Eat, sleep, breathe PhD!

It has finally happened. It clicked into place last week, I realised I had to stop pushing paper and get writing my final thesis.

It’s been a funny few months. It’s hard to get your head out of teaching and into your own stuff sometimes, but as lock down took hold and teaching came to the end of term I started crafting a bit more again. Mainly for my sanity and also I was asked to produce some leather handles for someone. It made me remember what I’m ok (good) at and got me motivated. It also allowed me to switch off after a long day in the spare room office, which was a good thing!

I had asked advice of a colleague a couple of weeks ago and we scheduled a chat for last week. It actually ended up being the conversation where my supervisory team changed, 7 months from completing! Although I had thought about this for a while and was quite nervous about what added pressure a change in team could be at this point, the positives have totally outweighed the negatives! In fact now I think of it, there aren’t really any negatives!

I’ve gained a new second supervisor. Practice based which has helped me re engage with the practice and put this to the forefront of the research. I think I forget about what I’ve achieved to date (over the 5.5 years) and so taking it through fully and being questioned about it helped me to reconnect. I also have discovered over the past 2 years that recording tutorials allows me to re engage with the moment, much like the narratives I have worked with!

I realised I was treating the PhD as an extension of work, something that had to be done as part of my job and always took second place to my prep and teaching etc, however something clicked and I began to schedule time in first thing, before checking emails or getting engaged in other tasks. I started to take ownership and face issues such as ‘what the heck is a methodology’ head on. I’ve found that these two hours in the morning give me chance to do a little, bit not overwhelm myself, and it’s started to re engage me with what I have already done, so I can work out where best to place things, how to fill gaps.

Even this small amount of time (in some cases more or less) has made me feel excited and want to get it done. I actually spent every morning of the bank holiday weekend writing, sorting etc. I felt so good!!!!

I also had a fab meeting with my main supervisor who is great at helping me fill gaps, answer questions about already written material and make me feel like I can actually do it so I feel now my team has finally come together.

So I’ll keep going… hopefully I won’t drop off the radar. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a couple of days off on my annual leave next week, but actually I think just a little connection with some element of it each morning, even if it’s just a bit of reading is really helping.

Better late than never hey!

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