Signup date: 02 Nov 2007 at 4:45pm
Last login: 21 Nov 2009 at 2:05pm
Post count: 266
Well, I woke up this morning with the aim of (as olivia has talked about in another thread) sorting out the maelstrom of files on top of my bookshelves. I had files precariously balanced on top of each other, and it was kind of like playing Jenga, trying to figure out which one to pull out that wouldn't make the others collapse. I obviously pulled the wrong one out and the whole lot fell on my head! I rushed to the bathroom to find that I had a huge gash on my forehead. Can you imagine it now: 'Ouch Xeno, what caused that nasty gash on your head mate?!' ..... 'My PhD paperwork'.
Hi masters! I think alot of us are just trying to get through the PhD and not automatically assume that we're going to pass! Although most of us would say that we want an academic career, when you start your PhD, you'll realise that you can't try to look to far ahead, and just focus on trying to get through day by day.
That's so funny what you said about the job dissatisfaction continuum Smilodon. It's like this engrained thing that we should accept the fact that we can't expect to be happy in our work, and 'that's just the way it is, so deal with it' sort of thing. My mom is completely oblivious about the PhD. She has never once told me that she was proud of what I'd achieved academically. I've just stopped talking to her about it altogether.
Yeah, aggrieved is definitely the word Smilodon, like your decision is impacting on their lives. Cheers for the sympathy olivia about losing my friend. That wasn't the first friend I'd lost as a result of academia. I had a friend/co-worker who was really miserable in her job, and she was always threatening to leave. When I left a few years ago to do my MA, she acted as though I'd personally insulted her, and our friendship ended after many painful confrontations regarding how 'lucky' some of us were to be able to 'swan off' and study. It was a hard pill to swallow, realising that I had to let go of some friendships because my supposed friends couldn't accept what I wanted for my life. The funny thing is I've always been so supportive of anything my friends have decided to do. When I was going through a really low period in my life, this friend was there for me, but the minute I finally got some clarity and decided to do something positive for myself, she couldn't accept me anymore.
Oh yes, I'm familiar with that type of thinking Smilodon. Do you personally think it's an issue of jealousy? The common thing is for people like this to try to make you feel like a scrounger, like you're sitting around wasting time when you could be doing something 'useful' i.e. a full-time job. The PhD gets treated as something luxurious and self-indulgent. What I often get is people accusing me of just trying to do anything I can to avoid getting 'a real job'. I'm sure you're familiar with this one. We all will hear it at some point in our PhDs.
Hi Error. I've applied to the AHRC three times and been rejected every time. I spent ages feeling really depressed about it, and couldn't understand because I received distinctions for both my undergrad and MA degrees, and I also submitted a very strong proposal for my PhD project. Now, after having spoken with quite a few academics about the intricacies of AHRC politics I realise that it's a ruthless competition where, comparatively, very few are successful. I don't know if that's any help. I guess what I'm wanting to say is, if you don't get accepted for AHRC funding, it's not a reflection of your talents/abilities.
I did go through a phase where I actually felt guilty about the PhD! (can you believe that?) I felt like I had no right to talk to him about it. It turned into this 'elephant in the room'--when we talked, he'd ask how everything was going, and there was nothing much going on for me apart from the PhD, but I avoided bringing it up. For a while, one of my friends would ask the same inane question like 'So, how long is this COURSE going to take to complete?', like it was some sort of conversion course or something.
I can totally empathise Olivia! It's so frustrating!!! I do actually believe that jealousy has a role to play in this, really do. I actually lost a friend when I started the PhD. He and I were really close,but as soon as I got accepted for the PhD, he just stopped calling me. The couple of times I've spoken to him, he's made sarcastic comments about the PhD. He wanted to do a PhD, but didn't have the courage to go for it. I was always encouraging him to apply and never rubbed it in his face. In fact, I avoided bringing my work up because I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable. I've since had to accept that our friendship is severed, and that it's not my fault.
What makes me laugh is their insistence that, if you're living with a partner, the partner is obliged to support you! I think the whole system is ridiculous. If you do manage to qualify for JSA, which provides a weekly amount that has been acknowledged to be below the amount that a person can actually live on, you have to be actively seeking work. You have to show them that you've applied for two jobs/week. The whole set up is degrading, and is intended to be! You get treated like a piece of crap. I've never been on it, but have had friends who have actually cried when they've come out of the Jobcentre!
Hi Noz. This is certainly NOT allowed in universities, and this is universal. I know there is dating going on between lecturers/students, but it is certainly not allowed between a sup and the student they supervise. This is a breach of ethics, and certainly not acceptable.
Thanks for the helpful input everyone. I went for a coffee with a friend this morning at uni, and we talked about this. We were talking about how our view of the world becomes so disjointed when we're doing the PhD. It doesn't so much become the centre of our universe as our bloody universe itself! I've actually got other important things going on in my life (as I'm sure most of you do), and I don't want my PhD to become the annihilator that comes in and destroys everything in it's path. I've kind of grown weary of academia, in so much as those of us who get involved in it sometimes lose all sense of perspective. There's a world out there, and we need to keep reminding myself of that! I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing to stay semi-sane
Hi olivia! I was actually blogging about this very thing this morning. I maintain that nothing could have prepared me for the PhD. I undertook an MA beforehand, and I find that it has contributed very little to my PhD work. In fact, much of what I learned on the MA has been disputed. Even the expectations upon the writing at doctorate level, for instance, are so different from anything we will have experienced before. Our minds are very selective in what they will retain anyway, so whatever education we've had will be simmered down to particular tidbits that our brains have chosen to retain, and that can be so random! Even as we sit doing our reading for the PhD, we will end up holding on to very little comparatively. It's such a random process, the things our mind decides to latch onto.
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