Signup date: 14 Dec 2007 at 9:59pm
Last login: 10 Apr 2011 at 9:34pm
Post count: 2276
There is no knowing your situation in any detail through this forum but I have been in a similar position. This was also my second bite at the cherry with a 15 year gap. I had a breakdown the first time. I had a very bad spell during my first year this time (my mother died, I nursed her at home). Stress is definitley a factor and of course PhDs are stressful. I just had my viva though and got through. It was stressfull - more than my examiners realised. But the viva is a very different stress to the long haul stress of finishing the PhD. I wouldn't assume the viva will be especially stressful - even though mine was very tough it's only a few short hours and then the stress is gone.
Do get some counselling either through your student services or your gp. I don't know what your situation is with regard to medication but you might want to consider that if things get any worse.
Yes, it's not cheap, binding all these copies - especially the hardbound copy.
Not sure about the freedom. I've gone from never wanting to see or hear about his stuff again to obsessing about my draft paper etc, etc... it just never ends does it?
No word from my supervisor yet - he went off on fieldwork about a month ago........
Ugh Ruby what a pain! I think my internal will check all the corrections on an electronic copy - so no more soft bound copies. I do have the committee that seldom meets problem though. I was told the corrections should be done within 2 months - I hope that means 2 months from when I actually get the list!
I don't have the complete list yet but I have one of the overall reports which talks about typos and additional references. I strongly suspect though, that when I get the final list there will be some additional requests to do with clarifying and annotating various tables and figures.
Ruby - I think they were indeed taken aback. It was quite a tough viva - brutal even in parts. No doubt I appeared confident and pretty assertive and perhaps that only encouraged more toughness but actually I felt ready to cry by about half way through the 3.5 hours. Having a short break was ruiness. Also I was genuinely nervous and unsure whether I would have to resubmit as several of my colleagues have done recently.
I didn't do as much prep as I planned. I felt kind of paralysed and unsure what to actually do. I read parts of Rowena Murray's book and thought about possible questions but only drafted a couple as answers. I reread some of the key papers and some new ones. Did some small bits of further back-up analysis. I did anticpate the key areas for grilling concerning the analysis - but it stiill felt like a rough ride actually dealing with it.
Got to run - bedtime story due....
So I had my viva yesterday. I was VERY anxious. The viva was tough but I gave a fairly spirited defence. I know they say the outcome is generally decided before the viva but I think in my case the viva was really essential. When they called me back in and told me I had passed with minor corrections I confess I cried like a baby:p
Then I did get rather wasted....:$
And now I can't sleep and I'm hung over and my daughter will be bouncing out of bed soon. I really feel rather burned out on the whole thing and just want to take a complete break for a couple of weeks.
I generally don't post on this kind of topic because I don't feel like this. When things go badly or I get criticism I get very stressed and down about it - but I never ahve this inadequcy/imposter thing going on. I think this is largely down to my advancing age. I've seen so many people do so many things, and some fail and other succeed. I have a couple of old class/college mates who are now professors and believe me that really helps to make you feel less awestruck by academics.
I guess there may be someone else in my dept without a first but I don't know of one and it has never bothered me. That's mainly about supply and demand anyway. We all know degrees and PhDs are apples and oranges. You got your place for a reason and you just need to have a little faith. Maybe you came a different route - I certainly did - but that doesn't matter (or may be better).
Got to go - time to do bedtime stories...
Well, I think complaining about people complaining about their PhD is like people with no kids complaining about people complaining about parenting issues.
You love your kids. You don't regret them. But like Dickens says: it's the best of times and the worst of times.
I am on a parenting forum and guess what - it's mainly cires for help and support and major moaning about this and that. But we all know that 99.99 of us don't regret having kids. It's just really tough some times.
So it is with a PhD. My other baby. When it's good, it's the best. When it goes pair-shaped - it is profoundly stressful and challenges your self-esteem.
I don't have the blessed freedom of hours etc that some posters tease me with but I do like to be able to contemplate puzzles of my choice and follow my natural inclinations - something many jobs don't allow. That really is it for me - I think the mind follows a natural course, like water - and this was my way to follow that course.
You should talk this over with your partner. Start now - it took me about 3 years to convince my husband it was a realistic proposition;-)
I know that funding in your area is excrutiatingly hard to get but you should look into that option. Assuming you will be self-funding, it sounds lke part-time study and part-time work is the way to go. You should allow 6-8 years for that option and also think very seriously about if/when you want to have children (I had one in the middle) and the time/money consequences and how you will handle that. A supportive partner is essential - but doesn't sound like he's marrying you for your money anyway!
It's for a postdoc and the dept in question already own the data as part of an ongoing study. All these kinds of analyses rest on phenotypic assumptions which can be challenged/altered - that's as much as I can say about that.
I don't know your area at all so these are just random thoughts. A metastudy would be one where you put together the data from several studies.
I can imagine data protection might be a problem - won't that depend on where you are getting the data from? Also - perhaps it's a case of having the proper ethics approval and promising continued confidentiality. You will undoubtedly need this anyway from the sound of it (I do - can be a pain). You probably wouldn't actually need identifying information e.g. names anyway.
I do get the feeling there should be possibilities there. I suppose you have been over the work of your potential supervisor for ideas.
I also recommend unselective reading in reasonably recent (last year or so) journals of relevant interest. That's how I came up with my PhD topic which was not connected to my masters studies at all. I also would have had no idea my supervisor might be interested in it if I hadn't happened to mention it to him.
I switched from molecular biology to anthropology via a masters. If you can manage without a masters I can see the attraction although I don't think I would have coped, personally. I have found that my interests and working methods have drifted toward the biological and my principle methodolpgy is quantitative analysis. If you can't work in the lab - what other kinds of data can you use and anayse differently? How is your maths - there are some very interesting techniques around these days such as SEM (structural equation modelling)/path analysis that are being increasingly applied across different disciplines.
I hate lab work personally but I am looking into reenalysing some SNP data from someone else's project - there's a lot of DNA output around that you might be able to get access to and analyse in a different way with different questions in mind. Could you get some forensic data to do a metastudy/reanalysis?
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