Overview of Sheena

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======= Date Modified 10 Sep 2011 15:37:30 =======
Congratulations for the PhD and the pregnancy. I won't give advise just explain what happened to me. BTW, I got my PhD few months  back yet to have the grad ceremony.
Five years ago I was planning to get  married and given up hope of getting a PhD scholarship but I got one, wedding  was 3 months away and I accepted the PhD (full time) offer. Supervisors were understanding and I was happy to have a hubby whom I could moan about my PhD  woes almost every week for about a year. Then time started running I began doing experiments and life got so hectic. 3 yrs passed I was going for write-up and  thought I could manage to have a baby, so by the time I started the write up, I was 6 months preggo and all went well. Had baby, with lot of support from  parents and friends, but I was not very healthy until about 3 months after, then we had few family problems, & write-up got extended until I had no  choice but to finish or give up, had to move cut down cost and wrote like hell, final months only managing few hours sleep, baby teething, hubby ignored. Anyway  I got through, submitted, minor changes in viva and it was done. Now, I'm facing a possible separation or a divorce. Life works in strange ways, you can never  expect whats around the corner, BUT I never regret what happened in my life so far, If you have courage and a support system, plan everything to detail, all  eventualities you can think of then take the plunge. But sit and think about all scenarios, there are possibilities and ways to get through things. 
Good Luck. Hope 4 the best (up)

Pretty much in despair now

FIRST -STOP thinking!
SECOND -WRITE what you did, why you did (even now it looks wrong) that at the time.
THIRD -COUNT words and report to this fourm end of each day
FOURTH -TAKE one day off to go somewhere, meet friends or cook etc.DO no PhD that day

Almost everyone feel like this at one point or another thoughout their PhD life. That happens, but you have to go beyond this phase with all the will and strength you have.
Wish you good luck! :-)

****!**V.I.V.A !*****

======= Date Modified 13 Dec 2010 17:36:43 =======
======= Date Modified 13 Dec 2010 17:32:40 =======
======= Date Modified 13 Dec 2010 17:32:02 =======
Thank you to each and everyone who wished me and to the forum because it has been the 'rock' that has been there since I started my PhD process.

The viva itself was overall a positive experience. I don't usually regret things but my viva prep was not as organised as I hoped. I wanted to  do chapter by chapter summary and 'in doubt' or clarification parts where they could ask questions. for example, methodology and the results of each study I did. All I could do was get organised on five key questions: they were important and useful in answering some of their questions.
1) originality of thesis
2) Lit.review- alternative views/opinions on chosen theory
3) methodology, why you chose it? why didn't you use that stat/questionnaire?
4) Results? outcomes, what could be done if you followed a diff.approach
5) Discussion of contribution to knowledge/implications to research

For all the future viva's:
1) If possible try to sort the examiners 3-6 months before submission so your supervisors will have a chance to look at 'best, experienced examiners. If given chance you might want to drop a name or two. Chair also important.
2) A week before, set a timetable, take time-off and get in the zone, ask someone to be a examiner and try to give answers even if they don't understand the subject. It's about the manner you hold yourself also.
3) Remember not to be 'defensive' but give clarifications to their doubts. You know your thesis better then anyone. They can misinterpret things.you need to 'CLARIFY & JUSTIFY' them.
4) Keep clam, don't rush to answer, try & THINK before answering the question. Silence is not a bad thing as along as it's not total blankness
5) Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, think of how you would sit and your gestures.
6) You would not have time to flick through papers or notes, so I don't think they are needed but maybe post-it-notes with words to set you off or names of important people would be enough.
7) Remember the thesis is a result of your very hard work over the years, so don't give up on anything, just explain, be honest as possible, they would see that you tried your best.

Finally, just admit if there can be things that could have been better or chosen differently. It is a 'process of learning' and if given the chance and resources now you would probably do things better with the experience you gained.

Good luck to all (Esp. jojo who seem to have the viva in Jan)(up)(up)
Enjoy the festive season(tree)(gift)

****!**V.I.V.A !*****

I have successfully defended my thesis in 2.5 hrs and its DONE. only minor corrections to do in 3 months
will give details later... so happy but rather than relief I feel so overwhelmed by the whole viva experience. It was a mix of enjoyable discussion about my work and the effort to justify my decisions.

Anyway, its overall a positive experience than I thought. :-)

arrgh..cold, flu,allergy..?? and VIVA

Thanks Ev, I bought sudafed, beecham, and some allergy thing that is non-drowsy. Had a shower in the evening and it had a good effect. runny nose is fine. it all kicks up at night. anyway all medicine to the rescue, although I'm not going to take beecham now. sudafed in the morning and allergy tab at night would do.

Brunel or Bath?

The decision has to be made on the merits of the supervisor and the rapport that you will have with them. Arrange two visits to bath and brunel. I had one before I started my PhD and then they showed me facilities and the grad school etc. You have to see the library as these are needed and its for the long haul.

Please go and have a look at both uni's and talk with the supervisors, at least make an appointment if that's possible. Even if Bath is beautiful and has transport facilities, what if you can't seem to have a good conversation with the supervisors and they don't have the environment that you might find relaxing.

arrgh..cold, flu,allergy..?? and VIVA

WHAT TO DO? I'm sneezing, can't sleep what to take so that I wont fall asleep on the VIVA or look as if I have hangover in front of examiners!!!!!!:$:-(

Viva in 3 days! Not ready for it :-(

First I wish you good luck. Since this was posted few days ago,it looks like you will have your viva on wed or thurs this week. We are both in the same situation, I  just felt real lack of interest in the viva prep and its only today that I am actually writing down some points for those 5 general q's everyone mentioned. It scares me so much that I have let myself down at the last hurdle. I thought of writing some things similar in the forum but could not. I cannot believe what happened to the energy I had when I wanted to submit (anyway...enough ranting)

Just prepare for those five questions and others will be about what you have done, or considered doing or rejected due to good reason. That should be all.(I guess). You know how hard you worked to get this far so YOU WILL be able to answer any question they throw at you. Think and answer. Update when you are done. I will too.

finally submitted...just about :)

Well done. It is so hard to get to that finishing line. I nearly waited for two weeks just to get the final OK from super. Do you know when the viva is? take a good break and come back for the viva prep.(up)

Am I being thick? (stats q)

I would go back to sup and ask for clarification, just say 'is this what you asked me to do since we got x correlation as the result'. then you would seem only forgetful. Have you had a look at Howell or Andy field stat books (field has a website too)?

I passed my viva!!!

======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2010 16:43:33 =======
Congratulations! Time to celebrate, x'mas would be much more nicer this year(gift). 3.5 hrs seems long but if you were enjoying the discussion then it's great and time must have passed quickly. My V-day is closer now and prep has been less than interesting. fingers crossed.

AmyP, well done!(up)

Viva Panic!!! Stupis mistake?

Do not panic at this stage. It's tomorrow so just be prepared to explain what you meant ONLY if they ask, otherwise forget about it and try to answer what really matters about the work you did. I'm also someone who panics over little things like this, but lets keep these in the back of our mind and prepare for the real work that needs to be done.
Good luck! update us

Just passed my viva

Well Done Barnaby, (up) Its amazing that you finished in 3 years from start. What subject area was it? I'm in social sciences and its not often we hear that time scale for a finish. (viva in Dec. so back to prep)

anyone counting down 2 viva?

Hi pineapple, I was hoping for a early Jan viva but have to be ready for dec now. I share your views as viva prep is not going as I hoped, I am getting lazy and don't seem to have the enthusiasm as before.

My biggest worry is what to wear? ??????? (I can imagine the wide grins when people read this). A formal SUIT or no suit...whyyy I'm thinking this probably my way of getting out of the real work;-)

Anyone who reads this...have you decided what you are going to wear dor the viva?:$

New PhDs: Advice, introduction, etc.

Hi Izzy,
Welcome to the forum, been hanging around here for almost 5 years now and I've got the viva to do. So, I can probably write pages of what I think of the whole process but I will only give you few tips as it's a learning curve and you do get experience along the way.

1. Start a research JOURNAL-it could be what papers, books, articles etc you read, what conference you attended-with important bits as bullet points (keep this till the end, DO NOT throw away anything even it seem stupid after a while.

2. Get to know people in the first 6 months-from the admin, library desk to highest ranks-go to social gatherings, start NETWORKING-not aimed at getting something now-but for later life

3. Use a reference software from the beginning-write notes for anything you read-they can become very useful when you have dry runs in writing

That's all from me ...ohh..abt being isolated ...I felt that the whole first year after that I didn't have time to think about those things ;-)

Good luck...share you worries and help each other...