Signup date: 07 Jul 2008 at 9:08am
Last login: 05 Jul 2010 at 2:38pm
Post count: 428
Thanks for this: I'm rubbish at backing up but this has prompted me to send everything I've done to a dedicated email address! At some point I shall burn it all to disc too and then send copies to all my relatives in case my flat burns down and the email strategy somehow fails... :-)
Having always taken detailed notes by hand, my supervisor is encouraging me to photocopy and write on/highlight the photocopies. I frequently end up referring to original articles instead of my own scrawl so although it's expensive and bad for the poor trees I do see her point.
I took 3 weeks off here and there between June and September this year and regretted it as I got out of my stride (much as the holidays were great!). I often take work with me even then, but seldom get much done. At Christmas there'll be a few days with my future inlaws (hmm...!) and I lose days here and there when I don't do much work. This Christmas I won't be able to stop for long: I have too much to do! I did lots of writing over last Christmas too. I think I take about the same holiday as I would in a job (my approach to most of my work) but it's helped that my fiancé is in a 9-6 job and our holiday will almost always match up. In the first year you might be able to take 2 or 3 weeks off at Christmas but I'd probably suggest you take some work with you to keep it ticking over at least.
Stressed, perhaps if you chop a bit off the legs of your desk I could have the bits because I think my desk is too low. It's also definitely too small! I know long-term work at a laptop is supposed to add to the problem. Mine is getting old so I'm wondering if I should replace it with a desktop (this is all sounding very expensive...) as my fiancé has a laptop I can use when I need something portable. On the other hand, combining the small desk and a big computer isn't too appealing. My father has one of these special stands that raises the screen to the right height and then you attach a separate keyboard, basically turning the laptop into a monitor. However, by the time I've bought one of those and a new keyboard we're looking at a substantial chunk of a new desktop anyway. Does anyone have any wisdom on this problem?
Today I feel like I've been in a fight (and lost). Filling my hot water bottle while making my coffee doesn't make me an OAP, right?! I can see your point with the backless chair, Stressed. I think one of these kneeling chairs would do the right thing for my posture but apparently the cheap ones only look like what you want and aren't properly designed. So that leaves me with various £200+ options (on top of my osteopath bills!) so it may have to wait. Keeping an eye on Ebay. Let us know if you buy anything good Florence. I'm feeling like any investment that will prevent current feelings of brokenness would be worth it!
I thought I would share the wisdom of my osteopath whose advice I asked today regarding chairs. And his wise response? "Sit on whatever feels comfortable." He then added some rather more useful advice which is that posture is more important than chair. He uses a swivel chair base without a back to make him sit up straight as he thinks many office chairs don't have good enough lumbar support or make you lounge back into them. Incidentally my problem turns out to be a twisted pelvis as a result of problems in my lumbar spine. I have been pummelled and pulled about and feel really rubbish now but I dare say it will all be for the good!
Oh dear, thank you all for your posts. Today work is going quite well and I'm glad I'm doing it. I wonder whether when it's going badly I take a nose-dive in state of mind and therefore feel like everything is terrible rather than just the bit I'm doing now. I'm also under pressure to get this work written (all new stuff for upgrade because of a slight change of direction isn't ideal!) and that's probably making things bleaker. I'm seeing my supervisor on Friday so I'll try to talk the problems over with her this time rather than just announcing that I might quit! The sad thing is that deep down I know I'm good at what I do but I get very bleak when it's a struggle, especially if I'm feeling that I won't go for an academic job at the end. However, I totally agree with the point that it's only a couple more years (hopefully!) and if I leave I might regret it forever. I guess I'm not going to make any instant decisions: seeing if I can get the upgrade done in time and up to a good standard I think will really influence the decision anyway and I don't want to leave just because this is the first time I have a serious deadline and it's a bit tough to get the work done. Thank you all for your support and sorry for my rather inconsistent attitude to it all! :$
I've developed some sort of issue too (not sciatica but that might be next they tell me...). I'm seeing an osteopath on Monday and was planning to ask his advice (in which case I shall pass on any wisdom) but all I've been told before by a chiropractor, my mother's pilates teacher, a physio and so on - and never done clearly - is to get a kneeling chair. So that might be the next plan. I've tried two 'proper office chairs' (nicked from a 'proper office' when they moved so probably very expensive etc) but it's still caused problems.
Sorry to be rehashing concerns last visited some time ago (77 days in fact!). I'm back in a quandary about what I want to do with my life. Right now it isn't the PhD. I have to write my upgrade chapter which is meant to be in next month although they've said as long as it's by the end of January it's fine. Currently though that's just not happening. I spend hours and hours looking at it and just not getting anywhere and it's really killing me. The teaching recruitment agency have just approached me again about a job and I said it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Now they've come back and asked if I'm still looking at all and I don't know what to say. At least I should perhaps have applied for the one that they've just suggested... If I'm back in this state of mind again should I realize that I'm never going to get through the next 2 years, regardless of what supportive people say. I spend so much time trying to convince my parents (and other opposers) that I'm doing the right thing with the PhD , I feel terrible that really this is how I'm feeling. :-(
I've done a lot of thinking about this - my fiancé has a secure job and I wouldn't expect him to leave it. His job has the potential always to earn more than mine plus if we want children etc I can see it being even more important. I basically realized pretty quickly that I'm never going to want an academic career more than I'll want to be with him. We're in the SE so there are lots of possible institutions, but if I have to do something else, such as teach in a school, then I will. And this is all assuming I ever finish! Not going well at present and one of the main reasons I have issues with the PhD is the feeling of putting my life on hold. On the other hand, being totally unqualified for anything else and there being no jobs anyway, I suppose I shall plough on regardless! :p
I'm afraid I don't have much advice but I thought I'd add my own thoughts on this which are that my principal problem is building my reading into my writing. At the moment I read things but forget them or can't equate them properly with my own work. I work on literature so interpreting it is the primary content of my writing. Unfortunately that obviously needs to be set into the context of secondary literature. I think the writing you're doing sounds very productive and I need to be doing something similar. In my first year I was producing a piece of writing between 5 and 12,000 words per term but it frequently didn't make much use of the reading I'd done. However, it's still been pretty useful for primary analysis. Now I'm trying to do my upgrade chapter and still have the reading-writing problem though. :-(
I knew this was what I wanted since the first year of my undergraduate degree so I went straight through, starting the PhD when I was 21. Fortunately I don't look young as I've heard of it being a problem when teaching undergraduates, especially having authority. I started teaching at 22 but fortunately have never had any problems from it. The only thing that bugs me is the feeling that my life is somehow on hold - I'm still not clear what I want to do at the end of this and I'm not that sort of person! There was a really clear plan up to doing the PhD but now I feel a bit like I'm putting off real life when lots of people I know are settling into careers. (With the state of the jobs market though this is mainly an illusion that strikes me at the dark points in it all!) :-)
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest