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Pjlu
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 at 8:10pm
Monday, 29 January 2018 at 7:37pm
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page 1 of 58 recent posts

Thread: Finished-printing and submitting tomorrow

posted
15-Sep-10, 10:55
edited about 5 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
This is just a post to say, YEEHAH!! today I woke up with the thought that I really was finished and amazingly my supervisor rang today to tell me she was happy to sign my submission form.

So, tomorrow I go in, after one final check to see all forms, bits and pieces are done, I print off my three copies and I post it in.:-)

I was so happy this afternoon, then the cat did something to my kitchen tap and we had a major flood and the plumber had to be called, but even after being soaking wet on a cold spring day and realising that I would have to get new flooring for the kitchen couldn't ruin the moment.

Anyway, tomorrow I submit, wait in agony for 6 to 8 weeks and hopefully receive a promising mark. Then I have the equivalent of a long weekend before work starts up and I can really work on some of those workplace projects I have been putting off or to the side.

Depending on my results, I have definitely not ruled out doctorates but I do think I need some time off to focus on my work, my family, relationships and life AND something I am almost as proud of, yesterday I ran for 4.75 k's at about 10.3 ks an hour. Could have done five but after the warm up walk my time on the treadmill was over (gym only gives you a short bit of time on each machine). But I am determined to hit 5ks twice a week and begin competition running.

Anyway folks, thanks for support, for reading (or not reading) my rants and general blahhh-you may hear from me again later on down the track when I take up study again-I will-just not right now.
This last stint of study has been 5 years while working full time (two qualifications hence the time) and it is time for a break.

Lots of luck and good wishes to you all,

Pjlu

Thread: Feeling like my life is going nowhere

posted
12-Sep-10, 23:26
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
My post cut off my final bit-which was to say thank you for putting up this post. It isn't self indulgent-it is how you feel and that is a fair call. But while how you feel is okay-in term's of legitimate always- feelings do not always represent reality well. So you feel this way which is genuine but your feelings are not necessarily an accurate representation of where you really are at present.

How you describe your life is pretty accurate of many of us when we are in an achievement cycle. However, as others has so rightly mentioned, you can do some really small things to make things a little better for the weekends or the occasional evening. Join a uni committee or club, take a physical class or hobby class -really helps with social contact- and organise to catch up occasionally with those two or three people who are your friends. Busy people with families often love doing coffee or lunch or catching up over a cup of tea-even if they don't have time for more and even this form of contact can really help.
Good luck Matt-don't be so hard on yourself- you have many years ahead of you and there will be good times as well.

Thread: Feeling like my life is going nowhere

posted
12-Sep-10, 23:12
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Matt,

from the perspective of many of us you are very young still. 30-31 is nothing. I finished my undergrad degree and PG teaching diploma at age 34! Was divorced with three children in state housing and nothing-just some scraps of furniture and a really selfish exhusband who was completely unsupportive. I did have friends but met a married academic at uni, who was supposedly crazy about me, left his wife but still couldn't commit. Sort of told everyone so my name was mud at my uni with some people (fair call to some though-including his wife). Lost his job, got another- wanted me to move my kids and myself to the two cities he subsequently lived in. Couldn't bring himself to have much to do with my children so I had to develop two lives-sort of like the other woman-only I was the other woman to a divorced, fearful and selfish man.

I gained and left three teaching posts to move us around to be with him-lived in two awful houses so I was near enough to visit him for booty calls (OMG as I write this I am LOL-what an idiot was I). Finally starting seeing sense a few years ago and was given the hint that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship- worked hard at my job, invested in my children, bought my house at age 43 with hardly any deposit but my work records and income were good (mortgage is okay-I won't own though until I retire!) and then went back to part-time post grad studies where I started thinking for myself again and beginning to realise where things had led me. When I left him last year in November, I had no friends- my two lives did not allow for any real friendships to grow- and we had moved (to make him happy!!!) so when I developed them, I had to leave them and had no energy or time to keep them long distance.

Okay- this is not to make you feel worse-this is to give you hope. 10 months after leaving him, I am still finishing the wretched masters but it is almost due to submit. I have lots of friendly work colleagues who have their own lives but we really chat and support each other at work and socialise a very small amount outside. I have one or two people that I am hoping to develop a closer friendship with, which means that I do a lot of the groundwork but they are reciprocating and it makes me feel good to talk with them. A lovely counsellor who has helped my through this this year and has given me great feedback about my life and my choices, a great gym with some nice trainers, and someone at work who is ten years younger who seems genuinely to be interested in me-in terms of attraction and seems to be friendly and really compatible. I can't believe it. While I was in my negative cycle late last year and early this...I really thought that it was over and there was something wrong with me and I deserved all that I had. (Which I thought was nothing-how wrong....)

What I have realised is that it is never to late to do anything. Even the most popular and outgoing people have issues and losses and doubts. My main team partner is one of these. She is my age, attractive, has three grown children like me and is the type would have been the school captain in her school and most popular girl when she was at school and she has masses of friends. But we talk a lot at work as we share an office, have grown quite close because we've had to as partners and realise that both of us have issues and we have both had to deal with difficulties in our lives. Her life hasn't been perfect and isn't perfect now.I don't envy her ability to make friends and network effortlessly-it is one of her real strengths. Sometimes I learn from her but I am happy knowing that I am a different type of person-and honestly she learns from me as well. For many people, two or three genuine friends are the norm. The others are social friendships and colleagues-this is quite normal.

Maybe make a list of all the things that you have learned and can do between completing your last degree and where you are now. Y

Thread: Just graduated...

posted
11-Sep-10, 01:55
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Summerfox, feelings do pass and these really difficult ones will too. Although when you are immersed in them it really seems like you are stuck in the bitterness forever.

You have gained a great deal from your MA- friendships, a partner (something pretty special), experiences and a great deal of knowledge about an area you love. Plus the actual skills developed in research, motivation, sheer cussedness in order to finish, etc.

However, no one owes us a living. It is unfortunate but true-no matter who we are and how good we are at doing what we love to do. And many of us don't work (paid work that is) in an area that we are totally passionate about. We work to earn a living often, to provide for our families, to have some control over our housing and how we spend our leisure time with family, partners and loved ones. It is great when both passion and work coincides but for the vast majority of people in the world-it doesn't-or at least it doesn't very often. However, that being said, there is no reason you can't work towards achieving this dream. You were given some fantastic advice by a really experienced forumite on how to go about that-but you have to move forward and actually put some of those steps into action.

Don't be too bitter about being 'sold' on the academic dream-it has snared most of us at some time or other. I'm not talking here about the actual academic goals of achieving a Masters by research or doctorate-they are real things and worthy achievements in and of themselves alone. I am talking about all of the fairy tale stuff we hang on academia and pursuing the holy grail of knowledge (or something or other). Like most fairy tales, it is lovely to read about and use to help stimulate the imagination and motivation. Like the food of fairy tales-it is always tainted. Once you have tasted its fruits, you become very unhappy with reality. Get back into reality. Make some realistic plans, give yourself your due for having achieved your masters and move on to working out how to get the sort of job you would like-even if it is a bit of a compromise for a while. Its what most of us do...no one can take away your actual knowledge and delight in your actual area of study though-that will be with you always-even if it doesn't pay the bills.

Thread: Quit PhD as I'm entering 3rd year?

posted
29-Aug-10, 05:46
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Last week at work when someone asked me about my Master's thesis (actually about five people did, accompanied by the inevitable eye rolls and small disgusted noises when I say 'no more edits still'), anyway one man said, yes makes you wonder what is the point-why not quit-who needs it.
Well, I've invested around 2 years now on this blessed thing and am only weeks away from completion, so I said this...and said that I wasn't going to stop but I would just go through with the thing.

However, when I was having this water cooler conversation, I realised that I wasn't not quitting because I needed the qualification to realise that I am intelligent or because it is going to make me a better person, I wasn't quitting because I had really finished and just had those bloody final edits and proofing to do.

I've realised that starting a doctorate isn't going to make my life wonderful or justify some of the strange turns and choices I've made. It is not going to make me a better teacher or leader or manager and it isn't going to make me a better or more mature person. That's all my responsibility. What it will give-if and when I choose to do one in the future-is a long term project on a particular topic that will really train my thinking and ability to research in a very specific and academic way-and of course a qualification.

It's a bit like a relationship-when I quit my long-term non live in relationship of 13 years with a former academic late last year, I was really scared about ending it. Part of the reason was that I had invested 13 years of my life and to walk away with absolutely nothing seemed like admitted absolute failure. However, my god, I am so glad now that I did. So it was 13 years of my life- I learned things-he learned things-but it was not what I wanted ultimately and it became extremely toxic.

You really have to do what is right for you and throw away all of the usual assumptions and justifications we make or load onto things. I'm finishing my Masters because I want to-I'm almost there and then I am moving onto other things. I'm taking a break from further doctoral studies likewise because I want to and no longer need to have this dream to make me feel good about myself. I left a sour and stagnant relationship because it was unhealthy for both people within the relationship. But this does not mean that I think Phd's are bad or crap or whatever, or relationships, or that people who don't finish them are failures-it is all down to personal choice. No one else can make those decisions for us. Hope you get enough distance and appropriate support to make the right choices for you. And when you do-you don't need to justify them to others nor are you obliged to feel as if you are a failure-whatever. Too much erroneous judgement happens in this world...

Thread: Full-time PHD & full-time work

posted
28-Aug-10, 23:27
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
The other alternative to full-time phd and part time work is of course part-time phd and and full time work. This is definitely 'doable' but equally tough, takes masses of dedication-particularly as phd will take 6 to 7 years to complete. I imagine social work is pretty demanding work so either option is going to be a tough call. Just completing a 25 thousand word Masters thesis part-time this year while working full time this year for me has been incredibly demanding and I'm still on the tail end of micro-edits which have eaten away my weekend this week and will chew into much of my holiday next week.

Both options are doable but I think you would really have to be superhuman to do a full-time doctorate and full time demanding and emotionally draining work-I would agree with the others, completing a doctorate is really hard work. I think sometimes we underestimate just what it entails.

Thread: Viva Nightmare - Major Corrections

posted
22-Aug-10, 22:22
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
I haven't gone through this experience-not doing doctorate but Masters- so I can't help you with a personal story at all. However, I read your account in this way: the examiners would have been obliged to state the four possible outcomes but that does not mean they are all likely.

What I mean is...there is still a really good chance that you will pass...but they are listing the possibilities because they have to. Of the four outcomes two are good and one is okayish. Only one is the fail and based on your viva performance-it sounds like you have the strength to continue and to take on board their comments. There is a very strong likelihood of you achieving either the pass or the minor corrections. I can imagine that the thought of the Masters is disappointing but it is at least something. The fail is probably not likely given your attitude and hard work.

It really sounds like you have been through a difficult and confronting experience and absolutely understandable for you to respond in the way you have. But from a neutral perspective-it might not be as bad as you think right now. Maybe have a short break to relax and 'regroup' and then systematically go back and tackle the issues they have listed. Best of luck and best wishes(gift)

Thread: Prioritising

posted
21-Aug-10, 23:07
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Once you've made your list as others have suggested-and chosen which task/tasks you can tackle, give yourself the rewards system AFTER you have achieved a task not before. 30 minutes of CoD after two hours of whatever.

Personally, unless it is something I really like, such as writing and reshaping, I can only do 1 and a half hours on something before I have to have a reward. So you will find you have an optimum work time as well probably once you set yourself on a system. Don't completely take something you love off the table though-a complete ban never really works (as you will know if you've ever tried long term dieting) but keep it under strict boundaries or guidelines.

Thread: Venting stress

posted
18-Aug-10, 22:14
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Pretty Policy,

I understand why you feel the way you do. If it is any consolation, I don't have bipolar or any other mitigating circumstances for my going over time (apart from the fact I took on a really challenging role at work in the Middle of the thesis) and usually work isn't regarded as much of a reason anyway because there is an element of choice.

I could have chosen not to go for this role when it came up last year and wisely focused more on completing the thesis with an aim for the doctorate. So saying work is tough (with my university and supervisor doesn't really wash). Look I know that Australian and UK universities are quite different in some ways-so I really don't understand why my supervisor just says ' forget about that stuff-that's not important' when I bring up deadlines because I would prefer to submit to one. It means the pressure has an end date-my goal posts keep being moved every time I think I've reached them.

But having Bi polar should not be a matter of shame or mean that people can discriminate against you. And the first person that needs to stop discriminating against you is YOU. Don't be so hard on yourself-you are doing something extremely challenging and it is normal to have all of these feelings and the self-doubt, etc. I really would chat to the supervisor about whether a short extension would be regarded in a negative light. You might be surprised to find that a couple of extra weeks is the normal process even if it doesn't say this in the rules.

Thread: Venting stress

posted
18-Aug-10, 13:29
edited about 8 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
at my university in Australia, the postgraduate advisor said that it was really common and quite normal for Master's thesis students to have a few weeks extension. By this I understood about 3 to 4. She also assured me this did not affect grades with examiners.

However my own supervisor is now treating my thesis as if it were part of a pure Masters by research rather than a course work/research unit + thesis degree and will not let me submit until she is completely happy with it. So I will have gone 2 to 3 months over deadline (not my choice) I imagine by the time I ever do get to submit it. But she does not seem bothered by this, nor does anyone else. In fact the only person who is bothered is me...and to some extent my family and some friends who are bored with the whole process.

So I don't think it would be the end of the world if you went over and I don't think that you have to have huge issues or crises to ask for an extension. Don't apologise for being negative-it is just a part of this process. You can't avoid it every time something comes back with a "what does this mean...can't you see that..." sort of comment. But you probably need to have this discussion with your supervisor-I know that can be difficult but in the end they are the one batting for you and who will help you through this-albeit with a whip at times.

Thread: Mental Focus techniques

posted
16-Aug-10, 12:56
edited about 12 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks for that Ogriv and Helena, I have the grades in Masters course work units and research methods units for sure -and excellent undergrad results from initial degrees and professional diplomas and certs but have not completed an honours year (at the time, I needed to get a job to support my family).

However, maybe as I am not an known entity (0nline distance) at this uni and my supervisor is very much a 'one step at a time' sort well maybe this makes the difference. It could just be Australian universities as well...or at least the one's I am currently working with. Another difference in Oz is that honours is a separate year so that an honours degree becomes a four year degree rather than a three year one with the honours strand kicking in in the third year.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter so much now because I don't intend to go for a doctorate until I have finished this masters and worked in my job for a year or so at least...so I will have the masters if and when I apply in the future...it has just made me curious, thanks for responses.

Thread: Mental Focus techniques

posted
15-Aug-10, 22:26
edited about 19 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Ogriv,

Great post and I am sure that mindfulness will assist with the 'generalisation' bug as well-although if it's any consolation, i've just spent Saturday, weeding out some unnecessary comments and lit from my review that seemed 'oh so necessary' months ago and are now annoying my supervisor intensely. Hope the meditation works to eliminate at least some of that for you.

Can I ask an unrelated question that has had me wondering for some time? How is it that many of you can apply for and anticipate commencing your Phd in October when you are still writing Masters dissertation?

I'm asking as with the universities that I would have considered applying for, I absolutely have to have the Masters thesis done and marked before I can apply for the Phd. Or at least that is what is on the information and actually, last time I spoke to a course coordinator-he agreed.

Is it a bit different in the UK? Sorry to hijack your post but you mentioned your present status and it brought this question to mind again.

Hope the meditation and techniques continue to assist and the spammers stay away....

Thread: Telling supervisor I'm going to submit-second opinions?

posted
09-Aug-10, 21:46
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks Helena, good luck with the editing. At least you are getting some form of advanced warning-re: the miserable editing process. It's like being able to prepare for some form of psychological warfare!! Well, maybe a bit of an exaggeration. Hope it goes well for you- I'd better finish breakkie and go to work now. Cheers....

Thread: Telling supervisor I'm going to submit-second opinions?

posted
09-Aug-10, 14:15
edited about 4 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks to both you-Helena for some much needed positive enthusiasm after what has been a long, difficult and lacklustre day at work and Joyce for your clear sighted comments.

I got in contact with supervisor after third attempt-also after I had had a conversation with the postgraduate advisor for my uni-who suggested I explain my dilemma to her. However, the conversation with the supervisor did not go well. She is unhappy with a sentence in my lit review that is apparently contradictory and what it means and some of the headings in my chapters and frustrated that I have addressed aspects of this but not fully satisfactorily-its hard to gather on the phone so she is sending my thesis back via mail with hardcopy corrections.

So the upshot of this is NO I can't submit until she is happy with it as she has to sign off on it and she did not say much when I said that I only want to pass and don't care about phd's.

So, I have resigned myself to just going on with this neverending process until it does end and just trying to ensure that I share my time out between work commitments. I've worked out that I can work on thesis Thursday & Friday evenings and all day Saturday. That leaves me the rest of the week for work and Sundays for work as well. I'd love a proper weekend or even a holiday that was actually a holiday and not just work on the thesis or playing catch up from work.

Anyway, thanks for the support both of you. Joyce, I am grateful for her support and understand how frustrating it must be to read posts, when you have known the other side of supervision-aka-nada- minimal supervision. However, at times I don't think the academic and the professional world really understand one another and neither side seem to want to give an inch at times. I am committed to this process and I need to see it out-this Master's has really been a challenge and I want my letters...but unlike La Belle Dame Sans Merci- the academic world no longer has me 'in thrall'-although obviously my supervisor does! Cheers:-(

Thread: Telling supervisor I'm going to submit-second opinions?

posted
06-Aug-10, 23:28
edited about 10 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi. Look I'm in the very final stages of the edit-in fact this morning I'm going through the thing again to look for any typos-dates that might not be accurate, that headings align with contents page headings and numbers and that stuff hasn't slipped off the page between screen and printer.

I'll do one last screen for grammatical sense and the comma addiction as well. I'm waiting for supervisor to get back to me- I sent her the final thing 10 days ago and (she's read and edited in between-chapter by chapter, and then chapter again- a few times over). She promised to get back to me in two days and it is now at least 10. Okay, that's fine but the issue is, I've passed my official deadline by about 6 weeks now and would like to just submit. I think it is pretty much okay. I'm happy to wait for her to contact me this week and to make any adjustments that she is worried about but she seems to be happy for it to go months over deadline. I have to wait quite a bit for her often as she is incredibly busy and juggles many different academic activities as well as being my supervisor. So she is always lovely and apologetic but I can see (as with the ethics review) she could put back my submission by three to six months because she is busy.

Ive been advised by friends and family to submit it. I've always received excellent academic grades and most of them say 'come on you fail!!!' and look at me with irony! My work and new role are becoming more intense by the day and there are several major projects that I have put the brakes on or delayed a little so that I can have the headspace some evenings and weekends for this thesis-I would love to submit it next weekend after making any final edits (provided I can contact her next week).

What do others think? Has anyone else done this-just said, look I'll do all of your final suggestions but I am sending it in by such and such a time...? Quite frankly, I do want to do well but I'm over the blind urge to do a phd and can see with the projects that I've committed to at work that I wouldn't be able to in the next couple of years or so anyway. My role is to create a new middle school and revise all of the curriculum for it in our present huge 7 to 12 college. It is a pretty big job and I made this commitment last year, thinking that the thesis would be done and dusted pretty much on my long service leave. Supervisor delayed that as well...but we've gotten over that issue now.

It's a long post-has anyone else experienced this sort of thing and just insisted they keep to a deadline?

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