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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: Struggling- last few months

posted
05-Aug-10, 10:59
edited about 29 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
No way should you downgrade to MPHil yet (not that there's anything wrong with MPHils-quite the contrary-if you ended up with one that would be something to be proud of as well). But you need to see this process out Pineapple-hang in there. Let the examiners make the decision and don't make too many assumptions from offhand comments the supervisors may have made...

Everyone feels like a fraud and a failure at these times but this is just faulty thinking-something we are all trained to do from birth upwards. (Well many of us anyway). Others at PHd of things will give more focused and relevant advice regarding how to get through...but just from the pointy end of the final days, weeks, hours, whatever of the final masters thesis edit...the process is just as crappy. So you see it through to the end and just deal with whatever comes of it from then. You are not a failure...that is just our stupid western thinking mindset.

Thread: Handling those who dont understand

posted
04-Aug-10, 13:32
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From stressed:

It is hard with kids, possibly in a different way, I don't know..... I have 3 kids, I started my BA when my youngest was 11 months, they are now 17, 16 and 6 years old and trying to give them all they need while at the same time running a house (I also have a menagerie) making sure I don't ignore my husband, doing my p/t RA position and a f/t PhD can sometimes feel like utter hell. Nothing gets the 100% it deserves and so you feel that you're letting everything down that little bit and pulled in a million ways at once. I have got a bit fed up sometimes with young students (no offence!!!) especially at BA when I had a baby moaning they were tired and worn out - I wanted to scream lmao - my baby never slept, no more than 2 hours at a time and never during the day til she was gone 3, I had the other two young as well and I look back and wonder quite how I did it - still can't work it out lol.

I love the mechanic analogy - very good :-) Not sure it works with my discipline lol but yeh, 'doctors' work very hard, they go through a lot of training (not as much as we do though) and I have utter respect for them but I get really cross when my work and my (hopefully) eventual title is poo-pooed on the grounds that I'm not going to be a 'real' dr. My grandmother told me the other day that I shouldn't even call myself 'Dr' when I finally graduate as I'd be taking the title from people who deserve it!:-s She isn't someone you can ever reason with, and quite frankly I wouldn't want to bother, she's bigotted and an inverse snob and keeps telling me that its time I stopped wasting my time and everyone elses and accepted my place and got a job in Tesco - they have some going you know :-s It used to really upset me even many years back when I was at school and she asked me what I wanted O Levels for... but now, well, I really don't care!


Must be grandma from hell week or something...my exmother in law-grandma of my children rang me today to spread some of her special toxic cheer around! I won't hijack this post or go into the gruesome details but wow...some old ladies just really know how to suck the joy out of everything don't they!

Thread: role theory

posted
02-Aug-10, 22:07
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
There's a guy called Biddle who is a sociologist. He wrote a couple of books on role theory: however, they are a bit dated in term's of - well, I think my reference for the one of his I used was 1971. So of course you need more recent ones as well when you use him-as only an aspect of my thesis includes role-I could then flesh him out with snippets and journal articles from more recent educational researchers, such as Pajares on roles and beliefs( Pajares though really has a teacher focus). Biddle really does go into role though and was fantastic to assist with my definitions.

Thread: Feel like I am stuck in a rut...upset post sorry

posted
31-Jul-10, 23:55
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Natassia,
there is no way you should feel guilty about having a personal life and balance or believe that this means it makes you less capable in your dissertation. And good for you about the lovely things happening in your life at present. Having said that, I would caution that it is not an easy balance to strike. Of the many academics I have known it seems to be common to have a pretty intense focus on their work. They do have families sometimes and play sports or whatever but, for example both my sister and my supervisor really really work hard as academics. When I questioned my supervisor about her work-she was an academic for a while as while she got her Phd, having just been experienced and very competent so at the University employed on her Masters; she worked very long days at uni and then went home and did hours at night as well on the phd and still published papers.

My sister's work is likewise very very intense although she has brief spaces in the year when she has a break-she has to do some summer courses as well as she is employed in the US. My expartner was different in someways, he used to work extremely hard but clocked in regular days when he wasn't teaching. However, he told me the first years when he was publishing, writing all of his courses and getting used to the work were incredibly busy.

So it is very hard and focused work. And I think it is probably very usual to feel guilt, when you pull yourself back into that intensity of mind and thinking after having a very necessary and helpful break. But it is a bit like the work and study combination as well. In the last couple of weeks while working on these edits, work has been as intense as always, one of my grown children became really ill for three days and needed considerable support and my gorgeous cat went missing , plus my beautiful daughter had a birthday. And actually my guilt lay, not in that I was spending time on editing, but that I was as 'there' perhaps as I could have been for my family, if I had not had so many things to sort out.

Turns out that we all got through it, cat turned up, son is much better and daughter was fine with her birthday even though ants got into her beautiful cake and we had to ditch it. But the guilt was there nevertheless.

I think to be honest, no one has their cake (we are continuing the cake image here(mince)) and eats it as well. To say that a thesis can be cruised through is inaccurate, to say that working and juggling study is an easy thing to do, or juggling anything else for that matter like family, friends, a variety of hobbies, whatever, is likewise inaccurate, I believe. But we should never feel guilty for our choices about how we choose to make this balance. If gettiing a phd meant meaning no form of relationship, that would be dire, but we have to acknowledge that we are going to actively have to make time for the relationships and we need to work out for ourselves and with partners and family, how we are going to manage all of our commitments.

For example, I have decided after chats to my friends that I am having a bit of space in my life after submission to think, to really involve myself in new work role (which has heaps of projects I need to work on) and I want to leave a bit of space in my life for the possibility of a new relationship. My previous one ended halfway through the masters and to be honest, I don't know how I would have managed this year, if it had continued. But that is me and where I am.

I don't think guilt is helpful is it...but it is one of those things that we all seem cursed with. Good luck with your dissertation Natassia and it is lovely to hear that things are working out well elsewhere as well.

Thread: i just got a job offer :D:D:D

posted
30-Jul-10, 21:45
edited about 10 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Wow fantastic! Well done you! It is really nice to hear such good news. I can understand how happy and relieved you must feel. Hope it all goes incredibly well and that you are doing something especially nice to celebrate this. And think of all of the qualities you can bring to this work given all of your past experiences and education.(up) (They should have little glasses of champagne as emoticons for these sorts of events).

Thread: Dissertation Blues

posted
28-Jul-10, 13:02
edited about 22 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Helena,

I think that there are some things you can do to help yourself through this, as others have suggested, but my own conclusion is that this part of the process is just basically awful and you have to just get through it. But you can get through it. I don't think that you are doing anything wrong...in terms of being able to control your feelings or to cruise through the whole final bit. However, as I have found, the sort of advice people give when they haven't experienced it personally isn't always helpful.

For example, lots of people tell me just submit already! They don't really understand that you need to know your supervisor believes you have a fighting chance of doing relatively well before you really can submit. And they don't understand that while all any of us want is a pass, the Masters tends to qualify you for further serious research, so you want to do relatively well. No a distinction isn't the be all and end all(I'm saving all my cliches for posts and emails!!) but the results mean that you are regarded as a potential or emergent researcher, and if your results are a bare pass that can impact on future plans. So it is difficult but as someone said on one of my posts-it will end and you will have a degree that lasts a lifetime-that was such a helpful comment.

In my workplace my human resources coordinator (who is also a work friend) sees it as something that is worthwhile but doesn't understand the identification that you undergo with the whole process-because it is changing you-how you think, how you approach things and how you will approach things in the future-so when things go wrong, I think you go through all of these sort of identity crises, and you can't just give yourself a talking to and see common sense- believe me Ive tried at times but I'm sure that you are making progress and things are okay...even if you can't avoid the emotional roller coaster at times.

Thread: Do other Master's students go through masses of edits?

posted
28-Jul-10, 08:59
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks guys. I appreciate the replies and support sincerely. I think it is just that I am really running 'on empty' right now but it is very helpful to know this is normal for this process. It also makes me appreciate just what a thesis demands. It's true...you can be a really top graduate and the thesis can still just knock you for six. But it is hard to appreciate this until you attempt it and go through it. Cheers-thanks for encouragement and good luck with all of yours.(gift)

Thread: Do other Master's students go through masses of edits?

posted
27-Jul-10, 12:57
edited about 28 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks for that. You know I do normally rewrite my work and have done redrafts of every chapter already. Some edits are well over fourth and fifth edit-we're talking 8 or 9 or more and the stuff isn't that bad in the first place. And even she says they're not major rewrites just edits and I should be happy about that-but the whole process is never ending.

I am at the point where I feel like I'm editing so much that I end up putting stuff back in that I took out earlier and then when I make changes, she'll like some of them and then say but this new stuff needs more linking back-its just a cutnpaste-and I could swear that she'll want something back in that she said get rid of earlier.

I guess what I'm really checking on-is that I knew Master's could be onerous but I guess that I didn't think that they were quite so picky. I sort of thought that they just wanted to know that you could research, etc and if you could, then you got the chance of the doctoral study. However, my university are really picky...or at least my supervisor is...and my colleagues with the exception of two who have completed or are about to complete doctorates and one who did a research masters, don't really have this experience, so they just think that editing is a matter of making sure the grammar is correct. What I'm finding is that how the hell can you make the grammar correct when it is a sort of new idea you are expressing to some extent-trying to get the syntax to work without losing the rigor and the concept is really difficult.

Anyway thanks...I needed to write this just to feel a bit better as I face another day of bloody work and all its dramas and then some evenings and more weekends of nitpicking over different aspects of different chapters. Good luck with yours by the way and thanks:-)

Thread: Do other Master's students go through masses of edits?

posted
27-Jul-10, 11:17
edited about 25 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi anyone,

I'm in the last stages of completing my Masters-50 percent of which is thesis- 25 percent research methods and two course work units. I've done all of these over the last couple of years part-time (while working full time) and am now editing my final drafts of the thesis which will be around 24000 words. However, from being largely absent during many stages, my supervisor has now switched to the opposite pole and emails wanting edits on chapters and then revises them for even more edits.

I am in contact with her by phone and email and she assures me this is normal and I will hate her and she is fine with that but tells me that I really need to complete this process. It is probably only days or weeks away but it is so draining. My question is-this is not a doctorate...is this normal for the Masters as well? Sometimes I feel like I am the only Masters student going through this process and people at work just sort of say...you're still doing that thing-my god when does it stop? Most of them (if they have a masters) have done all course work and they don't really get the difference-not to say course work ones aren't challenging but they are not like this. Have other people had this experience on their masters? It feels so depressing sometimes and from being a competent writer I seem to have lost my ability to use apostrophes, have commas everywhere and as for trying to make my theory clear:-(

Thread: Accounting for PhD on CV

posted
26-Jul-10, 22:18
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Just realised how old the original post is...just ignore post!:$ Too early in the morning for me...

Thread: Accounting for PhD on CV

posted
26-Jul-10, 22:06
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Don't put it on your CV- four months is nothing when searching for work. However, you can mention it in interviews and be completely honest. Your reasons for both starting it and deciding it's not for you are perfectly valid. In fact, your explanation of trying academia (because you're really that bright-why wouldn't you? Many people would expect it of you...) and then your reasons for deciding its not for you, earmark you as a mature person who makes considered decisions.

Most people in the work world, who are not in academia, have a respect for the ability and motivation to obtain a Phd, but generally don't really rate them terribly much outside of this, unless it is a specific research field, etc, where such a qualification is a necessity. So for them-its nice to know you're really smart and could do one- most professional employers value intelligence. However they also would value the knowledge that in your opinion, this is not for you at present and the opportunities that they (company you apply for) offer are much more exciting. Good luck with applications.

Thread: finishing MSc ... depression about PhD and the question 'what next?'

posted
24-Jul-10, 12:04
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Tydra,

I'm just finishing my Masters-like you I am going to submit next week and while I have full time professional work I usually enjoy, have found the last few weeks and months, working in a new role while trying to complete my thesis really difficult. As a person who rarely if ever gets ill physically, I have had three illnesses in the last two months-pretty much one to two weeks in between.

Anyway, I almost broke down at work yesterday when someone else got a promotion, I was happy they got, that I didn't apply for and didn't want...go figure. I was so upset I went to see a friend in Human resources before I had to face my classes as a fragile mess. He listened to my babble and then said-finish your Masters-give it the flick and give yourself some time- you need some breathing space to work out what you want. And while you've got that thing hanging over you, you can't move on and you feel (wrongly) that you are in a rut.

So, I looked at what you wrote, and I shouldn't really advise-it is your call, but it really sounds to me as if you are saying, right at this moment, you don't want a Phd. Maybe you will later on or in a year or whatever, but right now,you need to find out what it is you want and you are too overloaded and stressed to work it out. So maybe some time out just to breath the air, enjoy the weather and look at some of the nicer things in life, the answer, the next step will come to you.

Thread: Seriously?!! Education qualifications since age 11?!!

posted
24-Jul-10, 11:51
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
That's just absolutely crazy! Who wants that sort of information and why?
Seriously-that's a real worry.

Thread: PhD or Ed D?

posted
18-Jul-10, 23:05
edited about 18 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Zesty,

I am not far off making this decision for myself. My Masters should be done within days or weeks and I can apply for one of these in the next academic year (for myself in Australia-that would be January). Anyway, to get to the point, I have been wondering which to do and so have been exploring the options.

My findings are that it tends to be a decision best made as to what suits your purpose and goals. For example, I do believe that the Phd still carries just that bit more credibility as a terminal (or highest level) research degree. I know you can go higher in some European countries, like Germany, and the odd uni here or there but for most of us, the Phd would be the pinnacle. The Educational Doctorate is very high but appears to sit just that little bit lower than your all purpose Phd. I would think that if you want to go the academic road and this is your goal (lecturing in Uni-research-being an academic) then the Phd is probably what you would want to do.

Having said this, the DEd is a high qualification and it is a great practioner type qualification. A degree that will train you in research that is designed to be practical in mind for those professionals who still wish to work in their field as teachers, principals, educational managers, public servants, etc. Not that a Phd wont do this-but I know as a teacher, for example, it isn't something that is necessarily highly regarded if you want to teach-it is more important that you are a proficient teacher and professional, than whether you have a Phd or not. If you have a Phd and can't teach (in schools-not uni-different kettle of fish altogether) then you don't really get terribly much respect for the Phd.

Ed Doctorates are designed, in most cases, for fairly busy professionals who are working-so while it is long, intensive and requires genuine research, the research is often tailored to your professional work and can be for example-three major research projects of a masters (20,000) word level, presented with a theoretical paper that links them of around 15,000 words or so. It always has some research course work to help you get back into the swing of research and methods.

I think if you intend to stay in professional life (mostly) and just want to really fine tune your knowledge, perhaps be able to educate adults, teach a single course at uni as an adjunct, or present at conferences, then the DEd, is probably really all you need, and it is regarded as a very high level qualification-and one you can often complete in the 6 to 7 years outlined as well.

However, for going the academic pathway as a lecturer or professor, you probably need to take on the Phd. Less guidance and mainly on a single topic-but it is the pathway for this type of work.

Thread: Cheating

posted
18-Jul-10, 12:53
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Totally cheating. You do the most refined part of your thinking in your writing and communicating of ideas-well you do in social sciences and arts at any rate. The only time I would think that it wouldn't be is if the person had a disability or barrier that prevented them from writing and the person hired acted as a scribe or secretary.
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