Signup date: 27 May 2009 at 4:00pm
Last login: 08 May 2012 at 1:40pm
Post count: 26
======= Date Modified 21 May 2012 14:57:33 =======
Very interesting to find this post! I am in the second year of my Humanities PhD, having had a baby at the end of my first year and taking a year's maternity leave... I am officially full-time, but actually only work on the PhD 3 days a week, while hubby looks after our 18 month old. He then works the other 4 days a week, while I look after our child. We're in the midst of a bout of teething/illness, and I'm having health problems as is my husband and several other members of my family (our poor child's inherited a real duff lot of genes!!), and I'm struggling getting on with PhD work while worrying about family goings-on.
As someone else posted I've not met any other PhD-parents in real life, so it's great to know I'm not alone - I can sympathise with so many of the issues raised in this post! And I'm inspired by those of you with more than one (and twins - wow!) - I'm not sure how you cope even without the PhD to contend with as well ;)
Anyway, just thought I'd say "hi" and keep this thread alive...
I am pregnant, and an AHRC funded student, due to go on maternity leave in a few weeks but only told about this change yesterday! I'm currently feeling horrified that they can do this to me with so little notice, and that as you say we are going backwards - not a great way to encourage women into academia, or to keep them there.
If anyone else is in the same situation I'd love to hear from you...
To get away from academic reading I've really enjoyed (in no particular order):
Salman Rushdie 'Midnight's Children'
Douglas Coupland 'Girlfriend in a Coma'
Yann Martel 'Life of Pi'
George Orwell 'The Road to Wigan Pier'
Ray Bradbury 'Fahrenheit 451'
Arundhati Roy 'The God of Small Things'
Oscar Wilde 'The Importance of Being Ernest'
Iain Banks 'The Wasp Factory'
Margaret Atwood 'Oryx and Crake'
Martin Amis 'London Fields'
O.k., so some of these probably stretch "contemporary", and others are "classics"! Hope you find something to take your mind off work...
Well, from all the comments here (of which I am adding another) you can see you're certainly not alone! I come from a similar background to you, none of my family work or have studied; in fact both my parents left school before they were 15 and have both been unemployed for a long time! When I first went back to uni to do my undergrad they were quite unhappy that I was giving up work, and spent 3 years calling me lazy!!
I'm not sure where I got my PhD-genes, but I realised that family can mean more than the people you are related to by blood. My friends, boyfriend, and cat are all part of my family, they're the people who I can talk to about PhD-ing. The ones I'm related to genetically I talk to about other things, always taking time before I call (I also live a long way from them) to think about things I've been doing/tv I've watched/non-PhD work/boyfriend stuff/etc so that I can talk to them about things they can relate to.
It can still be difficult, sometimes I feel that I'm patronising them, sometimes they accuse me of being big-headed or of having become "posh". I bite my tongue knowing that I am making opportunities for myself that they never had and don't understand, and that the person I was when I left home to study for my undergrad was just as angry at "the privileged kids who go to uni".
As well as taking a bit of time to think of things to talk to them about I use the paid-work lie - if I'm too busy with PhD stuff to call/visit/email, I drop them a quick line to say I have to work overtime at my job. Again, this is something they understand, rather than my PhD which isn't.
I've got a much better relationship with them now that I call my mum to talk about the family I hope to have "one day", tv soaps, and asking her how to cook a joint of meat or the best way to get stains out of the carpet etc (I actually keep a pretty spick-and-span house, but it makes her feel like I still need her, and stops her feeling inadequate about her lack of intellectual knowledge) And to my dad I talk about the nights out I've been on lately, films I've seen, music I'm listening to (leaving out the wine bars/sub-titled world cinema/classical that helps me study!)
Essentially I lie to them, and justify it to myself by insisting that I'm just reinterpreting my world into something they understand. It's probably not the healthiest of family relationships, but it works for me!
I've been trying to get on to Index to Theses for a few days now, but my anti-virus software is telling me that it has a trojan horse: JS:Illredir-B [Trj] As you can probably already tell, my PhD is not in computer science! Can anyone tell me if this is my program being over-sensitive, or should I really not use www.theses.com?
Thanks for your help :)
Thank you everyone, it's very reassuring that you're all essentially saying the same things: book a room, get some people together, feed them, and make them talk about articles/books. When you put it like that it sounds quite easy :p I'll let you know how I get on...
And Natassia, I hope you enjoy your first reading group experience too!
I started my PhD 3 weeks ago and have just been asked (read *told*) by my supervisor to start a reading group with the aim of running a funded postgraduate conference by the end of the year. However, not only have I never even been to a reading group, I have no idea what one does (or doesn't do) :$
Can anyone enlighten me?
Wow! I've just come back to the forum after settling in for the next 3 (I hope) years, and it's great to hear that I wasn't the only one completely startled by the whole thing! I hope everyone is as happy as I am with the start of their PhDs... Sanna - How's it going with your supervisor now? Magictime - I also had loads of problems registering (getting a library card etc!) Have you managed to get it all sorted out yet?
Looking forward to hearing more about how we're all doing over the coming months!
The threads I've been reading have been great for clearing up the "what exactly am I doing?!" question! And of course it's great to know that there are a whole load of other people out there doing the same thing/worrying about the same things/stressing at the same time! But probably best of all that there are lots of you who are in your 2nd and 3rd years and who are surviving it :)
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