Signup date: 22 Apr 2011 at 10:22am
Last login: 29 Jul 2011 at 7:06am
Post count: 68
Crystalisation is occurring as I read all of your considered replies. I'm starting to agree that it may be an issue of interpersonal relations. Now I am wondering why would they agreed to take me on if they didn't like me, or saw me as problemmmatic in any way, also I am thinking back on the original interview and of course now seeing that there were plenty of red flags flying during our conversation then. I was so keen and excited to go ahead that I dismissed these red flags, believing them to be my imagination. If this had been a job interview I would have turned it down.
On a technical matter, if I withdraw will I be liable for fees for the whole year? Ive paid for the past 6 months only so far.
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Strangely I feel that I don't 'get' what they're saying most of the time, it's as if we speak different languages, I assumed this was just part of the transition into academia for me so I accepted it. They've made a lot of assumptions about me and have projected these onto me at times which I have had to challenge quite strongly, for example I was told in an aside that I had said that what they said in a previous supervision was 'rubbish', I challenged that I had ever said this, they agreed and said that it was what I had thought, I challenged this and said I had not thought that at all and that I was interested to know how they had got this impression, they agreed they may have misinterpreted my 'confidence'. There seems to have been quite a bit of stereotyping and assumption making leading to some very judgemental statements on their part. Again Ive assumed this is simply a feature of the transition from a working life to an academic life so dismissed it as unimportant. They also gave me a lecture on the issue of being seen as an 'expert' and that many so called 'experts' at non academic conferences talk rubbish. I had to challenge this, my expertise is bought by people who only pay for tangible results, which I am able to deliver, this is a form of expertise and I'm happy to own it. At conferences this practical expertise is sought after and I also provide gratis a lot of follow up advice and guidance. This is the world I left behind for academia. I had assumed that practical experience and capability would make me ideal for research as I would be able to reach out to practitioners in the future from a different perspective. The gap is perhaps too wide in my case, and this is something I must now consider carefully. I am a very creative and inventive person hence demand for my training and consultancy and as I am a solution developer I nought this could translate into research. Without funding I needed to agree to some part time work, but the style I need to adopt for work does not suit the style required for academic research. My masters worked well alongside my working life and there was no clash of cultures, so I'm bewildered by this situation now.
Not a fiomer employer, but a new one, hence my interest. I agree it's a possibility i could comport time and the job, but both supervisors were dismissive when i suggested that, their reason being that they thought I wouldn't be able to switch styles between the two worlds. I'm mystified.
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Thank you for the positive comments. Ive just returned from holiday and still conflicted. I'm wondering if the PhD should be delayed until I've finished with working. I stopped work and 'retired' in order to do the PHD as my luxury....I know that sounds strange but the research was for my own purposes and self fulfilment. Then fascinating work came along out of the blue, and I have been seduced by the 'dark side' ha ha. Ive loved doing all the reading for the literature review , fascinating stuff, and amazing that I've spent so long capable of doing my work, but never knowing a lot of this academic stuff. That's an interesting thought in itself. One supervisor suggested that I do this reading as a 'hobby', hmmm, there's a put down if ever I've heard one! During my break I won't have access to journals etc via Athens so this is my main concern, and I feel this possible loss greatly.
======= Date Modified 15 Jul 2011 23:00:55 =======
Good points everyone, I've now had time to reflect and I think they're correct. I've been doing consultancy to earn dosh whilst doing the PhD supposedly full time. The reality is I have only been doing it part time and that's been pretty obvious. Also I really like the consultancy work, and a particularly interesting once in a blue moon project came along and I feel really conflicted. I suppose they've done me a favour in allowing me to do this paid project then decide at xmas whether to give up or take the PhD forward part time alongside my other paid work. The paid work isn't really practitioner it's more strategic stuff. I agree though if this project is successful i can see my PhD focus diverting to be aligned with it. When I started the PhD none of this work was on the horizon and I didn't seek it out, the work found me, and I find that I am more excited by the work than by my research.
I think they're being kind giving me a cooling off period to decide am I an academic or an expert practitioner. I think I already know the answer.
======= Date Modified 12 Jul 2011 12:28:30 =======
My supervisors have suggested that I take a 6 month break to decide if I want to continue with my PhD.
I'm not spending enough time on it
They're not sure I'm passionate about academic research
I'm not making fast enough progress (4 months in)
They think I might be more interested in my practitioner rather than an observer view
I've agreed to this now, but am puzzled.
Doing a PhD is an absolute privilege, truly wonderful. I get to think and think and think and not under any pressure to act before I've thought at length. This is the luxury of researching something I'm really fascinated by. In most of my working life I had to react react react then think about it after, then while I was having a bit of a think react again. Happiness for me is time and space for thinking. When my actions are the result of considered thought it's very satisfying. Happiness is also mixing with other PhD students what a great bunch of individuals you all are. Any difference in opinion is carefully debated with points put and challenged. The PhD process is also hilariously funny and makes me laugh long and hard because of all the rituals around supervision and so forth, (more on that subject is on another thread).
My cup runneth over.
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I'm ready to buy a laptop but at the moment I'm stuck between a PC windows based laptop and the lovely lovely Apple Mac currently with a nice education package at a reduced rate. Any thoughts please. The main purpose will be to use this machine for my PhD.
Criteria info for decision making
At Uni I have a desk with a desktop beast running a windows operating system.
At home I mainly use an iPad because I'm addicted to it
At home I have access to OH's Toshiba
I ride my bike to Uni everyday
My PhD will not contain maths or equations it's mainly words and pictures.
Interesting replies, I'm certainly not meaning any self righteous stuff at all....in fact that's the last of my intentions here. Re emotions on a continuum I can at least challenge that, in the true spirit of academic writing ( all very new to me) shame and guilt are distinct emotions according to research findings and not on the same continuum although remorse sits on a continuum with guilt. There I'm starting to be able to defend a position in an academic manner, although I still want to defend the anti hate position in a non academic manner, hate leads to pain and suffering and I will always challenge it.
Anyway I've enjoyed the debate everyone and thank you for embracing these ideas, or indeed challenging them. I hope truly that the forum will be to turn at moments of frustration, and that I can report on how I feel after 4 years if I indeed live that long! Peace and happiness to all.
I'm certainly not promoting a simple solution, neither do I have a naive view of life. I'm not diminishing the agonies of depression a clinical illness, or saying that people should not share their emotions but really 'hatred'? rather than 'frustration' 'exhaustion' and 'being overwhelmed with anxiety' which seem to me to be entirely appropriate emotions during a very challenging task. I feel that 'hatred' damages us and our relationships with others and our view of the world, so if this invades any process it surely cannot be a good thing. These days too often I hear young people and children stating loudly and often how much they 'hate' this and that, friends 'hate' their jobs, partners, house, life, how they look, their boss, their neighbours, bits of their body, friends, the daily commute, strangers on websites like mums net 'hate' individuals they've never met and practices they have little real knowledge of and contexts that are far outside their experience. My vote is for a world where 'hate' is a rarely used word, and a rarely felt emotion. Simple possibly.
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Surrey University is offering an MBA full, or part time with fees of £19500 or £17500 all paid for in their management faculty.
The article about the offer is in the Surrey Advertiser this week.
You must live in Surrey
At least 3 years management experience
Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I am however quite concerned about the mental well being and emotional atmosphere in the PhD world. It's not good for people and not good for academia to perpetuate the myth that high challenge=unpleasantness or hostility. Are there any psychology or mental health professionals doing a PhD who would like to comment please?
To everyone else please do look after yourself, a career isn't the most important thing in life, Ive had one and I can assure you relationships are the most important feature of how we travel the journey from birth to death. X x x to all
======= Date Modified 09 Jul 2011 12:14:28 =======
This is my concern, having read many posts on this forum a significant number use the word 'hate' or similar vocabulary either when describing their relationship with their research, their supervisor, or their student life. I believe that life is too short and every day is too precious to be doing anything that creates an emotion as strong as hatred. If this is how you feel just stop. 10 years ago I decided when both my parents died and both my inlaws too, that I wasn't going to do anything anymore unless it was worthwhile, affirming, stimulating, ethical, and a positive experience. This meant that I gradually shed a few friends (people who I dreaded seeing and who made me feel awful afterwards) I only engaged with jobs that fitted my new criteria. I travelled to places in the world that I was putting off for retirement (you never know when the proverbial bus will hit you), and now I'm doing a PhD, again something I always wanted to do ( not sure where i'm going to fit in learning to play the saxophone).
My point here is, I'm an older student and it's taken me a long time to learn to value some things and let go of other stuff. Don't hate your PhD, life is so short.
======= Date Modified 09 Jul 2011 12:04:43 =======
Someone told me that a PhD is simply your driving licence to do research in the future, not sure if that helps? Do the thing that you can live with for 4 years, or like many folk who post on here you may end up hating it. I am planning to love my PhD and nurture it for 4 years, life is too short to hate any part if it. Good luck.
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