student...

======= Date Modified 10 Dec 2009 11:16:57 =======
This thread made me laugh so much I registered!

(I'm a supposedly 'prospective' MA student, who's actually made up her mind exactly what and where to study 8-) )

Love the stuff about googling people obsessively - I've just spent the afternoon googling someone who's going to be teaching me on my MA course, with whom I fell deeply in (strictly professional/academic) love with on t'open day. I always had narrow, obsessive interests outside of my school/degree subjects (yes actually, I am autistic), and meeting someone who shared one of them made me come over a tad peculiar :$

Oh and I can vaguely relate to the Jeremy Paxman thing, but Neil Oliver's where this geek girl's heart lies. The hair! The accent! The near-obsessive interest in history and archaeology! *swoons*