The end of term is today and I’m feeling very, very relieved to see this term finish. This term felt much more ‘real’ going into the second year of my PhD studies. The first year was more about experiencing at lot of ‘firsts’: first time attempting to fill out a full ethics form, first time preparing for panel, first time to present at an international conference, first time to face the fact that my initial methodological plan was a mess…you name it. This year feels more about ‘getting on with it’ and really making the effort to move my research forward. Like actually going out and getting data, generating data, going around in circles until you figure out what you’re doing wrong kind of data, reading how other people have used their data, being surrounded by data, wondering what to do next with data…
That kinda of data-ing.
I’m looking back on this term and find that I’m feeling very positive about the next term. I’ve managed to reach some of the goals I set for myself this term and that, in itself, feels pretty amazing. I’ll have a good, solid basis to start from going into term 2. The funny thing is, the lack of panic that I felt during the summer about not feeling pressured to finish is slowly but surely creeping up on me whenever I think about writing. I enjoy writing but I have a very difficult time placing words in a way that is understandable, much less articulate and coherent. So the actual act of writing the introduction to my thesis is bloody hard. The 700 words that I have (real, actual words!) seem so awkward and raw that I have no damn clue how the hell I’m supposed to write 79,300 more. In 18 months.
That’s 1, 8. Or approximately 548 days, which averages out to about 146 words a day. Doesn’t sound too bad in those terms, that is if the 146 chunks didn’t actually have to make sense when pieced together. Sadly, it’s a necessity hence the panic slowly creeping in and panic, if managed (with whatever chosen tools and/or substances) can be a good motivational tool to keep moving forward.
So bring on 2012.