Signup date: 14 Dec 2007 at 9:59pm
Last login: 10 Apr 2011 at 9:34pm
Post count: 2276
I took 2 years out after my second year because I had a baby. Actually, I did do some work so that I would not have to be full time this year and only use 3 days/week childcare. I planned that work schedule very carefuly but it has not gone quite to plan and I will struggle to submit this year with such limited time.
It is hard to get back up to speed and you need to build up again not just suddenly expect to jump back in. I only intended to take one year out but that would never have worked. To complete after a long break - you have to be VERY motivated.
I was an undergrad in London and was fairly central. We spent a lot of time just walking around the West End etc. Stopping occaisionally for a cheap half someone and maybe a bag of chips. Better with a friend though - Miss Friendly would like to explore? A walk down the embankment is nice in the evening and pretty open and in full view of plenty of people.
If you can afford it - I don't mind going to the cinema alone. Get a copy of Time Out and see what's on - it will tell you whcih things are free. There's alsorts of stuff - poetry readings for instance are usually free. Or get the Floodlight catalogue and if you have the energy do a lightweight evening course to get out and meet a few faces.
Some shared places in London can be like that - I think it depends on how they are set up and how big they are. I had some great shared places in London (was there 7 years) - but some more than others and I think the big difference is that I had a choice and got to visit first. Having one reasonable friend in the place can make all the difference though. If you think you will be there long enough to make it worthwhile, you could look for somewhere else with a more friendly set-up.
In general I think peers are most comfortable with peers. Although I'm the same age - I don't really fit in with the senior staff - but I'm also out of sync with the younger postgrads. I often find myself most at home with the postdocs - but they come and go very rapidly.
I'm old enough to have friends who are senior academics at other institutions - but that just doesn't compute at all - they a re just my friends. So must all be in our minds - our own insecurity.
You should definitely complain - the heating unit should work. Indeed, maybe it does - can anyone else in the flat/house that has one help? I think I usually had a fan heater in my room - they heat a small room up really well - but you have to turn them off when you go to sleep so maybe something else would be better. The housing office really should sor this out though. Doesn't sound like the best accommodation so far! What part of London are you in?
I dropped out of a PGCE long ago. I have had many teacher friends - 50% leave within 3 years. It is a tough job - but being a bit older is a big help. I have some friends who love it - but you should definitely get some classroom experience first. If you can't keep control of a class of teengagers - don't even think about it. That's the big challenge.
Where are you in London? I did my first degree at UCL - back in the 80s though. I think this kind of living is harder when you get older. Everything about London is expensive and cramped I'm afraid. But hopefully you'll get to see the fun side. It doesn't help arriving in winter.
I have a couple of friends who work on games. They are super bright and went in straight from their first degrees. They earn a ton of money and have great working conditions. Not sure how useful a PhD in this area really is comapred with getting work experience.
I'm in a similar fix. I've had a terible time getting participants for my study and I'm doing my last recruitment drive this month. I'm also due to submit Oct- Dec this year so have the analysis and write up ahead and of course every time I try to get more data the analysis starts over again. I'm also royally ******* that I was coerced into more teaching this year that I just don't have time for.
I have had to cut my losses in that I just do not have enough participants to do exactly as planned - i'm just trying to get as much as I can from what I can get.
What motivates me is that I REALLY REALLY have to submit by the end of this year. With regard to journal papers - I'm submitting my thesis as papers (hopefully) so I will not be bother writing my thesis and writing papers (except for an overall intro and discussion wrap-up_. Could you do the same - would that help?
In the UK a research assistantship is a job, not studentship. So you are an employee earning a salary which is taxed as normal. The amount of time spent working specifically on your PhD project as opposed to other work varies a lot and is something you need to sort out with your supervisor. it is theoretically possible to submit in 3 years going this route but most people take longer. I have 2 friends who did their PhD's like this (I think they took 5 years). They did not start out doing a PhD imediately - they had been research assistants for a while first.
Not sure what you mean by your last point. During your time as a research assistant you would be an employee not a student. Once completed, your PhD would have the same status as any other.
Hi Lynn. My mum was in sheltered housing (not a nursing home, but bedsits with a lounge and warden) here for a couple of years and she needed a lot of dental work. At one point she went to A & E at the hospital and had some 'bits and pieces (?!)' removed as an emergency. It was grim.
We have a very nice private dentist - we couldn't find an NHS one with space for us.
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