Overview of Pjlu

Overview

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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: Positive post-almost there!!

posted
31-May-10, 22:52
edited about 1 second later
by Pjlu
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posted about 9 years ago
Thank's Moonblue-hope that there's blue sky waiting for you there-no oncoming express!

Thread: Positive post-almost there!!

posted
31-May-10, 09:48
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
As that guy on that Brit sitcom "one foot in the grave" says 'I simply can't flippin beleeeeve it'. I have just about finished. Just about to commence Chapter 5 Discussion and the last mega chapter of this bloody thesis-should have it down and dirty and ready for editing in about 2 weeks!!!!! YAY!!!! GO ME!!!!
No honestly after feeling almost suicidal last week and clocking up six private meltdowns in almost as many days between finishing up term 1 of work and new role and trying to code and table results all in the very little spare time left- results chapter almost wrote itself. I do have a lot of editing though-way over quota so will need to physically shear off some chunks from lit review (where it might be repetitive-will need to do this visually though with scissors and coloured markers I think) and ensure that discussion and conclusion are kept to around a max of 6000 words. The thesis will be a bit over length anyway but as long as it is close to 25000 and not 30000 then things should be okay.

Anyway, it is a bit of a brag, but after almost wondering why anyone does postgrad and what on earth possessed me, etc, etc ...I just want to say for anyone going through the Master's thesis hurdle, particularly if you are working full time as well...then this feeling is worth it! I know that I will get there now. One major think fest for discussion and then some rigorous editing but it will happen!:-)(turkey)(robin)

Thread: At breaking point....

posted
29-May-10, 00:35
edited about 3 seconds later
by Pjlu
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posted about 9 years ago
Hi Dee,

What has happened since you last posted? How are things going? Have you decided to go for another extension or have you managed a paper after all?
Hope things are not going too badly...since I last read these posts, I'm thinking I would go for a second extension...who cares what they think? You won't be the first person to have done this...and if you are 'dying quietly in a corner' not have completed it and not having contacted anyone-but just hoping that it will all go away...then maybe just contact your postgrad advisor and counsellor and tell them all and get some advice. Honestly, they will have seen all scenarios and might have some really good steps that you can take...what do you think?

Thread: PhD identity - and what else?

posted
26-May-10, 04:59
edited about 27 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Sue,

BTW, I hope that post doesn't read as critical of your thoughts...I think they are really valid and have responded because I seem to be wrestling with similar (though in much different circumstances) myself. So these are things I tell myself...because it can be sobering to wonder (especially if you are a person who sees achievement as really significant-and I know I do myself) what lies beyond it...so that is all I meant below-not meant to be critical just helpful and to let you know what you are doing is worthwhile and being a qualified researcher is a good thing!

Thread: PhD identity - and what else?

posted
26-May-10, 04:55
edited a moment later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Sue, when you have completed your PhD (and I am not doubting for a moment that you will-you will complete and get a Phd that is), I know you've discussed how difficult it might be to obtain academic work (full-time anyway) but wouldn't you still be looking for this ultimately-even if it involved part-time- research fellowships and adjunct work-or adult ed or something?

And while you were working out what you were going to do and what employment options were available-wouldn't you also be still thinking about maybe publishing some papers from your Phd and possibly delivering at conferences or seeking out some consultancy based work-that focused on your particular area?

You won't be a student again-but you will be a bona-fide qualified researcher. That's not too shabby an identity is it? What I guess that I am angling at here is that once you have exited the student stage (even postgrad doctoral students are still students), you would be looking at making a contribution to your field or your area of professional expertise, or even just mentoring and passing on knowledge to less well-informed and jaded professionals in your area. That is finally, all that we can do-make a contribution in the way we are best suited. Studying (as a student) is just the way we get to a higher level or whatever.

So whether running (my pathetic best is around 3 kilometres at present but I am improving) is a past-time or whether expanding your knowledge through further research is a true past-time for you on the weekend, whatever-personal achievement at some point becomes more than personal achievement and ambition-it becomes the wish to make a contribution, even a very very modest one. I guess this is the philosophy that I am struggling with at the moment being at that stage in my life where I do have more time to myself and want to balance achievement, fulfilment and commitment to something more than my own ego-all at once.

Thread: What cheers you up?

posted
26-May-10, 02:46
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
A pint, a pie and a pee (maybe -to continue in the alliterative theme).

I would have to agree with Walminski- comedy is the best-whether real, live stuff or the canned version on DVD's. Dylan Moran on the differences between women and men (if it is a relationship issue perhaps) or-if she rolls this way- some really good chick-flick stuff. The intelligent type not the really awful stuff. The type that doesn't have a new relationship being the only way out of a crap situation if you know what I mean. In other words, if there is a solution via new relationship in film, then other solutions or themes are presented as well.

I actually like serious literature sometimes when really down and when I am unable to read them as texts (due to racing mind and lack of concentration and brain overload) can watch boxed sets of things like MiddleMarch, P & P or others. They sort of remind one that other people go through hard times and survive them as well...

An hour at a day spa perhaps-new hair colour and style-or luxurious spa served with champers and strawberries. This all sounds expensive but actually you can often shop around and get some really good one off deals. Nice to be able to do it with a friend. Finally, a long drive into the country with afternoon tea in some lovely spot that includes scenery and animals...or horseriding (hired for an hour for beginners-you know the thing)

hope your friend feels better soon

Thread: Research Methods Texts - What would you buy if you weren't paying?

posted
25-May-10, 22:46
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
I second the Robert Yin, Case Study Research (currently into its 4th edition). It is a real classic and seems to be cited by just about every second person-which is how I came to buy it.

For students who are not yet into their Phd but want helpful texts for structuring Master's theses then How to Write a Master's Thesis by Yvonne N Bui is really really useful. (However, I am recommending this for your Master's students only obviously). The Bui one isn't just research methods it is a thorough overall 'how to' book and it makes for a great substitute supervisor, when your own is some where else or otherwise unavailable! It basically tells you how to plan, write and present your research really methodically, step by step.

There is this really interesting (slightly alternative) book by Marilyn Lichtman on Qualitative Research in Education and of course the standard Creswell's Educational Research. These are focused on research in Education (obviously:)!) but they still go into methodologies really well. The Creswell one provides models or samples as does Yin and Bui. The Lichtman one seems a bit too alternative at times but she goes into the ethics and issues of conducting qualitative research very thoroughly and if you are working with people, then it can be really useful at times.

Thread: Totally Ashamed

posted
23-May-10, 22:45
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi I.D.

Like others just can't bring myself to use this term on someone rather than about behaviour! Hard not to use people's names either-so for the present I.D. it is. Listen you have been given some great advice-which I've just scanned through and so I won't repeat it, just affirm and support what the other's have said.

However, the second last line of your post is telling...one of the things that really puts blocks in the way of progress is the idea that there could be something perfect "I love my research topic but I am just so afraid of ....it up that avoided doing it completely". That fear sounds like it really makes a great 'blocker'. In the world of academia as in the professional world, the perfect topic or essay or whatever, just doesn't exist. Whatever you do just has to be genuine-as in your own work- show that you have researched and thought about it and then submitted a paper, thesis or whatever on it. That's it...you can't f*** up a topic-it is just a topic. And we all have the confidence thing happen...I would think that most people on this forum were the 'brightest and the best' or the most passionately involved in a topic, in their undergrad degrees, which is why everyone is going on to further study but once on the independent pathway, it is just so different and so much harder.

Part of how hard it is seems to be down the the 'process' itself. It can just suck at times basically-and you just have to keep on working your way through it if you want to complete. But to do this you have to throw perfectionist ideals and the compulsion to meet every deadline perfectly (that was me-my thesis won't be done on time though-and now all I care about it that it is done-so I had to throw away that compulsive Ms Perfect time person title away).
There are any number of perfectionist or compulsive tendencies and related skillsets that post grads have and those things probably worked well for them initially in the undergrad world but just don't really help once you are on the post grad journey. So don't let all of those things stop you from continuing.

Have you thought about writing down some of the posted strategies for meeting with your supervisor and mentally rehearse them then just jumping in. Probably the sup will just internally sigh and then respond fairly professionally with some ideas as to how to help you with this-that is their job and this thing happens all the time. Hope it goes well- but you know, however it goes, I think it will still go better than all the awful things that you are imagining at present.:-)

Thread: At breaking point....

posted
23-May-10, 22:20
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
In the universities here (Aust) there is a standard 10% rule either way which cannot incur any academic penalty whatsoever. So you could be 1500+ or 1200- words over or under I would figure for the length of your Master's thesis and this would be fine-quite normal and not subject to any penalties at all.

I would think that this rule is probably similar to the UK-most of our Uni customs come from the UK rather than elsewhere. That would mean if you wrote around 10 000- 10500 words to be exact-you would be well within the scope of your thesis, and not able to incur any penalties for length whatsoever.

Promise yourself mentally that you will allow yourself to have a major panic or venting fest with friends, immediately after you have finished and handed it in and then just knuckle down for the next 3 days and nights, knowing that it will all be over in less than a week. (it's called compartmentalising and it really helps, especially on the work front when a major deadline looms and you are really feeling stressed). Good luck Dee.

Thread: Needing some advice on masters or PhD future

posted
16-May-10, 00:08
edited about 6 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Dean,

I'm not sure that I can answer that one for you. For example- I think that you are asking whether to do a practical Masters with a coursework/research component OR a fully coursework component as opposed to a Phd. Is this right?

And the answer to that is probably to do with where your mid term and long term career/work goals are? A Phd is definitely going to be pretty much the highest research degree. So yes you can choose your topic-say researching the impact recreational and tourist boats have on certain types of life form in the reef (I'm just grabbing at random topics-that might be completely stupid-I'm no biologist!). So your phd would be between 3 to 5 years say (full time-give or take time for marking and corrections), spent in fully developing your study, collecting data, researching the literature and the evidence and then writing up your dissertation of around 65000 to 80000 words on this specific topic. You would then have a Phd-which you would probably say is in marine biology-would allude to your topic in future CV's-but the Phd also qualifies you as a scientist, formally trained in research and a bit of a specialist/expert in your thesis area. You could teach in the tertiary sector with this and go for academic work as well as lab work, etc (Not to say you are stuck with your thesis area and topic for the rest of your life but it will certainly help form your starting point and define your scope to others at least initially).

I think a practical course work masters tends to kit you out for jobs immediately in the field but they may be sort of related jobs rather than research jobs. For example if you wanted to go into reef management and tourist ecologies, etc and work for a government department-then the practical one would probably assist with this. Or if you were happy with the lab assistant type role or secondary teaching sector or private businesses who provide services-working for Marine and wildlife departments, etc.

However, if you wanted to be formally regarded as a serious research scientist-if not immediately but some time down the track, then you need to go the phd route eventually-at least this is my understanding of how it works.

(I am happy for anyone with more specific knowledge to help out here and make any corrections btw).

Sometimes if you have the stamina and the passion for research, going the phd route straight away makes really good sense but at other times, particularly if you are a little younger and know your area but not your topic, going the course work route, finding paid employment in an area you love and then just travelling, earning money, gaining fieldwork experience in your area, and doing some of the other things that are highly significant in life, before you set yourself up for the phd slog, is a good way to go. This is where what you decide is really dependent on you. On what you (not others) want and where your mid and long term goals lie. Finally, whatever you do, you can always change your mind-sometimes the only way we find out what we really want is by trying something out and finding out that this is not the right pathway for us at this point....

Thread: Needing some advice on masters or PhD future

posted
15-May-10, 22:41
edited about 6 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Dean,

I am in Australia. James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville (Queensland, Australia) would be the university to go to for anything to do with Coral Reefs and Marine Biology in warm water areas. UTAS (University of Tasmania) is good for Cool Marine but it sounds like you are thinking of tropical(?).

From what I understand and the general Australian Good University Guide's feedback, James Cook is outstanding for this and of course, is situated near the Great Barrier Reef which (apart from being a beautiful environment and amazing marine ecosystem) makes for an amazing place to study. Try going on to www.jcu.edu.au, (James Cook's website) and checking out what they have to offer under research for both Masters and Phd's.

Best of luck with your future studies and goals(up)

Thread: Are there any benefits of applying for a job which I won't get and even if I did would be really difficult to get to but would be the most fantastic job ever?

posted
08-May-10, 05:06
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
You should definitely apply. Even if you did not get the job you will learn an incredible amount from the experience. You will learn about what exactly they are looking for-if you don't get it, you can request feedback about your performance and you will be so much better prepared and ready for the next time that dream job comes up. And, you never know, you may get it OR it may lead to some other opportunity from the contact and networking.

You have absolutely nothing to lose but a lot to learn from the experience-good luck!

Thread: It's Done!

posted
08-May-10, 04:56
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Hi Guitarman,

I read your extended post/threads and responses back when I was taking study leave and getting really caught up in everything to do with study and my own thesis, etc. I am so glad it worked out for you and it's great to read that you've finished, you're happy and you are now moving on! I'm hoping that I'll be posting in a 'passed the finish line' post in about 6 to 8 weeks for my Masters. For me, it may or may not be the end of the postgrad for a little while-I'm still unsure-but I'm leaving myself space to think and really learned a lot from your post and all of the responses and those like it.

So long and thanks for all the fish....

Thread: Awkward situation with team-mate!

posted
02-May-10, 14:40
edited about 13 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
KB, I think you just have to let it go and let it be his issue. It is hard but obviously you can't be anyone's girlfriend just to make them happy. However, it is his right to handle it anyway he wants-provided he doesn't hurt or harm you. It is probably pretty horrible when he just cuts you off like that but it really is going to reflect more on him than you.

One of the issues when rejected, is that he has made himself vulnerable to you-you have all of this knowledge on him (such as the things you were mentioning about his family and his life) and so not only does he feel rejected but he is angry, hurt and probably pissed that he shared so much with you. He is probably as angry with himself for letting his guard down as he is with you for rejecting him. But none of this is your fault. My experience in the workplace (where lots of such issues happen and make things awkward at times) is to let it go. Don't take it to heart-try (when he is not seriously pissing you off with door slamming) to summon up some compassion and just get on with things. It is probably really hard given that you are possibly all jammed up in your offices together and don't have a great deal of space-but it can be done. Accept also that even when things do smooth over and you are both eventually 'civil' but not much more-you are not going to be friends. But that's okay too. We can't be all friends with everyone and it's okay not to like someone or to need to put lots of emotional distance between someone you once felt very close too. It's okay to not be liked by everyone as well...

I'm assuming that 'dispatcher' is not your subject here btw...

Thread: For those of you who did/are doing a Masters

posted
01-May-10, 14:37
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 9 years ago
Just for the record-in case it seems too much, I had a major meltdown aout two months ago (hissy fit status only) and decided to hire a cleaner once a fortnight and a gardener once a month. It pretty much costs me my pay raise (from promotion) but it is worth it in terms of me just not being absolutely worn to a shadow every weekend-and as one of my children has come home to live for a while along with pets, it means I am not cleaning up after them constantly either. It has made it all much more manageable for sure- and if, as I suspect, Masters will merge into doctorate-means I can cope with the workload if it goes on beyond June. So I reckon, its possible Button and the panicking is apparently quite normal-but it feels pretty scary when you are going through it.
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