Sunday, 19 December 2010

Fighting for PhD progress...

This is getting a little familiar, but I'm talking (again) about my progress stalling in these early stages of my PhD process. Actually, I need to get set for the long haul, so I won't put it in those terms, but I have been ganged up and (badly) beaten by workload of the non study kind. So, it's meant a couple of weeks doing nearly nothing on my PhD to make way for writing two new modules for the new year and marking assignments. Just two weeks of non momentum is a killer. This is ironic, as I'd just submitted a rather extended formal proposal which really helped pull together my thinking. Included was a month by month timetable for the next four years!

 I'm now getting nearer the point when I develop a set of rather more detailed plans - for my literature review, for the ethical approval paperwork (briefing and consent material, and so on). I feel as if I'm entering into a new 'phase' of my PhD and (when I recover from work exhaustion) I'll be really excited.

I love how there's so much learning on so many levels - technical, methodological, organisationally (and so on), but especially philosophically. I think this occurs as I engage with the material on a reflexive basis - positioning myself and other perspectives in relation to what I read. I am learning to 'hold ideas' loosely so I can establish tentative relationships only to be refined and re shaped. 

Plans for Christmas are to recover, read (I'm reading "Making Identity Matter" by Robin Williams on advice of my supervisor, good but a little dense and self important in parts) and scribble plans for pulling together the literature review after a chat with the library information specialist. That and eat *far* too much chocolate.