javafox (javafox) wrote,

  • Mood:

This journal is still active

Ah the lifespan of computing.

The new iPhone 3G S has the same processor speed and RAM as my 2002 iBook.

This is basically a post so that my journal doesn't look like I've abandoned it. I've not, I've just been very busy with research, writing, and other things. Sadly I have nothing new to post, apart from a HUGE desire to drink champagne and get a massage. Not necessarily together.

Well as long as I'm here, I might as well talk about the trials and tribulations, to coin a phrase, of doing a PhD in the UK. So I was supposed to "upgrade" from MPhil to PhD student status. This is a standard process here apparently. For the first two years of the PhD I'm "officially" registered as an MPhil student, which I guess is a Master of Philosophy, so in case you fuck up and don't complete your PhD you at least get something. After two years, you undergo a "viva", or oral examination, to upgrade you to official PhD student status. I was scheduled to do my upgrade viva in May, just after I'd returned from a week away. I go to meet with my supervisor before the viva, and she gives me the news that my viva is being "postponed" until September, basically because nobody thinks I'm ready to upgrade, and everything thinks I should be further along in my research and argument construction.

This is a bit disappointing, and frustrating, because it's true: I should be further along, and have been dropping the ball for the past few months. I think there are several things causing this: lack of desire (mid-thesis slump), lack of motivation (see previous), fear of success, fear of failure, uncertainty of what I'm doing, lack of confidence in my argument construction skills are the top reasons. And World of Warcraft.

Anyway I'm back on track, because this "postponement" was quite a kick up my intellectual backside. I've spent the past couple of weeks going over my data, and thinking a lot about what my overall argument is for my thesis. I've also read a few theses in my area, which have been particularly helpful, because the structure of a PhD thesis is quite different than the structure of a Master's dissertation, or book, or even journal article. I've also made contact with a really interesting academic at Western Michigan University who is actually researching what I am, flight attendant/pilot communication, but from an aviation psychology/safety/CRM approach. That is, she's not coming at it from a theoretical, linguistic anthropology framework.

So that's how I'm occupying my time right now. A distinct change from what I was doing with my life 5 years ago.
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